Child pain-related injustice appraisals mediate the relationship between just-world beliefs and pain-related functioning

F. Daenen*, J. McParland, F. Baert, M.M. Miller, A.T. Hirsh, T. Vervoort

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Research among adult and pediatric samples suggests that pain‐related injustice appraisals contribute to adverse pain‐related functioning. However, a singular focus on pain‐related injustice appraisals carries the risk of underestimating the role of broader concepts of justice. This study examined the unique roles of child pain‐related injustice appraisals and just‐world beliefs in understanding disability and physical, emotional, social, and academic functioning, as well as the mediating role of injustice appraisals in the relationship between just‐world beliefs and functioning.
Participants comprised a school sample of 2174 children (Study 1) and a clinical sample of 146 pediatric chronic pain patients (Study 2) who completed the
Injustice Experience Questionnaire (IEQ), Personal and General Belief in a Just World scales (JWB‐P/G), Functional Disability Inventory (FDI), Pain Catastrophizing Scale for Children (PCS‐C), and Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PEDSQL).
For both samples, child pain‐related injustice appraisals were associated with poorer functioning, after controlling for just‐world beliefs, catastrophizing, pain intensity, age, and sex. In the school sample, injustice appraisals mediated the associations of both personal and general just‐world beliefs with functioning. In the clinical sample, injustice appraisals mediated the association of personal, but not general, just‐world beliefs with all functioning scales.
The current findings attest to the unique role of pain‐related injustice appraisals in understanding child pain‐related functioning and their explanatory value in understanding the relationship between fundamental just‐world beliefs and child pain‐related functioning.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Pain
Early online date1 Dec 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Dec 2020

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