Previous research has suggested that extraordinary adverse experiences during childhood, such as abuse, are possible risk factors for the development of chronic pain. However, the relationship between the perceived parental bonding style during childhood and chronic pain has been much less studied.
In this cross-sectional study, 760 community-dwelling Japanese adults were asked if they had pain that had been present for six months or more. They completed the Parental Bonding Instrument (PBI), a self-administrated questionnaire designed to assess perceived parental bonding, and the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 to assess current depressive symptoms. The PBI consists of care and overprotection subscales that are analyzed by assigning the parental bonding style to one of four quadrants: Optimal bonding (high care/low overprotection), neglectful parenting (low care/low overprotection), affectionate constraint (high care/high overprotection), and affectionless control (low care/high overprotection). Logistic regression analysis was done to estimate the contribution of the parental bonding style to the risk of chronic pain, controlling for demographic variables.
Compared to the optimal bonding group, the odds ratios (ORs) for having chronic pain were significantly higher in the affectionless control group for paternal bonding (OR: 2.21, 95 % CI: 1.50-3.27) and for maternal bonding (OR: 1.60, 95 % CI: 1.09-2.36). After adjusting for depression, significance remained only for paternal bonding.
The results demonstrate that the parental bonding style during childhood is associated with the prevalence of chronic pain in adults in the general population and that the association is more robust for paternal bonding than for maternal bonding.||