chapter  5
42 Pages

Pain Over the Life Span: A Developmental Perspective

Pain is a complex phenomenon that consists of interacting biological, psychological, and social components (Merskey & Bogduk, 1994). For many years, the study of pain was focused primarily on young and middle-aged adult populations; however, as research in the area of pain expanded, so did consideration of the importance of developmental factors in pain experience and expression, including pain in infants, children, and seniors. Lifespan developmental psychology involves the study of constancy and change in behavior through the life course (Baltes, 1987). This approach can be helpful in gaining knowledge about the pain experience across the life span and furthering understanding about interindividual differences and similarity in pain responses.