By Hadas Nahman-Averbuch, Ph.D.
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
I am grateful to the Society of Pediatric Psychology who granted me the International Collaboration Award. I visited Dr. Abbie Jordan’s lab at the Bath Center for Pain Research (University of Bath, UK). In the two weeks that I was in Bath, I had the opportunity to interact with the excellent researchers at the Bath Center for Pain Research and to learn about qualitative psychological assessments. We specifically focused on identifying psychological factors that fluctuate during pubertal maturation which may be related to pain.
Puberty is a critical period of biopsychosocial changes that can affect the experience of pain, and in some cases sex differences in pain emerge around the age of puberty. Understanding the developmental processes during puberty is critical for the understanding of pediatric chronic pain. I have a strong background in biology but lack expertise assessing psychological factors that are involved in pain sensitivity alterations during puberty. Dr. Jordan is a world-known expert in socio-developmental challenges, identity development, and relationships of adolescents with their family and peers. Together we identified several key psychological aspects that should be evaluated as part of my research studies, including autonomy and friendship.
During the visit, I presented my work at the Bath Centre for Pain Research Seminar. I met with Dr. Jordan and her students and with other members of the Bath Centre for Pain Research and the University of Bath. I had fascinating discussions on the gap between psychology and biology, the use of qualitative psychological measures in pain research, and the effect of sex and gender on pain. Overall, the visit to Dr. Jordan’s lab exposed me to new psychological measures that could be relevant for my studies.
I wish to thank the Society of Pediatric Psychology for making this visit possible. I am grateful for Dr. Jordan for hosting me in Bath, and for introducing me to the world of qualitative research. I also wish to thank Prof. Chris Eccleston, Prof. Ed Keogh, Dr. Janet Bultitude, Dr. Elaine Wainwright, Dr. Emma Fisher, Dr. Line Caes, Dr. Sean Cumming and the students at the Bath Center for Pain Research. It was a pleasure meeting you and discussing my research with you and I am looking forward to our future collaborations.