Emotional approach coping (EAC) is a potentially adaptive emotion-focused coping style that involves understanding or processing one's emotions and expressing them appropriately. Although EAC has been studied in various populations, little is known about this construct among people with chronic pain, including potential mediators such as negative affect, which might link EAC to pain-related variables, and moderators of these relationships.Participants (N = 670; 76% women; 30% older adults-age 60 or over) with chronic pain completed online the Emotional Approach Coping Scale and measures of pain severity, pain interference, and negative affect. Analyses correlated EAC to pain severity and interference and tested whether gender and age group (older adults vs. young/middle-age adults) moderated the mediated relationships of EAC with pain-related variables through negative affect.Findings reveal that higher EAC was associated with lower pain intensity through lower negative affect in the young/middle-age portion of the sample, but not older adults. Also, higher EAC was associated with lower pain interference through lower negative affect among women in the sample, but not men. The associations of EAC to pain intensity and interference are small in magnitude, however, and should be considered preliminary.EAC is associated with lower pain intensity in young/middle-age adults and lower pain interference in women, and lower negative affect mediates these relationships. These results suggest the potential value of assessing and bolstering emotional approach coping processes in some people with chronic pain.
View details for DOI 10.1002/ejp.1625
View details for PubMedID 32603553