Author

Jeff Sims

Date of Award

2-15-2007

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Robert Sattelmeyer - Chair

Second Advisor

Dr. Lindsey Cohen

Abstract

The current study attempted to discern the extent to which a gender bias influences the adult ratings of observed childhood pain. While gender differences in pain sensation are well documented in physiologically mature individuals, there seems to be no such difference in children. The effect of manipulating gender on the procedural pain ratings of 201 university undergraduate and nursing students was examined via a deceptive pain observation task. Results demonstrated no significant difference between gender conditions; however a strong link was established between prior exposure to painful pediatric medical procedures and lower pain ratings. The results suggest that, while a gender bias failed to alter pain ratings, desensitization to viewing painful procedures could alter how much pain healthcare professionals believe a patient is experiencing.

Share

COinS