Self-regulation and chronic pain: The role of emotion

Nancy A. Hamilton, Paul Karoly, Heather Kitzman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Adjustment to chronic pain is examined within the context of a model that emphasizes goal-centered self-regulatory processing. Individual differences in adjustment to chronic illness have typically been examined from within the framework of stressful person-environment transactions. However, it may be useful to examine a broader array of person-environment transactions encountered in the context of working toward personal goals. Self-regulation may be especially challenging for people with chronic pain because of the link between pain and emotion. Consistent with this perspective, we will focus on the role of emotion as an energizing force in self-regulation and discuss the implications for managing pain. We will suggest that pain and concomitant negative emotion pervasively bias information processing, constrain the selection of goals, and the ongoing process of self-regulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)559-576
Number of pages18
JournalCognitive Therapy and Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2004


  • Emotion
  • Pain
  • Self-regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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