Parents’ chronic pain may be associated with chronic nonspecific pain and chronic multisite pain in adolescents and young adults, according to new research.

A growing number of studies are looking at pain in young people. Chronic nonspecific pain among children and adolescents is common, and young people with chronic pain can experience disabilities and difficulties in life. However, the causes of chronic nonspecific pain are poorly understood, according to an abstract published on

The cross-sectional study in a county in Norway included a final study population of 5,370 adolescents or young adults (ages 13 to 18 years) for whom one or both parents participated in an adult survey, according to the abstract.

“This study showed that both maternal chronic pain and paternal chronic pain are associated with chronic nonspecific pain and especially with chronic multisite pain in adolescents and young adults. Moreover, we found a substantial increase in pain among offspring for whom both parents reported chronic pain,” the authors note.

While adjusting for socioeconomic and psychosocial factors did not change the results, differences in family structure did, according to the abstract. Among adolescents and young adults living primarily with their mothers, maternal chronic pain was associated with increased odds of chronic nonspecific pain and chronic multisite pain in children, but no clear association was found with paternal pain, according to the study results.

The research was conducted by investigators at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, in Trondheim, Norway, and published Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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