Professional Education

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Arizona State University (2013)
  • Master of Arts, Arizona State University (2010)
  • Bachelor of Arts, Kalamazoo College (2007)

Stanford Advisors


Journal Articles

  • A multilevel structural equation modeling analysis of vulnerabilities and resilience resources influencing affective adaptation to chronic pain. Pain Sturgeon, J. A., Zautra, A. J., Arewasikporn, A. 2014; 155 (2): 292-8


    The processes of individual adaptation to chronic pain are complex and occur across multiple domains. We examined the social, cognitive, and affective context of daily pain adaptation in individuals with fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis. By using a sample of 260 women with fibromyalgia or osteoarthritis, we examined the contributions of pain catastrophizing, negative interpersonal events, and positive interpersonal events to daily negative and positive affect across 30days of daily diary data. Individual differences and daily fluctuations in predictor variables were estimated simultaneously by utilizing multilevel structural equation modeling techniques. The relationships between pain and negative and positive affect were mediated by stable and day-to-day levels of pain catastrophizing as well as day-to-day positive interpersonal events, but not negative interpersonal events. There were significant and independent contributions of pain catastrophizing and positive interpersonal events to adaptation to pain and pain-related affective dysregulation. These effects occur both between persons and within a person's everyday life.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.pain.2013.10.007

    View details for PubMedID 24120460

  • Psychological therapies for the management of chronic pain. Psychology research and behavior management Sturgeon, J. A. 2014; 7: 115-124


    Pain is a complex stressor that presents a significant challenge to most aspects of functioning and contributes to substantial physical, psychological, occupational, and financial cost, particularly in its chronic form. As medical intervention frequently cannot resolve pain completely, there is a need for management approaches to chronic pain, including psychological intervention. Psychotherapy for chronic pain primarily targets improvements in physical, emotional, social, and occupational functioning rather than focusing on resolution of pain itself. However, psychological therapies for chronic pain differ in their scope, duration, and goals, and thus show distinct patterns of treatment efficacy. These therapies fall into four categories: operant-behavioral therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, mindfulness-based therapy, and acceptance and commitment therapy. The current article explores the theoretical distinctiveness, therapeutic targets, and effectiveness of these approaches as well as mechanisms and individual differences that factor into treatment response and pain-related dysfunction and distress. Implications for future research, dissemination of treatment, and the integration of psychological principles with other treatment modalities are also discussed.

    View details for DOI 10.2147/PRBM.S44762

    View details for PubMedID 24748826

  • Respiratory Sinus Arrhythmia: a Marker of Resilience to Pain Induction. International journal of behavioral medicine Sturgeon, J. A., Yeung, E. W., Zautra, A. J. 2014


    There may be significant individual differences in physiological regulatory responses to the experience of pain and stress. Respiratory sinus arrhythmia is a physiological indicator that may have implications for efficient physiological responses to pain and stress.Fatigue is an indicator of inefficient self-regulation under stressful conditions. The current study examined processes that impact changes in fatigue in response to pain.Fifty-nine women (33 with fibromyalgia and 26 healthy controls) were exposed to repeated thermal pain stimuli and were asked to rate their feelings of fatigue after each block of thermal pain exposures.Self-reported fatigue affect increased during pain induction, but greater respiratory sinus arrhythmia predicted less-pronounced increases in fatigue affect across induction trials.Respiratory sinus arrhythmia appears to be a promising indicator of physiological resilience to pain, predicting an attenuated effect of repeated pain exposure on self-reported fatigue. Implications of efficient regulation of pain, fatigue, and long-term physical health are discussed.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s12529-014-9386-6

    View details for PubMedID 24421149

  • Psychological Resilience, Pain Catastrophizing, and Positive Emotions: Perspectives on Comprehensive Modeling of Individual Pain Adaptation CURRENT PAIN AND HEADACHE REPORTS Sturgeon, J. A., Zautra, A. J. 2013; 17 (3)


    Pain is a complex construct that contributes to profound physical and psychological dysfunction, particularly in individuals coping with chronic pain. The current paper builds upon previous research, describes a balanced conceptual model that integrates aspects of both psychological vulnerability and resilience to pain, and reviews protective and exacerbating psychosocial factors to the process of adaptation to chronic pain, including pain catastrophizing, pain acceptance, and positive psychological resources predictive of enhanced pain coping. The current paper identifies future directions for research that will further enrich the understanding of pain adaptation and espouses an approach that will enhance the ecological validity of psychological pain coping models, including introduction of advanced statistical and conceptual models that integrate behavioral, cognitive, information processing, motivational and affective theories of pain.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11916-012-0317-4

    View details for Web of Science ID 000315630200002

    View details for PubMedID 23338769

  • State and Trait Pain Catastrophizing and Emotional Health in Rheumatoid Arthritis ANNALS OF BEHAVIORAL MEDICINE Sturgeon, J. A., Zautra, A. J. 2013; 45 (1): 69-77


    Pain catastrophizing is a powerful predictor of pain adaptation, and both stable and time-varying aspects may influence overall emotional well-being.This study aims to test the independent influences of state and trait pain catastrophizing on the relationship between daily intensity and negative affect, positive affect, and depressive symptoms.Daily diary data were collected for 30 days from a sample of 231 adults with a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis.State pain catastrophizing accounted for a significant proportion of the relationship between daily pain and each of the three examined daily outcomes. Greater trait pain catastrophizing significantly increased the effect of state pain catastrophizing on the relationship between pain intensity and the outcome variables in cross-sectional and time-lagged models.The results of the current study indicate that state pain catastrophizing plays a prominent role in the adaptation to daily pain fluctuations, particularly for those with a propensity to catastrophize.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s12160-012-9408-z

    View details for Web of Science ID 000314293300008

    View details for PubMedID 22915012

  • Phone-based interventions with automated mindfulness and mastery messages improve the daily functioning for depressed middle-aged community residents Journal of Psychotherapy Integration Zautra, A. J., Davis, M. C., Reich, J. W., Sturgeon, J. A., Arewasikporn, A., Tenne, H. 2012; 22: 206-228

    View details for DOI 10.1037/a0029573

  • Independent Validation of the MMPI-2-RF Somatic/Cognitive and Validity Scales in TBI Litigants Tested for Effort CLINICAL NEUROPSYCHOLOGIST Youngjohn, J. R., Wershba, R., Stevenson, M., Sturgeon, J., Thomas, M. L. 2011; 25 (3): 463-476


    The MMPI-2 Restructured Form (MMPI-2-RF; Ben-Porath & Tellegen, 2008) is replacing the MMPI-2 as the most widely used personality test in neuropsychological assessment, but additional validation studies are needed. Our study examines MMPI-2-RF Validity scales and the newly created Somatic/Cognitive scales in a recently reported sample of 82 traumatic brain injury (TBI) litigants who either passed or failed effort tests (Thomas & Youngjohn, 2009). The restructured Validity scales FBS-r (restructured symptom validity), F-r (restructured infrequent responses), and the newly created Fs (infrequent somatic responses) were not significant predictors of TBI severity. FBS-r was significantly related to passing or failing effort tests, and Fs and F-r showed non-significant trends in the same direction. Elevations on the Somatic/Cognitive scales profile (MLS-malaise, GIC-gastrointestinal complaints, HPC-head pain complaints, NUC-neurological complaints, and COG-cognitive complaints) were significant predictors of effort test failure. Additionally, HPC had the anticipated paradoxical inverse relationship with head injury severity. The Somatic/Cognitive scales as a group were better predictors of effort test failure than the RF Validity scales, which was an unexpected finding. MLS arose as the single best predictor of effort test failure of all RF Validity and Somatic/Cognitive scales. Item overlap analysis revealed that all MLS items are included in the original MMPI-2 Hy scale, making MLS essentially a subscale of Hy. This study validates the MMPI-2-RF as an effective tool for use in neuropsychological assessment of TBI litigants.

    View details for DOI 10.1080/13854046.2011.554444

    View details for Web of Science ID 000289636100009

    View details for PubMedID 21391149

  • Resilience: A New Paradigm for Adaptation to Chronic Pain CURRENT PAIN AND HEADACHE REPORTS Sturgeon, J. A., Zautra, A. J. 2010; 14 (2): 105-112


    Chronic pain is an affliction that affects a large proportion of the general population and is often accompanied by a myriad of negative emotional, cognitive, and physical effects. However, current pain adaptation paradigms do not account for the many chronic pain patients who demonstrate little or no noticeable impairment due to the effects of chronic pain. This paper offers resilience as an integrative perspective that can illuminate the traits and mechanisms underlying the sustainability of a good life and recovery from distress for individuals with chronic pain.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11916-010-0095-9

    View details for Web of Science ID 000275964100005

    View details for PubMedID 20425199

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