Testing the relation between dispositional optimism and conditioned pain modulation: does ethnicity matter?
- 695 Downloads
Greater dispositional optimism has been related to less severe pain; however, whether optimism is associated with endogenous pain modulation has not yet been examined. The beneficial effects of dispositional optimism often vary according to cultural dynamics. Thus, assessing optimism–pain relationships across different ethnic groups is warranted. This study sought to examine the association between optimism and conditioned pain modulation (CPM), and test whether this association differs according to ethnicity. Optimism and CPM were assessed in a sample of healthy, ethnically diverse young adults. CPM was determined by comparing pressure pain thresholds obtained before and during exposure to a cold pressor task. All participants completed a validated measure of dispositional optimism. Greater reported optimism was significantly associated with enhanced CPM, and the strength of this association did not vary according to individuals’ ethnic background. These findings suggest that an optimistic disposition may potentiate endogenous pain inhibition.
KeywordsDispositional optimism Pain inhibition Conditioned pain modulation Ethnic differences
This work was supported with funds from the Graduate Student Association at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (B.R.G.) and by National Institutes of Health training grant T32NS045551-06 (B.R.G.).
Conflict of interest
There are no conflicts of interest, or any financial interests, to report with regard to this work for any of the authors.
- Aiken, L. S., & West, S. G. (1991). Multiple regression: Testing and interpreting interactions. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Byrnes, D. M., Antoni, M. H., Goodkin, K., Efantis-Potter, J., Asthana, T., Simon, J., et al. (1998). Stressful events, pessimism, natural killer cell cytotoxicity, and cytotoxic/suppressor T cells in HIV + black women at risk for cervical cancer. Psychosomatic Medicine, 60, 714–722.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Chang, E. C., Sanna, L. J., Kim, J. M., & Srivastava, K. (2010). Optimistic and pessimistic bias in European Americans and Asian Americans: A preliminary look at distinguishing between predictions for physical and psychological health outcomes. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 41, 465–470.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Goodin, B. R. (2009). A biopsychosocial explanation of an experimental pain outcome. PhD dissertation, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, United States, Maryland. Retrieved July 12, 2011, from Dissertations & Theses: Full Text (Publication No. AAT 3389006).Google Scholar
- Heinonen, K., Raikkonen, K., Matthews, K. A., Scheier, M. F., Raitakari, O. T., Pulkki, L., et al. (2006). Socioeconomic status in childhood and adulthood: Associations with dispositional optimism and pessimism over a 21-year follow up. Journal of Personality, 74, 1111–1126.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Hu, J. W. (1990). Response properties of nociceptive and non-nociceptive neurons in the rat’s trigeminal subnucleus caudalis (medullary dorsal horn) related to cutaneous and deep craniofacial afferent stimulation and modulation by diffuse noxious inhibitory controls. Pain, 41, 331–345.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Streiner, D. L. (1995). Learning how to differ: Agreement and reliability statistics in psychiatry. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 40, 60–66.Google Scholar
- Turk, D. C. (1996). Biopsychosocial perspective on chronic pain. In D. C. Turk & R. J. Gatchel (Eds.), Psychological approaches to pain management: A practioner’s handbook (pp. 3–32). New York, NY: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Wilder-Smith, C. H., Schindler, D., Lovblad, K., Redmond, S. M., & Nirkko, A. (2004). Brain functional magnetic resonance imaging of rectal pain and activation of endogenous inhibitory mechanisms in irritable bowel syndrome patient subgroups and healthy controls. Gut, 53, 1595–1601.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar