Emily Wakefield, PsyD, is a pediatric psychologist in the Division of Pain and Palliative Medicine at Connecticut Children’s. Dr. Wakefield has dedicated her career to understanding and reducing the psychological burden of disease for children and adolescents with chronic health conditions and their families. Dr. Wakefield has expertise in pediatric pain and research interests in psychosocial factors impacting the quality of life for youth with chronic pain and sickle cell disease. The social support challenges that youth with chronic pain face due to the invisibility of chronic pain is a current focus of her NIH-funded research. She is evaluating the impact of pain-related stigma on children and adolescents with chronic pain and their caregivers. Additionally, Dr. Wakefield is dedicated to identify barriers and solutions to reducing chronic pain inequities among marginalized youth.

Dr. Wakefield has been recognized as a leader in her clinical abilities during her doctoral and fellowship training programs where she received several recognitions, including the Director’s Award for Sustained Superior Performance and the Clinical Excellence Leadership Postdoctoral Fellow Award.


University of Hartford


Institute of Living

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Connecticut School of Medicine

  • Wakefield, E.O., Belamkar, V., Sandoval, A., Edelheit, B., Puhl, R., Zempsky, W.T., Rodrigues, H.A., & Litt, M. (2023). Does diagnostic certainty matter?: Pain-related stigma experiences in adolescents with juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 48, 341-351. https://doi.org/10.1093/jpepsy/jsac092
  • Wakefield, E. O., Kissi, A., Mulchan, S. S., Nelson, S., & Martin, S. R. (2022). Pain-related stigma as a social determinant of health in diverse pediatric pain populations. Frontiers in Pain Research. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpain.2022.1020287  
  • Wakefield, E. O., Belamkar, V., Litt, M.D., Puhl, R. M., & Zempsky, W. T. (2022). “There’s nothing wrong with you”: Pain-related stigma in adolescents with chronic pain. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 47(4), 456-468. https://doi.org/10.1093/jpepsy/jsab122
  • Wakefield, E. O., Puhl, R. M., Litt, M. D., & Zempsky, W. T. (2021). “If it ever really hurts, I try not to let them know:” The use of concealment as a coping strategy among adolescents with chronic pain. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, 1-8. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.666275
  • Wakefield, E. O., Zempsky, W. T., Puhl, R. M., & Litt, M. D. (2018). Conceptualizing pain-related stigma in adolescent chronic pain: A literature review and preliminary focus group findings. Pain Reports, e679. https://doi.org/10.1097/PR9.0000000000000679 
  • View Dr. Wakefield’s full list of publications 

Locations for this Doctor

Exterior view of 100 Retreat Ave in Hartford

Connecticut Children’s Primary and Specialty Care Center – Hartford (100 Retreat Ave.)

100 Retreat Avenue
Hartford, CT06106
United States