All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Burel R Goodin

Advisory Committee Members

David C Schwebel

Reed A Dimmitt

Marissa A Gowey

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Master of Arts (MA) College of Arts and Sciences


Functional abdominal pain disorders (FAPDs) are one of the most common pain complaints among children and adolescents. Research demonstrates a relationship between multiple sources of stress and pain responses. However, research has not yet explored the role of stress in pain processing and sensitivity in youth with FAPDs. Thus, the present study aimed to examine associations between biopsychosocial sources of stress and experimental pain sensitivity in pediatric patients with FAPDs. Additionally, racial differences in clinical and experimental pain responses were explored. Analytical findings did not support hypotheses as the biological, social, and psychological sources of stress did not predict experimental pain sensitivity based on statistical significance. However, psychological stress, in isolation, did predict temporal summation of mechanical pain. One analysis also suggested higher average temporal summation of mechanical pain in non-Hispanic White subjects compared to non-Hispanic Black subjects. However, both of these findings should be interpreted with caution given the lack of power. Results from this study suggest that the chosen biopsychosocial sources of stress may not contribute to pain sensitivity in youth with FAPDs. Results may also be explained, in part, by the absence of critical variables or the effects of stress-induced analgesia.



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