Research papersThe effects of parental presence upon the facial expression of pain: The moderating role of child pain catastrophizing☆Vervoort, T.a,b,*; Goubert, L.a,b; Eccleston, C.c; Verhoeven, K.a; De Clercq, A.d; Buysse, A.a; Crombez, G.a,bAuthor Information aDepartment of Experimental-Clinical and Health Psychology, Ghent University, Henri Dunantlaan 2, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium bResearch Institute for Psychology & Health, The Netherlands cPain Management Unit, University of Bath, UK dDepartment of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science, Ghent University, Belgium *Corresponding author. Address: Department of Experimental-Clinical and Health Psychology, Ghent University, Henri Dunantlaan 2, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium. Tel.: +32 (0)9 264 62 62; fax: +32 (0)9 264 64 89. E-mail: Tine.Vervoort@Ugent.be Submitted January 25, 2007; received in revised form November 21, 2007; accepted December 19, 2007. ☆Tine Vervoort is a Ph.D. Student of the Fund for Scientific Research – Flanders (Belgium) (F.W.O.). Liesbet Goubert is post-doctoral fellow of the Fund for Scientific Research – Flanders (Belgium) (F.W.O.). Pain: August 31, 2008 - Volume 138 - Issue 2 - p 277-285 doi: 10.1016/j.pain.2007.12.013 Buy Metrics Abstract This experiment investigated the effects of child catastrophic thinking and parental presence on the facial expressions of children when experiencing pain. School children experienced pressure pain in either one of two conditions: (1) when observed by a parent (n = 53 children and their parent), or (2) when observed by an adult stranger (n = 31 children). Analyses revealed that children showed more facial pain expression in the presence of their parent than in the presence of the stranger. This effect was, however, only found for children with infrequent catastrophic thoughts about pain. Children who have frequent catastrophic thoughts expressed high pain regardless of who they believed was observing them. Results are discussed in terms of the social consequences of pain catastrophizing, and the variables contributing to the expression or suppression of pain display in children and its impact upon others. © 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.