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Papers of the Week

Papers: 25 Nov 2023 - 1 Dec 2023

2023 Nov 28



School bullying and peer relationships in children with chronic pain.


Solé E, Roman-Juan J, Sánchez-Rodríguez E, Castarlenas E, Jensen MP, Miró J


Preliminary evidence suggests that there are significant associations between bullying and chronic pain, as well as between the quality of peer relationships and psychological function in youth with chronic pain. However, these findings have yet to be replicated, and the role that bullying plays in anxiety in children and adolescents with chronic pain has not yet been examined. This study sought to expand our understanding of the associations between measures of bullying and quality of peer relationships and pain-related function domains in a community sample of schoolchildren with chronic pain. One thousand one hundred fifteen schoolchildren participated in this study; 57% were girls, the mean age of the study sample was 11.67 years (SD = 2.47), and 46% reported having chronic pain. Participants completed measures of pain characteristics, pain interference, anxiety, and depressive symptoms, bullying (past and current), and quality of peer relationships. Youth with chronic pain reported a significantly higher percentage of being bullied in the past compared with youth without chronic pain. In the group of youth with chronic pain, the measures of past and current bullying, and quality of peer relationships, were not significantly associated with pain intensity, pain interference, or anxiety. However, having a history of being bullied and the quality of peer relationships were significantly associated with depressive symptom severity. The findings indicate that research to evaluate the potential causal role of bullying and the quality of peer relationships on pain-related function domains in youth with chronic pain is warranted.