Stress inoculation for pain: What's really going on?

Gail Hackett, John J. Horan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Previous research has demonstrated the efficacy of coping-skills training in stress inoculation for pain. The present study attempted to isolate the active ingredients of the coping-skills component, which consists of 3 categories of skills derived from J. Melzak's (1973) gate-control theory of pain: sensory discriminative (SD), motivational affective (MA), and cognitive evaluative (CE). 81 undergraduate females were pretested on the cold pressor, randomly assigned to 1 of 9 treatment conditions, and then posttested. Relaxation training (an SD procedure) produced increased tolerance, whereas distraction and imagery training (an MA procedure) resulted in higher threshold scores. Although the experimental conditions did not generate differential demand characteristics, 2 checks on independent variable manipulation revealed that SD skills were learned and employed, MA skills were already known but refined, and CE skills were largely ignored. (37 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-116
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of counseling psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1980


  • coping skills training involving sensory discrimination vs motivational affective vs cognitive evaluative components, stress inoculation for pain, female college students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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