Role of psychological flexibility in parents of adolescents with chronic pain: Development of a measure and preliminary correlation analyses


McCracken, L. M. and Gauntlett-Gilbert, J., 2011. Role of psychological flexibility in parents of adolescents with chronic pain: Development of a measure and preliminary correlation analyses. Pain, 152 (4), pp. 780-785.

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Parent responses to the experiences of adolescents with chronic pain are deemed important. At the same time the best ways to conceptualize, measure, and intervene with these are unclear. The purpose of the present study was to develop a measure of parent responses based on the approach proposed in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), an approach that focuses on psychological flexibility. A total of 183 adolescents attending a specialty treatment center for chronic pain, and adults attending with them, provided the data examined in this study. Standard measures of adolescent functioning and parent responses were obtained. In addition, the attending adults, who were mostly mothers, also completed a pool of items for an instrument called the Parent Psychological Flexibility Questionnaire (PPFQ). Preliminary analyses of these items showed an internal consistency of alpha = 0.91. The total score for parent psychological flexibility was negatively correlated with protective and encouraging parent responses to pain, as predicted. It was also positively correlated with adolescent acceptance of pain and negatively correlated with measures of pain-related impact on their social, emotional, family, and developmental functioning. Additional analyses showed that the PPFQ yields significant unique information about adolescent functioning independent of age and gender and beyond that provided by another well-established measure of parent responses. There is increasing evidence for the effectiveness of ACT in the treatment of a range of behavior problems in adults and young people and in training for persons without identified "disorders.'' It seems potentially applicable for parent training in the context of adolescent chronic pain. (C) 2010 International Association for the Study of Pain. Published by Elsevier B. V. All rights reserved.


Item Type Articles
CreatorsMcCracken, L. M.and Gauntlett-Gilbert, J.
Related URLs
Uncontrolled Keywordschronic pain,adolescents,psychological flexibility,parent responses
DepartmentsFaculty of Humanities & Social Sciences > Health
Research CentresCentre for Pain Research
ID Code23522


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