Patterns of pain-relevant social interactions

  • Laura H. Weiss
  • Robert D. Kerns


Past studies have focused on the individual effects of Solicitous, Distracting, and Negative spousal responses to pain on patient’s pain behavior and pain severity. Because spouses may emit any combination of these responses, this research examined the conjoint effects of marital satisfaction and these perceived spousal responses by using WISE “step-down” procedure as described by Kenny and Judd (1983). Ninety-six married male chronic-pain patients completed the West Haven-Yale Multidimensional Pain Inventory (WHYMPI), Locke Wallace Marital Adjustment Scale, and Pain Behavior Check List (PBCL). Final step-down models included significant 2-way and 3-way interactions on the PBCL measures of Distorted Ambulation and Seeking Help, significant main effects for Affective Distress, and a 4-way interaction on the WHYMPI Pain Severity scale. These trimmed models accounted for 23% to 33% of the variance in the criterion measures. These results show that higher order interactions make unique contributions to the variance and should be examined along with main effects.

Key words

marital satisfaction chronic pain West Haven-Yale Multidimen sional Pain Inventory (WHYMPI) 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Block, A., Kremer, E. F.,& Gaylor, M. (1980) Behavioral treatment of chronic pain; The spouse as a discriminative cue for pain behavior Pain, 9, 243–252.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Flor, H., Kerns, R., & Turk, D. (1987). The rote of spouse reinforcement, perceived pain, and activity levels of chronic pain patients. Journal of Psychasomatic Research, 71(2), 251–259.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Flor, H., Turk, D. C., & Rudy, T. E. (1989). Relationship of pain impact and significant other re in force men t of pain behaviors: The mediating role of gender, marital status, and marital satisfaction. Pain. 38. 45–50.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Fordyee, W. E. (1976). Behavioral methods for chronic pain and illness. SL. Louis, MO; Moshy.Google Scholar
  5. Kenny, D. A., & Judd. C. M. (1983). WISE regression: A procedure for testing complex models using multiple regression. Unpublished manuscript. University of Connecticut, Storrs.Google Scholar
  6. Kerns, R. D., Haythornthwaite, J., Rosenberg, R., Soulhwick, S., Giller, E. L. & Jacob, M. C. (1991). The Pain Behavior Check List (PBCL): Factor structure and psychometric properties. Journal of Behavioral Medicine. 14, 155–167.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Kerns, R. D., Haythornthwaite, J., Southwick. S., & Giller, E. L. (1990). The role of marital interaction in chronic pain and depressive symptom severity. Journal of Psychosomatic Research. 34, 401–408.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Kerns, R. D., Southwick, S., Giller, E., Haythornthwaite, J., Jacob, M. C. & Rosenberg, R. (1991). The relationship between reports of pain-related social interaction and expressions of pain and affective distress. Behavior Therapy, 22, 101–111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Kerns, R. D., Turk, D. C., & Rudy, T. E. (1985). The West Haven-Yale Multidimensional Pain Inventory (WHYMPI). Pain, 23, 345–356.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Locke, H. J., & Wallace, K. M. (1959). Short marital-adjustment and prediction tests: Their reliability and validity. Marriage and Family Living, 21, 251–255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Manne, S. L., & Zautra, A. J. (1989). Spouse criticism and support: Their association with coping and psychological adjustment among women with rheumatoid arthritis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 56, 608–617,PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Patterson, G. R. (1982). Coercive family process. Eugene, OR: Castalia.Google Scholar
  13. Rudy, T. E., Kerns, R. D., & Turk, D. C. (1988). Chronic pain and depression: Toward a cognitive-behavioral mediation model. Pain. 35, 129–140.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Romano, J., Turner. J., Friedman, L., Bulcroft. R., Jensen, M., & Hops, H. (1991). Observational assessment of chronic pain patient-spouse interactions. Behavior Therapy. 22, 549–567.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Romano, J., Turner, J., Friedman, L., Bulcrofl, R., Jensen, M., Hops, H., & Wright. S. (1992). Sequential analysis of chronic pain behaviors and spouse responses. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 60, 777–782.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Sehwarz, J. C., & Getter, H. (1980). Parental conflict and dominance in late adolescent maladjustment: A triple interaction model. Journal of Abnormal Psychology. 59, 573–580.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Turk, D. C., Kerns, R. D., & Rosenberg, R. (1992). Effects of marital interaction on chronic pain and disability: Examining the down-side of social support. Rehabilitation Psychology, 37, 259–274.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Turk, D. C., Tvteichenbaum, D., & Gehest. M. (1983). Pain and behavioral medicine: A cognitive-behavioral perspective. New York: Guilford.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© International Society of Behavioral Medicine 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura H. Weiss
    • 1
  • Robert D. Kerns
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.University of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.West Haven VA Medical CenterWest HavenUSA
  3. 3.Yale UniversityNew HavenUSA

Personalised recommendations