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Attachment and Chronic Pain in Children and Adolescents

Department of Pain & Palliative Care, Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick, NSW 2031, Australia
School of Women’s and Children’s Health, University of New South Wales, Kensington, NSW 2052, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Lynn Walker
Children 2016, 3(4), 21;
Received: 9 September 2016 / Revised: 12 October 2016 / Accepted: 17 October 2016 / Published: 25 October 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chronic and Recurrent Pain)
Although attachment theory is not new, its theoretical implications for the pediatric chronic pain context have not been thoroughly considered, and the empirical implications and potential clinical applications are worth exploring. The attachment framework broadly focuses on interactions between a child’s developing self-regulatory systems and their caregiver’s responses. These interactions are believed to create a template for how individuals will relate to others in the future, and may help account for normative and pathological patterns of emotions and behavior throughout life. This review outlines relevant aspects of the attachment framework to the pediatric chronic pain context. The theoretical and empirical literature is reviewed regarding the potential role of attachment-based constructs such as vulnerability and maintaining factors of pediatric chronic pain. The nature and targets of attachment-based pediatric interventions are considered, with particular focus on relevance for the pediatric chronic pain context. The potential role of attachment style in the transition from acute to chronic pain is considered, with further research directions outlined. View Full-Text
Keywords: attachment; chronic pain; child; adolescent attachment; chronic pain; child; adolescent
MDPI and ACS Style

Donnelly, T.J.; Jaaniste, T. Attachment and Chronic Pain in Children and Adolescents. Children 2016, 3, 21.

AMA Style

Donnelly TJ, Jaaniste T. Attachment and Chronic Pain in Children and Adolescents. Children. 2016; 3(4):21.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Donnelly, Theresa J., and Tiina Jaaniste. 2016. "Attachment and Chronic Pain in Children and Adolescents" Children 3, no. 4: 21.

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