Stress and coping in children and adolescents with fibromyalgia

Christopher J Libby, Fordham University


Children and adolescents suffering from Juvenile Primary Fibromyalgia Syndrome (JPFS) are at an increased risk for a number of difficulties in psychological, social, and academic functioning. Identifying coping strategies that improve a child's ability to deal with stressful events and minimize functional disability and pain in JPFS is potentially important for the development of successful interventions. The main hypotheses of this investigation were that adaptive coping strategies, perceived social support, and self-efficacy would moderate the relationship between stressors and scores on each of three outcome variables. These three outcome variables were quality of life, depressive symptoms, and pain ratings. Furthermore, stressful life events and daily hassles scores were expected to be negatively correlated with quality of life scores and positively correlated with pain ratings. The participants for this study were 57 children and adolescents with JPFS, who were between the ages of 10 and 18 years, and their parents. Participants were recruited primarily from the rheumatology clinics at two large children's hospitals. The measures filled out by the child/adolescent included pain ratings on a Visual Analog Scale (Pain VAS), the Coping Strategies Questionnaire-Child Version (CSQ-C), the Children's Depression Inventory-Short Form (CDI-S), the Children's Hassles Scale (CHS), the Perceived Support from Family and Friends Scale (PSS), the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL), and a modified Children's Arthritis Self-Efficacy Scale (CASE). Parents completed the Coddington Life Events Scale (CLES-A), a parent-rating PedsQL, and a demographics form. As predicted by a stress and coping model, daily hassles stress predicted the outcome measures of depression score and child-rated quality of life. This result showed that stress may exacerbate health outcomes in JPFS. As expected, self-efficacy moderated the relationship between daily hassles and depression. Catastrophic thinking and selfefficacy predicted child-rated quality of life, and self-efficacy predicted ratings of the worst pain in the past week. This study provided support for applying a stress and coping model to children and adolescents with JPFS.

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Recommended Citation

Libby, Christopher J, "Stress and coping in children and adolescents with fibromyalgia" (2007). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3286422.