Objectives/Design: Two studies were carried out to examine how gender and family pain history related to pain and activity interference in young adults. The first study (n = 252 college students) examined how gender and family pain history related to pain intensity and the second study (n = 206 college students) examined how these variables related to pain intensity, location, and activity interference. Whenever possible, data from the two studies were combined for purposes of data analyses.
Results: Results indicated that more than half of the young adults studied reported experiencing some type of pain at the time of the investigation. The intensity of the pain was in the low range and the most frequent sites of pain were in the head and legs or feet. Gender differences were noted, with women reporting a greater number of sites of pain. Family pain history was found to be related to pain and activity interference. Subjects who had a strong family history of pain problems reported a greater number of pain sites, and higher levels of pain-related activity interference.
Conclusions: Generalizability of results is limited due to the group of young adults studied, yet several conclusions relative to this group may be suggested. First, this group of yound adults do appear to experience pain. Second, there may be gender differences in the types of pain they report and the ways they react to pain. Third, family history of pain may be related to the pain experiences of this group of young adults.