Date of Award

8-2019

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

John Mills

Second Advisor

William Meil

Third Advisor

Anthoy Perillo

Abstract

The purpose of the study was to extend the current research on the effect of thought suppression on chronic pain outcomes. Previous research recognizes that chronic pain is a complex experience with significant cognitive, emotional, and biological factors and that assessment of chronic pain should include evaluation of these factors for prognostic and treatment purposes. Additionally, previous research has identified a relationship between thought suppression and acute pain sensitivity and relationships between coping strategies and pain outcomes; however, little research has investigated the relationship between thought suppression and pain outcomes. It was hypothesized that higher scores of thought suppression would predict more severe symptoms of depression and anxiety, higher pain-related disability, and lower quality of life. The results of linear regression provided initial support for this hypothesis. Individuals who reported a higher tendency to engage in thought suppression were more likely to experience symptoms of depression, experience higher levels of pain-related disability, and experience a lower quality of life. More research is needed to establish the incremental validity of adding a scale of suppression to chronic pain assessment; however, treatment interventions to reduce thought suppression are indicated by these findings.

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