The role of psychosocial factors was evaluated in 23 children with idiopathic musculoskeletal pain (IMP) and 52 with juvenile chronic arthritis (JCA), compared on admission and at 9 year follow-up, in a study at The National Hospital, Oslo, Norway. Patients with IMP had a higher prevalence of psychiatric diagnoses, school stress, and more chronic family difficulties and life events than those with JCA. 
COMMENT. Children presenting with persistent so-called “growing pains” should receive a psychological work-up as part of the pediatric exam. It is hoped that this emphasis on emotional factors will not discourage the search for an organic cause of this sometimes distressing symptom.