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Children 2016, 3(4), 35; doi:10.3390/children3040035

Neighborhood Characteristics: Influences on Pain and Physical Function in Youth at Risk for Chronic Pain

Pacific University, Department of Clinical Psychology, Forest Grove, OR 97116, USA
Oregon State University, Department of Psychological Science, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA
George Fox University, Department of Psychology, Newberg, OR 97132, USA
Oregon Health & Science University, Institute on Development and Disability, Department of Pediatrics, Portland, OR 97239, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Carl L. von Baeyer
Received: 1 September 2016 / Revised: 3 November 2016 / Accepted: 9 November 2016 / Published: 19 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chronic and Recurrent Pain)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [235 KB, uploaded 19 November 2016]


Neighborhood features such as community socioeconomic status, recreational facilities, and parks have been correlated to the health outcomes of the residents living within those neighborhoods, especially with regard to health-related quality of life, body mass index, and physical activity. The interplay between one’s built environment and one’s perceptions may affect physical health, well-being, and pain experiences. In the current study, neighborhood characteristics and attitudes about physical activity were examined in a high-risk (youths with a parent with chronic pain) and low-risk (youths without a parent with chronic pain) adolescent sample. There were significant differences in neighborhood characteristics between the high-risk (n = 62) and low-risk (n = 77) samples (ages 11–15), with low-risk participants living in residences with more walkability, closer proximity to parks, and higher proportion of neighborhood residents having college degrees. Results indicate that neighborhood features (e.g., walkability and proximity to parks), as well as positive attitudes about physical activity were correlated with lower levels of pain and pain-related disability, and higher performance in physical functioning tests. These findings suggest that the built environment may contribute to pain outcomes in youth, above and beyond the influence of family history of pain. View Full-Text
Keywords: walkability; attitudes about physical activity; chronic pain; adolescents walkability; attitudes about physical activity; chronic pain; adolescents
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Schild, C.; Reed, E.A.; Hingston, T.; Dennis, C.H.; Wilson, A.C. Neighborhood Characteristics: Influences on Pain and Physical Function in Youth at Risk for Chronic Pain. Children 2016, 3, 35.

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