Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Stephanie Felgoise, PhD, ABPP

First Advisor

Dr. Ashely Poole

Second Advisor

Dr. Robert DiTomass

Third Advisor

Dr. Anna Zacharcenko


Chronic pain is a significant problem in both clinical practice and research, which does not occur equally in all groups of people. Of the 2% of adults with fibromyalgia in the United States, 3.4% of them are women. Understanding these differences may be useful in informing treatment (Jahan et al., 2012). One such area is distorted thinking, which can have a negative impact on symptoms of depression, anxiety, and pain sensitivity (Varallo et al., 2021). This study examined how cognitive distortions may play a role in the disparities seen between men and women diagnosed with fibromyalgia. This study used a between-groups research design and MANOVA to assess the difference between the frequency of cognitive distortions measured by the Inventory of Cognitive Distortions (magnification, labeling, and fortune telling); physical and mental health pathology (as determined by scores on anxiety, depression, and pain interference domains of the Patient Report Outcome Measure Information Systems); and pain catastrophizing as measured by the Pain Catastrophizing Scale for men and women with fibromyalgia. The results indicated that hypotheses one and two were not supported and it was concluded that female fibromyalgia patients did not score statistically significant in the hypothesized areas. However, hypothesis three was supported, and it was concluded that there was a significant relationship between the magnification, labeling, and fortune-telling subscales of the Inventory of Cognitive Distortions and the magnification, rumination, and helplessness subscales of the Pain Catastrophizing Scale.

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Psychology Commons