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Self-pain enmeshment: Future possible selves, sociotropy, autonomy and adjustment to chronic pain\ud

By R. Sutherland and S. Morley


The aims of this study were to replicate and extend previous observations on the relationship between enmeshment of the self and pain and measures of adjustment [Morley et al., Possible selves in chronic pain: self-pain enmeshment, adjustment and acceptance, Pain 2005;115:84–94], and to test the hypothesis that individual variation in motivational preferences interacts with enmeshment. 82 chronic pain patients completed standardized self-report measures of depression, anxiety, acceptance and the possible selves interview which generated measures of their hoped-for (own and other perspectives) and feared-for selves. They made judgments about the conditionality of each self on the continuing presence of pain as a measure of self-pain enmeshment. A series of hierarchical regression analyses, that adjusted for demographics, pain characteristics and disability, confirmed the relationship between self enmeshment and depression and acceptance. When anxiety was considered, there was no main effect for any of the self aspects but there were specific interactions between the hoped-for (own) and (other) selves and two motivational preferences – autonomy and sociotropy.\u

Publisher: Elsevier B.V.
Year: 2008
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