Coping and Adaptation in Children’s Pain

  • Lawrence J. Siegel
  • Karen E. Smith


Children’s responses to painful experiences range from adaptive coping efforts to severe maladjustment. A number of factors may mediate the impact of pain on a particular child’s adjustment. Among these factors are the coping skills that children use in their attempts to manage the potential stress and discomfort associated with the pain that accompanies illness, injuries, and medical treatment. The coping skills in a child’s repertoire are an important focus of study in our understanding of the individual differences observed in children’s response to pain under comparable degrees of severity and type of painful condition. Children’s typical modes of responding to stress influence their ability to manage painful events, and likely affect their ability to benefit from various intervention programs. In recent years, the study of coping processes in children has received greater emphasis. Researchers have begun to identify self-generated cognitive and behavioral coping strategies that children use in response to painful experiences (Siegel, 1988a, 1988b).


Coping Strategy Coping Style Coping Response Pain Tolerance Coping Process 


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© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lawrence J. Siegel
  • Karen E. Smith

There are no affiliations available

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