Socio-developmental challenges faced by young people with chronic pain: A scoping review

Abbie Jones, Line Caes, Meghan McMurtry, Christopher Eccleston, Abbie Jordan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (SciVal)
12 Downloads (Pure)


Objective – Map the current literature investigating autonomy development, identity development, and peer relationships in young people aged 10-24 years with chronic pain.
Methods – A scoping review method was used to systematically search four databases (APA PsycNET, PubMed, Web of Science, and Cinahl) for peer reviewed articles. Search results were screened against inclusion and exclusion criteria to ensure they met the objective. Eligible papers were assessed for quality, their data relating to the objective were extracted, and results synthesized.
Results – Searches returned 3815 papers after removal of duplicates, with 42 papers included in the full review. The majority of papers investigated peer relationships (86%). Fewer papers investigated autonomy (43%) and identity (21%) development. Included papers were mostly quantitative (64%), with fewer qualitative (34%) and mixed-methods papers (2%). Overall, we found bi-directional relationships between chronic pain in young people, their social development, and a range of functional outcomes. However, the mechanisms underlying these relationships remain relatively unexplored.
Conclusions – Review results are mapped onto the model proposed by Palermo et al. (2014). Guided by this model, clinical treatment for young people with chronic pain should consider social development. The model also sets out a future research agenda focused on exploring: 1) identity development, 2) the mechanisms underlying the relationships between social developmental domains, pain, and outcomes, 3) a variety of participants and populations, and 4) a variety of methods, including longitudinal study designs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-230
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Pediatric Psychology
Issue number2
Early online date19 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2021


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