Depressive symptoms and bodily pain: The role of physical disability and social stress

Mathew D. Gayman, Robyn Lewis Brown, Ming Cui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


This study evaluates the bi-directional association between depressive symptoms and bodily pain, and examines the role of physical disability and perceived social stress in the depression-pain relationship. Data are employed from a two-wave panel study of Miami-Dade county residents (n = 1459) that includes a substantial over-sampling of individuals who identify as physically-disabled. Findings indicate that the bi-directional relationship between depression and pain is similar for those with and without a physical disability. Results also demonstrate that stress exposure, specifically recent life events and daily discrimination, partially mediated the relationship between prior levels of depression and changes in pain. Directions for future research and the need for a more comprehensive model of health incorporating physical, psychological, and social factors are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-63
Number of pages12
JournalStress and Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2011


  • bodily pain
  • depression
  • physical disability
  • social stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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