Zborowski (1952) compared attitudes towards pain in three cultural groups from New York City by interviewing patients, doctors, nurses and other health professionals, as well as some healthy individuals from each of the cultural groups. The cultural groups were Italian-Americans, Jewish-Americans and Old-Americans.(Via Mangan.)
Italians were preoccupied with the sensation of pain and complained a great deal while they were in pain with moaning and crying, but once the pain was treated they resumed their normal activiites.
On the other hand, Jewish patients were also very emotional when in pain and tended to exaggerate pain symptoms. However, they worried more about the effect of the pain on their health and the overall welfare of their families than about the pain itself. At times, they had difficulty resuming their normal activities because of a preoccupation with the underlying cause of their pain.
The Old-American patients were more detached in their response to pain and they were more concerned with not bothering anyone. [. . .]
Zborowski (1952) believed that attitudes towards pain are part of any culture's child-rearing practices. He found that both Jewish-American and Italian-American parents in his study were generally overprotective and overly concerned about their child's health and their children were frequently reminded to avoid fights, possible injuries and catching colds. Crying elicited considerable sympathy.
However, Old-American parents were less concerned and expected that the child would not run to the parent with a small problem. Children were taught to anticipate some pain while playing and they were expected not to show excessive distress.
[Pain. Jenny Strong, Anita M. Unruh, Anthony Wright, G. David Baxter, Patrick D. (FRW) Wall]
Ethnicity and pain
I found this amusing: