Abstract Investigated was the relationship between pain catastrophizing and pain intensity in adolescents suffering from chronic pain ( n = 38) and the extent to which they expressed communicative pain and pain-related protective behaviours. Adolescents were observed on video performing a 2-Min Walk Test (2MWT). Behaviours were coded on videotape. The adolescents’ verbalizations about the 2MWT were also rated by their parents. Analyses revealed that higher levels of catastrophic thinking about pain were associated with higher levels of facial pain expressions and verbalizations about their pain experience, beyond the effects of age, gender, pain duration and pain intensity. Pain-related protective behaviours did not vary with the adolescents’ level of pain catastrophizing, but varied with pain intensity. The findings corroborate the functional distinctiveness of different types of pain behaviours. The results are discussed in terms of the processes linking (1) catastrophizing to communicative pain behaviours and (2) pain to pain-related protective behaviours.