This article investigates whether coping with chronic pain influences adaptation to other negative life events using data on Temporomandibular Pain and Dysfunction Syndrome (TMPDS) patients (N = 99) and nonpatient controls (N = 98). It is found that cases cope very differently with pain than with other stressful events and that cases and controls do not differ on coping with nonpain events, with 2 exceptions. Cases view nonfateful events as more outside their control and they have more negative changes in usual activities following negative events. This excess of negative change is associated with greater demoralization and physical exhaustion. It is concluded that coping with repeated pain episodes leaves cases vulnerable to stressful events. Alternative interpretations, especially those involving the role of preexisting personality differences, are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science