The hypothesis that matching childrens' preferred coping styles (repression, sensitization) with behavioral interventions (distraction, sensory information) during invasive medical procedures will reduce self-reports of fear and pain, anticipatory heart rate, and observable signs of distress was tested in 28 children with cancer. A significant coping style by intervention interaction for the self-report of experienced pain was found. However, those groups using an intervention that matched their preferred coping style actually reported higher experienced pain ratings. Trends for differences between coping style on factors indicative of the chronicity of the disease were found. Chronicity, which reflects the degree of past experience with invasive medical procedures, may be a more important factor than preferred coping style in pain management of these patients. © 1989 Plenum Publishing Corporation.