Psychosocial mediators of sex differences in pain responsivity

Stacy D. Sanford, Brian C. Kersh, Beverly E. Thorn*, Martha Anne Rich, L. Charles Ward

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to examine gender role and primary pain appraisal as mediators of the relation between sex and pain responsivity in experimental pain. A sample of 145 introductory psychology students participated in a cold pressor task and completed inventories that assessed pain appraisal and gender role. Results showed that threat appraisals of pain and positive feminine gender role, in combination, mediate the relation between sex and experimental pain responsivity, suggesting that psychosocial variables play an important role in this relation. However, the influences of gender role and threat appraisal were relatively independent, suggesting that psychosocial mediators of the sex/pain relation are complex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-64
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pain
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002


  • Cold pressor
  • Gender
  • Gender role
  • Pain
  • Pain appraisal
  • Sex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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