Alexithymia can be considered as a defense mechanism against emotions associated with traumatic experiences that are perceived as too severe and traumatic. Due to the overwhelming nature of a traumatic event, there might be a rapid regression of affect to a pre-conceptual level of organization: so, the capacity to tolerate affect and the capacity to identify and verbalize feelings decrease. The aim of this cross-sectional study is to evaluate the trend of the correlation between psychological effects of possible childhood trauma and alexithymia in a non-clinical group of 389 Sicilian students (192 males and 197 females), aged 11–16 (M = 12.87; SD = 0.80), attending middle and secondary schools. The following instruments were used: 20-Item Toronto Alexithymia Scale and Trauma Symptom Checklist for Children. Correlation analyses seem to support the hypothesis of a relation between age and the following scales: anger, overt dissociation, sexual concerns and preoccupation; and the presence of correlations between gender and anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress, and fantasy. The multiple linear regression seems to indicate that a higher level of post-traumatic stress might be a predictor of the level of alexithymia. The results confirm that alexithymia is a well-established personality construct that could inhibit and interfere with normal affect regulating abilities

Alexithymia and psychological symptomatology: research conducted on a non-clinical group of Italian adolescents

PELLERONE, MONICA
;
CASCIO, MAURA IGNAZIA;Costanzo, Giulia;PACE, UGO;CRAPARO, GIUSEPPE
2017

Abstract

Alexithymia can be considered as a defense mechanism against emotions associated with traumatic experiences that are perceived as too severe and traumatic. Due to the overwhelming nature of a traumatic event, there might be a rapid regression of affect to a pre-conceptual level of organization: so, the capacity to tolerate affect and the capacity to identify and verbalize feelings decrease. The aim of this cross-sectional study is to evaluate the trend of the correlation between psychological effects of possible childhood trauma and alexithymia in a non-clinical group of 389 Sicilian students (192 males and 197 females), aged 11–16 (M = 12.87; SD = 0.80), attending middle and secondary schools. The following instruments were used: 20-Item Toronto Alexithymia Scale and Trauma Symptom Checklist for Children. Correlation analyses seem to support the hypothesis of a relation between age and the following scales: anger, overt dissociation, sexual concerns and preoccupation; and the presence of correlations between gender and anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress, and fantasy. The multiple linear regression seems to indicate that a higher level of post-traumatic stress might be a predictor of the level of alexithymia. The results confirm that alexithymia is a well-established personality construct that could inhibit and interfere with normal affect regulating abilities
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11387/123598
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