Despite clinical observation of perfectionistic tendencies among youth with chronic pain and their parents as well as established relationships between perfectionism and functional somatic symptoms in adults and youth, no research in the pediatric pain literature has examined perfectionism. This study explored the role of various types of youth and parent perfectionism on youth and parent pain-related distress and behavior and youth pain-related dysfunction. At admission, 239 parent-child pairs from outpatient and day-treatment rehabilitation settings completed several questionnaires assessing perfectionism, pain-related distress, and pain-related dysfunction. Bivariate correlations indicated that socially prescribed perfectionism in youth and parents was linked to youth pain duration, parent and youth pain-related distress and behavior, and youth somatization. Indirect relations showed that youth socially prescribed perfectionism was the only form of perfectionism directly associated with youth somatization whereas all forms of youth perfectionism were indirectly associated with somatization and functional disability through increases in youth pain-related fear and catastrophizing. Additionally, socially prescribed perfectionism was the only type of parent perfectionism linked to youth pain-related dysfunction (somatization, functional disability) through its association with youth pain-related fear. Findings support clinical observations that parent and youth perfectionism is a psychosocial factor that should be targeted in pediatric chronic pain treatment. PERSPECTIVE:Perfectionism in youth with chronic pain and their parents was indirectly linked to youth pain-related dysfunction through its effect on youth pain-related catastrophizing and fear. Findings support clinical observations that parent and youth perfectionism is a psychosocial factor that should be targeted in pediatric chronic pain treatment.
J Pain (The journal of pain)
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