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Introduction: Native Americans (NAs) have a higher prevalence of chronic pain than other US racial/ethnic groups, but the mechanisms contributing to this pain disparity are under-researched. Pain catastrophizing is one of the most important psychosocial predictors of negative pain outcomes, and the Pain Catastrophizing Scale (PCS) has been established as a reliable and valid measure of the pain catastrophizing construct. However, before the PCS can be used to study pain risk in NAs, it is prudent to first determine whether the established 3-factor structure of the PCS also holds true for NAs.

Methods: The current study examined the measurement (configural, metric, and scalar) invariance of the PCS in a healthy, pain-free sample of 138 NA and 144 non-Hispanic white (NHW) participants.

Results: Results suggest that the previously established 3-factor solution fits for both groups (configural invariance) and that the factor loadings were equivalent across groups (metric invariance). Scalar invariance was also established, except for 1 minor scalar difference in a single threshold for item 3 (suggesting NHWs were more likely to respond with a 4 on that item than NAs).

Discussion: Results provide additional evidence for the psychometric properties of the PCS and suggest it can be used to study pain catastrophizing in healthy, pain-free NA samples.

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Journal of Pain Research



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