By Karen Weiss, Kate Gamwell, Dustin Wallace, and Sara Williams

SPP established the Pediatric Pain Special Interest Group (PPAIN-SIG) in 2011. It currently consists of 200 members. The PPAIN-SIG’s mission and goals include:

  1. Advance the knowledge base of pediatric pain, including factors contributing to chronic pain and associated disability, as well as assessment and intervention with patients and families experiencing pediatric pain;
  1. Support the training of pediatric psychology students pursuing experiences in the assessment and treatment of pediatric pain;
  1. Foster networking and communication among pediatric psychologists providing care to patients with pediatric pain;
  1. Foster networking and communication with other disciplines and organizations involved in pediatric pain (i.e., International Association of the Study of Pain).
  1. To disseminate pediatric pain resources and enhance communication among providers, patients, researchers and clinicians alike to promote efficacious care and continued innovative research.

Three Subcommittees: Education, Research, and Clinical Practice

Because the PPAIN-SIG membership grew to over 130 within the first year of establishment, we have also developed subcommittees within our SIG to focus our work in three areas: education, research, and clinical practice. During the past 8 years, productivity of our SIG has increased substantially. Current activities include:

  1. Webinars. Our Research subcommittee organizes and hosts two webinars per year which can be accessed on our website. Topics covered thus far include: psychophysiological markers in pain in children and adolescents, sleep-pain relations in pediatric populations, and clinical applications of mindfulness in pediatric pain.
  2. Newsletter. Our newsletter is organized by our student representative and published twice per year. It is distributed on the Division 54 listserv and archived copies can be found on our website.
  3. Clinical tools. Our clinical subcommittee is currently developing evidence based handouts for providers that can be used for  patient education. An example is recommendations for schools on supporting students with chronic pain. Stayed tuned from more information about this new clinical resource.
  4. Fellow didactic series. Our education subcommittee hosts a monthly fellowship didactic series. The didactic series was developed in order to share resources for postdoctoral pain education across training sites. Faculty across the nation deliver didactics via teleconferencing for pain psychology fellows. The schedule is listed on our website.
  5. Annual meetings in conjunction with the Society of Pediatric Psychology Annual Conference (SPPAC). During our meetings, we host a data blitz to allow members to present late breaking research.  We also evaluate submitted posters on pediatric pain and present awards to the posters deemed strongest in research innovation, methodology, and impact.
  6. Listserv. We host a member listserv to foster collaboration and networking among our members.

Our SIG leadership has also been involved in publishing several articles covering topics including: the history of PPAIN-SIG (Harbeck-Weber, Benore, Bhandari, Logan, & Banez, 2017), use of pain assessment and interventions among pediatric psychologists (Junghans-Rutelonis, Weiss, Tamula, Karvounides, Harbeck-Weber, & Martin, 2017) and guidelines for advanced specialty training in pediatric pain psychology (Benore, Bhandari, Harbeck-Weber, Logan, & Banez, 2017).

Current SIG leadership

Chair(s): Sara Williams and Karen Weiss
Research Committee Chair: Kelsey Borner
Clinical Committee Chair: Rachael Coakley
Education Committee Chair: Emily Wakefield
Student Co-Chair: Kate Gamwell
Past Co-Chair:  Dustin Wallace

Upcoming Events

Join the Pain SIG

Any member of Division 54 is eligible to join the PPAIN-SIG. If you are interested in becoming a member or would like additional information, please contact one of the current chairs Sara Williams or Karen Weiss or email Karen Roberts


Benore, E., Bhandari, R., Harbeck-Weber, C., Logan, D.E., & Banez, G. (2017). Pediatric pain psychology: Guidelines for advanced specialty training. Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology, 5, 17-35.

Harbeck-Weber, C., Benore, E., Bhandari, R., Logan, D.E., Banez, G. (2017). Spotlight on the Pediatric Pain Psychology Special Interest Group. Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology, 5, 15-16.

Junghans-Rutelonis, A.N., Weiss, K.E., Tamula, M.A., Karvounides, D., Harbeck-Weber, C., & Martin, S. (2017). Pain assessment methods and interventions used by pediatric psychologists: A survey by the Pain Special Interest Group of the Society of Pediatric Psychology. Professional Psychology, Research and Practice, 48, 445-452.