College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Winter 3-20-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Susan Tran, PhD

Second Advisor

Jocelyn Smith Carter, PhD


The current study examines parent factors that may relate to youth’s experiences with Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (hEDS). HEDS, its symptomology, and associated psychosocial and physical outcomes are reviewed. A model of transgenerational transmission of risk associated with chronic pain is presented. Parents’ own experiences with chronic pain is highlighted as an important determinant of how parents think about and respond to their child’s pain. Potential pathways through which parent factors influence a child’s own thinking about pain are investigated. The goal of the study was to learn more about parent factors that influence child pain-related outcomes and the pathways through which they exert their influence. It was hypothesized that parents with chronic pain or hEDS will be more likely to catastrophize about their child’s pain and respond to their child’s pain more protectively than parents without their own history of pain. It was additionally hypothesized that children of parents with chronic pain or hEDS would have worse psychosocial and functional outcomes than children and adolescents’ whose parent does not have chronic pain or hEDS. Effect sizes provided evidence for the opposite relationship in which children of parents with a positive pain history had better pain-related outcomes. A greater understanding of the transmission of risk within families affected by hEDS can inform future intervention and treatment for youth with hEDS to increase their efficacy and lead to more positive pain-related outcomes.

SLP Collection