Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences



Committee Chair

Daniel W McNeil

Committee Co-Chair

Aaron Metzger

Committee Member

Natalie Shook


Pain has been conceptualized as a mixture of physical and psychological factors that are indicative of actual or potential damage to one's physical being. The experience of pain is a complex interaction of somatic, behavioral, affective, and cognitive components. Of particular interest is the growing body of literature regarding the roles that negative psychological states such as anxiety, fear, and depression have in the contribution of poorer outcomes for individuals suffering from painful conditions. Specifically, these psychological concerns can exacerbate the overall experience of pain and lead to higher rates of dysfunction and disability. Given the importance of these variables, there is a need for an efficient assessment of them in relation to pain. The present investigation focused on the development of a brief (i.e., 4-item scale) to assess fear, anxiety, depression, and overall negative affectivity in relation to the experience of pain. The study incorporated a multi-level developmental process inclusive of the use of expert judges, an undergraduate student sample (n = 415), and a heterogeneous chronic pain sample (n = 45). Principal components analyses indicated that the BADP consisted of one factor; inter-scale correlation coefficients revealed that the BADP was highly related to other measures that assess similar constructs. Intra-scale correlation coefficients indicated that the subscales of the Brief Assessment of Distress and Pain were moderately associated with each other. These data suggest the BADP is a good measure of negative affectivity related to pain. The BADP displays utility in multiple samples and is suitable for further clinical study.