Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

Anne D. Baird


assessment, chronic pain, clinical psychology, culture, ethnicity




Ethnocultural differences in chronic pain presentation were studied in clients undergoing neuropsychological assessment following closed head injury. Data were collected at two sites: an outpatient clinic in Novi, Michigan, and a private practice in Edmonton, Alberta. Measures of interest included chronic pain outcomes (pain severity, affective distress, and activity level) and pain-related variables (life control, perceived support, and partner solicitousness).

In the Novi sample, African American males reported greater life control than Caucasian males. Otherwise African American and Caucasian clients were similar with respect to pain presentation. In the Edmonton sample, Southeast Asian and Middle Eastern clients reported greater pain severity than Caucasian clients; South Asian and Middle Eastern clients reported lower activity than Caucasian clients; and Middle Eastern clients reported greater affective distress than Caucasian clients on one of two measures. An overall ethnocultural group difference was found with respect to life control, and South Asian clients reported higher levels of partner solicitousness than Caucasian clients. Overall pain profile classifications were also found to differ across ethnocultural groups in the Edmonton sample. Compared with other groups Middle Eastern clients were more likely to be classified as having a profile associated with negative outcomes.

Foreign-born East Asian, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Middle Eastern clients reported greater pain severity and lower activity than Canadian-born clients from the same ethnocultural groups.

Ethnocultural differences in the predictive value of demographic and pain-related variables with respect to pain outcomes were studied, as were ethnocultural differences on performance validity and self-report validity measures.

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