Emotion regulation predicts pain and functioning in children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis: an electronic diary study

J Pediatr Psychol. 2012 Jan-Feb;37(1):43-52. doi: 10.1093/jpepsy/jsr088. Epub 2011 Oct 27.


Objectives: This study utilized e-diaries to evaluate whether components of emotion regulation predict daily pain and function in children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA).

Methods: 43 children ages 8-17 years and their caregivers provided baseline reports of child emotion regulation. Children then completed thrice daily e-diary assessments of emotion, pain, and activity involvement for 28 days. E-diary ratings of negative and positive emotions were used to calculate emotion variability and to infer adaptive emotion modulation following periods of high or low emotion intensity. Hierarchical linear models were used to evaluate how emotion regulation related to pain and function.

Results: The attenuation of negative emotion following a period of high negative emotion predicted reduced pain; greater variability of negative emotion predicted higher pain and increased activity limitation. Indices of positive emotion regulation also significantly predicted pain.

Conclusions: Components of emotion regulation as captured by e-diaries predict important health outcomes in children with JIA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living / psychology*
  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adolescent
  • Arthritis, Juvenile / psychology*
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Emotions / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pain / psychology*
  • Pain Measurement / psychology