More Than Skin Deep: An exploratory study of pain, tattoos and coping strategies.
(2017) More Than Skin Deep: An exploratory study of pain, tattoos and coping strategies., no. 99.
Coping with emotional pain and the phenomena of tattooing are often cited together as ways people express their emotions and get closure on their issues. However, there is very little known about the relationship between coping, physical pain and tattoos. The main research aim was to explore how those with tattoos cope with stressors and experience pain, hoping to discover if there was a significant relationship between any of these factors by analysing pain, coping and tattoos. This discussion will be exploring the literature surrounding coping strategies, pain and tattoos, aiming to explore these aspects with using questionnaires (COPE, GPQ & Tattoo Questionnaire) to gather the relevant data. This research aims to answer questions such as; does an individual's pain experience differ based on their whether they have tattoo? And do they cope differently or fall into a specific type of coping category? After examining the responses of 182 participants, the results of the data analysis suggested that those with tattoos may differ from those without. A closer look at the mean rank s for the significant results revealed that those who are categorised as emotion focused copers experienced pain differently, as when comparing GPQ scores against COPE category there were significant results for the emotion focused copers with tattoo, U(102) = 1008, Z = -2.234, p = 0.026. Key words: Coping, pain, tattoos, pain experience, COPE category, emotion focused, problem focused, GPQ, COPE.