Sunday, March 21, 2010

'Problem kids' risk future pain

This article that was posted on the APA site reports a study done by scientists at Aberdeen University who followed the lives of 19,000 children into adulthood. The study recorded behavioral problems in childhood and chronic widespread pain in adulthood.

The children in the study were born in 1958, most ing in the UK. Parents and teachers assessed the children's behavior up until the age of 16. The assessments looked for problem signs such as poor ability to make friends, disobedience, stealing, thumb sucking and nail biting, lying, bullying and truanting. When the children reached the age of 42 they completed a questionnaire about psychological distress, and at 45 they completed another one about pain. The results of the study link behavioral problems in childhood with chronic widespread pain in adulthood. The behavioral problems may result from bad early life experiences that could have harmed the brain.

Severe adverse events in childhood are already known to be linked to chronic widespread pain, but this study is significant because it shows that maladjusted behavior in children is a long-term marker for this type of pain. The study is also important because it can potentially lead to the prevention of chronic pain.

The article also mentions faulty hormone signals that may play a role in the behavior problems of children. This topic was not well expanded upon, although it appears to be incredibly important to the study. It seems as though this study merged the use of psychology and neuroscience, but the neuroscience is not well reported upon.

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