Youths with chronic pain may experience difficulties with peer relationships. We investigated the quality and correlates of peer relationships in a sample of 181 youths with chronic pain. A majority of youths were satisfied with their relationships with peers; however, levels were highly variable. Higher functional impairment and depression levels predicted lower peer relationship quality, controlling for demographic and other pain-related factors. In addition, peer relationship quality and pain severity predicted child depression and anxiety symptoms, whereas peer relationship quality only predicted anger symptoms. Relationship quality moderated the association between pain severity and functional impairment, suggesting that strong relationships with peers may buffer the effects of pain on functioning. Peer relationships seem particularly important for the adjustment and psychological well-being of youths with chronic pain. Particular attention should be given to functionally impaired and depressed children, who may be at higher risk of peer difficulties.
- Chronic pain
- Social functioning
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health