Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name




First Advisor

Thomas, Cheryl,


Psychology, Clinical.




Literature on chronic pain has identified alexithymia, depression and marital difficulties as characteristics of chronic pain populations. Previous research has also linked these parental characteristics with social competence deficits in children, suggesting a need to assess the social skills of chronic pain sufferers' children. In the current study, samples of chronic pain sufferers and pain-free participants were compared in terms of levels of alexithymia, depression and marital difficulties as well as in their children's social competence. The predictive value of these parental characteristics and others for children's social competence was also investigated. Gender differences in social competence and correlates of boys' and girls' social competence were also assessed. No group differences were found in children's social skills levels but chronic pain sufferers did report more depression and alexithymia than pain-free participants. Children's social competence across both groups was predicted by children's age and by parental alexithymia. In the pain sample, children's social skills were predicted by the length of time for which they were exposed to their parent's pain, parental pain intensity, depression, and alexithymia. Contrary to prediction, level of marital satisfaction was not an important predictor of children's social competence. No gender differences were found in children' s social skills but results suggested they did differ on correlates of their social competence. Implications of these findings for intervention in chronic pain families are discussed.Dept. of Psychology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1996 .B48. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 37-01, page: 0363. Adviser: Cheryl Thomas. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1996.