Objective To test whether an association between pain response and depression in females is present during preadolescence using a controlled pain stimulus and a clinically relevant assessment of depressive symptoms. MethodIn a sample of 232 girls, pain threshold and tolerance were assessed at age 10 years using the cold pressor task, and a diagnostic interview was used to assess depression symptoms at 10 and 11 years of age. ResultsResponse to pain at age 10 was associated with depressive symptoms at ages 10 and 11; race and pubertal stage moderated the association. Pain response and depression were more strongly associated among girls who had reached advanced stages of pubertal development and among European American girls. ConclusionsThe results add to the existing literature on the co-occurrence of depression and pain by demonstrating modest but consistent concurrent and prospective associations between response to pain and depression among girls during preadolescence.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology