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The Role of Children’s Trait Anxiety and negative affect in Children’s Memories for Pain

  • THE KOREAN JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY
  • 2014, 27(3), pp.39-60
  • Publisher : The Korean Society For Developmental Psychology
  • Research Area : Social Science > Psychological Science

Seungjin Lee 1 kjkwak 1

1서울대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This study examined the effects of children’s temperament and anxiety on the accuracy of children’s memory for pain. Children (N = 72) aged from 4 to 9 years who had undergone a minor operative dental treatment were asked to use a visual analogue scale to report their anxiety and pain about their dental experience. The children were then asked to complete different types of scales during the delayed interview to indicate how much anxiety and pain they experienced during the dental procedure. In addition, children’s temperament and dentists assessed children’s anxiety status. Overall, the results of this study replicate and extend previous findings in the related literature, providing further evidence that most children can accurately recall the level of pain they experienced a week ago. We find it interesting that negative affect, as one of the assessed temperament dimensions, had a significant influence on the accuracy of children’s memory for pain. In addition to reporting higher negative affect, trait-anxious children exhibited a greater likelihood of recalling higher level of pain than they initially reported, indicating that those particular children may have negatively distorted recollections of the level of the pain that they experienced. Thus, when trait-anxious children are being clinically treated, clinicians should consider looking into the children’s sensitivity and perhaps deliver pain management interventions to ease the pain, help build pleasant memories related to the event, and increase the effectiveness of treatment experienced by children.

Citation status

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