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      Uncovering the influence of social skills and psychosociological factors on pain sensitivity using structural equation modeling

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          Abstract

          Pain is a subjective emotional experience that is influenced by psychosociological factors such as social skills, which are defined as problem-solving abilities in social interactions. This study aimed to reveal the relationships among pain, social skills, and other psychosociological factors by using structural equation modeling. A total of 101 healthy volunteers (41 men and 60 women; mean age: 36.6±12.7 years) participated in this study. To evoke participants’ sense of inner pain, we showed them images of painful scenes on a PC screen and asked them to evaluate the pain intensity by using the visual analog scale (VAS). We examined the correlation between social skills and VAS, constructed a hypothetical model based on results from previous studies and the current correlational analysis results, and verified the model’s fit using structural equation modeling. We found significant positive correlations between VAS and total social skills values, as well as between VAS and the “start of relationships” subscales. Structural equation modeling revealed that the values for “start of relationships” had a direct effect on VAS values (path coefficient =0.32, p<0.01). In addition, the “start of relationships” had both a direct and an indirect effect on psychological factors via social support. The results indicated that extroverted people are more sensitive to inner pain and tend to get more social support and maintain a better psychological condition.

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          Most cited references 49

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          Empathy for pain involves the affective but not sensory components of pain.

          Our ability to have an experience of another's pain is characteristic of empathy. Using functional imaging, we assessed brain activity while volunteers experienced a painful stimulus and compared it to that elicited when they observed a signal indicating that their loved one--present in the same room--was receiving a similar pain stimulus. Bilateral anterior insula (AI), rostral anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), brainstem, and cerebellum were activated when subjects received pain and also by a signal that a loved one experienced pain. AI and ACC activation correlated with individual empathy scores. Activity in the posterior insula/secondary somatosensory cortex, the sensorimotor cortex (SI/MI), and the caudal ACC was specific to receiving pain. Thus, a neural response in AI and rostral ACC, activated in common for "self" and "other" conditions, suggests that the neural substrate for empathic experience does not involve the entire "pain matrix." We conclude that only that part of the pain network associated with its affective qualities, but not its sensory qualities, mediates empathy.
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            Does rejection hurt? An FMRI study of social exclusion.

            A neuroimaging study examined the neural correlates of social exclusion and tested the hypothesis that the brain bases of social pain are similar to those of physical pain. Participants were scanned while playing a virtual ball-tossing game in which they were ultimately excluded. Paralleling results from physical pain studies, the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) was more active during exclusion than during inclusion and correlated positively with self-reported distress. Right ventral prefrontal cortex (RVPFC) was active during exclusion and correlated negatively with self-reported distress. ACC changes mediated the RVPFC-distress correlation, suggesting that RVPFC regulates the distress of social exclusion by disrupting ACC activity.
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              Why does social exclusion hurt? The relationship between social and physical pain.

              The authors forward the hypothesis that social exclusion is experienced as painful because reactions to rejection are mediated by aspects of the physical pain system. The authors begin by presenting the theory that overlap between social and physical pain was an evolutionary development to aid social animals in responding to threats to inclusion. The authors then review evidence showing that humans demonstrate convergence between the 2 types of pain in thought, emotion, and behavior, and demonstrate, primarily through nonhuman animal research, that social and physical pain share common physiological mechanisms. Finally, the authors explore the implications of social pain theory for rejection-elicited aggression and physical pain disorders.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                J Pain Res
                J Pain Res
                Journal of Pain Research
                Journal of Pain Research
                Dove Medical Press
                1178-7090
                2017
                11 September 2017
                : 10
                : 2223-2231
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Neurorehabilitation, Graduate School of Health Sciences, Kio University
                [2 ]Department of Rehabilitation, Nara Prefecture General Rehabilitation Center
                [3 ]Department of Neurorehabilitation Research Center, Kio University, Nara, Japan
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Yoichi Tanaka, Department of Neurorehabilitation, Graduate School of Health Sciences, Kio University, 4-2-2 Umami-naka, Koryo-cho, Kitakatsuragi-gun, Nara 635-0832, Japan, Tel +81 745 54 1601, Fax +81 745 54 1600, Email kempt_24am@ 123456yahoo.co.jp
                Article
                jpr-10-2223
                10.2147/JPR.S143342
                5602447
                © 2017 Tanaka et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

                Categories
                Original Research

                Anesthesiology & Pain management

                pain sensitivity, psychosociological factors, social skills

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