A new conceptualization of alexithymia in the general adult population : implications for research involving older adults
Henry, Julie D., Phillips, Louise (Louise H.), Maylor, Elizabeth A., Hosie, Judith, Milne, Alan B. and Meyer, Caroline. (2006) A new conceptualization of alexithymia in the general adult population : implications for research involving older adults. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, Vol.60 (No.5). pp. 535-543. ISSN 0022-3999Full text not available from this repository.
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychores.2005.09.008
Objective: The purpose of this study is to test the validity of existing conceptualizations of the alexithymia concept, with particular reference to aging. Methods: Two hundred and forty-eight healthy adults completed measures of alexithymia and psychosocial functioning; younger and older adults (n=121) also completed a measure of emotional responsiveness. Results: Older adults engaged in less introspective thought traditionally thought to denote increased alexithymia. However, reduced introspection was associated with improved mental wellbeing, and, thus, could not be consumed as a deficit. Difficulty identifying and describing emotions did not differentiate older and younger adults, but were both associated with heightened depression, anxiety, and poor perceived quality of life. Conclusions: In clinical practice and research, the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS) is almost exclusively used, with "total" score typically used to index alexithymia. As one of the subscales of the TAS measures reduced introspection, calculating total scores may not be appropriate and may particularly overestimate levels of alexithymia in older adulthood. (c) 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Subjects:||B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
|Divisions:||Faculty of Science > Psychology|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Alexithymia, Cognition in old age , Human information processing -- Age factors, Emotions and cognition|
|Journal or Publication Title:||Journal of Psychosomatic Research|
|Publisher:||Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd|
|Number of Pages:||9|
|Page Range:||pp. 535-543|
|Funder:||Leverhulme Trust (LT)|
|References:|| Larsen JK, Brand N, Bermond B, Hijman R. Cognitive and emotional characteristics of alexithymia. A review of neurobiological studies. J Psychosom Res 2003;54:533– 41.  Hintikka J, Honkalampi K, Lehtonen J, Viinamaki H. Are alexithymia and depression distinct or overlapping constructs? A study in a general population. Comp Psychol 2001;42:234–9.  Eizaguirre AE, de Cabezon AOS, de Alda IO, Olariaga LJ, Juaniz M. Alexithymia and its relationships with anxiety and depression in eating disorders. Pers Individ Differ 2004;36:321–31.  Scmitz M. Alexithymia, self-care, and satisfaction with life in college students. Diss Abstr Int: B 2000;60:5790.  Taylor GJ. Recent developments in alexithymia theory and research. Can J Psychiatry 2000;45:134–42.  Bagby RM, Parker JDA, Taylor GJ. The 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale. 1. Item selection and cross-validation of the factor structure. J Psychosom Res 1994;38:23 – 32.  Parker JDA, Taylor GJ, Bagby RM. The 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale-III Reliability and factorial validity in a community population. J Psychosom Res 2003;55:269– 75.  Sifneos PE. Alexithymia: past and present. Amer J Psychiatry 1996;153:137–42.  de Gucht V, Heiser W. Alexithymia and somatisation. A quantitative review of the literature. J Psychosom Res 2003;54:425–34.  Bermond B. Brain and alexithymia. In: Vingerhoets A, van Bussen F, Boelhouwers J, editors. The (non) expression of emotion in health and disease. Tilburg (the Netherlands)7 Tilburg University Press, 1997. pp. 115– 31.  Vorst HCM, Bermond B. Validity and reliability of the Bermond-Vorst Alexithymia Questionnaire. Pers Individ Differ 2001;30:413– 34.  Muller J, Buhner M, Ellgring H. The assessment of alexithymia: psychometric properties and validity of the Bermond-Vorst Alexithymia Questionnaire. Pers Individ Differ 2004;37:373– 91.  Morera OF, Culhane SE, Watson PJ, Skewes MC. Assessing the reliability and validity of the Bermond-Vorst Alexithymia Questionnaire among U.S. Anglo and U.S. Hispanic samples. J of Psychosom Res 2005;58:289–298.  Lane RD, Sechrest L, Riedel R, Shapiro DE, Kaszniak AW. Pervasive emotion recognition deficit common to alexithymia and the repressive coping style. Psychosom Med 2000;62:492–501.  Nemiah JC, Sifneos PE. Affect and fantasy in patients with psychosomatic disorder. In: Hill OW, editor. Modern trends in psychosomatic medicine, vol. 2. New York7 Appleton Century Crofts, 1970. pp. 26– 34.  Sifneos PE. The prevalence of balexithymicQ characteristics in psychosomatic patients. Psychother Psychosom 1973;22:255– 62.  Lane RD, Ahern GL, Schwartz GE, Kaszniak AW. Is alexithymia the emotional equivalent of blindsight? Biol Psychiatry 1997;42: 834– 44.  Gundel H, Lopez-Sala A, Ceballos-Baumann AO, Deus J, Cardoner N, Marten Mittag B, Soriano-Mas C, Pujol J. Alexithymia correlates with the size of the right anterior cingulate. Psychosom Med 2004;66:132– 40.  Nisbett RE, Wilson TD. Telling more than we can know: verbal reports on mental processes. Psych Rev 1977;84:231–59.  Gunzelmann T, Kupfer J, Br7hler E. Alexithymia in the elderly general population. Comp Psychol 2002;43:74–80.  Waldstein SR, Kauhanen J, Neumann SA, Katzel LI. Alexithymia and cardiovascular risk in older adults: psychosocial, psychophysiological, and biomedical correlates. Psychol Health 2002;17:597–610.  Joukamaa M, Saarijarvi S, Muuriaisniemi M, Salokangas R. Alexithymia in a normal elderly population. Comp Psychol 1996; 37:144–7.  Calder AJ, Keane J, Manly T. Facial expression recognition across the adult lifespan. Neuropsychologia 2003;41:195– 292.  Phillips LH, MacLean RDJ, Allen R. Age and the understanding of emotions: neuropsychological and sociocognitive perspectives. J Geront: Psychol Sci 2002;57:526– 30.  Taylor GJ, Bagby RM, Parker JDA. Disorders of affect regulation: alexithymia in medical and psychiatric illness. Cambridge7 Cambridge University Press, 1997.  Gross JJ, Carstensen LL, Pasupathi M, Tsai J, Skorpen CG, Hsu AYC. Emotion and aging: experience, expression, and control. Psychol Aging 1997;12:590– 9.  Lane RD, Sechrest L, Riedel R. Sociodemographic correlates of alexithymia. Comp Psychol 1998;39:377– 85.  Parker JD, Taylor GJ, Bagby RM. The alexithymia construct: relationship with sociodemographic variables and intelligence. Comp Psychol 1989;30:434– 41.  Parker JDA, Bagby RM, Taylor GJ, Endler NS, Schmitz P. Factorial validity of the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale. Eur J Pers 1993;7: 221– 32.  Davis MH. Measuring individual differences in empathy: evidence for a multidimensional approach. J Pers Soc Psychol 1983;44: 113–26.  Haviland MG, Reise SP. Structure of the twenty-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale. J Pers Assess 1996;66:116– 25.  Loas G, Otmani O, Verrier A, Fremaux D, Marchand MP. Factor analysis of the French version of the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20). Psychopathology 1996;29:139– 44.  Birditt KS, Fingerman KL. Age and gender differences in adults’ descriptions of emotional reactions to interpersonal problems. J Geront: Psychol Sci 2003;58B:237 –45.  Crawford J, Heather N. Public attitudes to the disease concept of alcoholism. Int J Addict 1987;22:1129– 38.  Zigmond AS, Snaith RP. The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Acta Psychiatr Scand 1983;67:361– 70.  Watson D, Clark LA, Tellegen A. Development and validation of brief measures of Positive and Negative affect: the PANAS Scales. J Pers Soc Psychol 1988;47:1063– 70.  Crawford JR, Henry JD. The Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS): construct validity, measurement properties and normative data in a large non-clinical sample. Brit J Clin Psychol 2004;43: 245– 65.  de Leo D, Diekstra RFW, Lonnqvist J, Trabucchi M, Cleiren MHPD, Frisoni GB, Dello Buono M, Haltunen A, Zucchetto M, Rozzini R, Grigoletto F, Sampaio-Faria J. LEIPAD, an internationally applicable instrument to assess quality of life in the elderly. Behav Med 1998; 24:17– 27.  Gross JJ, Levenson RW. Emotion elicitation using films. Cogn Emot 1995;9:87– 108.  Bentler PM. EQS structural equations program manual. Encino (Calif)7 Multivariate Software Inc, 1995.  Hu L, Bentler PM. Cutoff criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis: conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Struct Equat Modeling 1999;6:1– 55.  Hu L, Bentler PM. Fit indices in covariance structure modeling: sensitivity to underparmaterized model misspecification. Psychol Methods 1998;3:424 – 5.  Loehlin JC. Latent variable models. Hillsdale7 Erlbaum, 1998.  Cohen J. Statistical power analysis for the behavioural sciences. Hillsdale (NJ)7 Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1988.  Lane RD, Quinlan DM, Schwartz GE, Walker PA, Zeitlin SB. The Levels of Emotional Awareness Scale: a cognitive-developmental measure of emotion. J Pers Assess 1990;55:124– 34.  Waller E, Scheidt CE. Somatoform disorders as disorders of affect regulation. A study comparing the TAS-20 with nonself report measures of alexithymia. J Psychosom Res 2004;57: 239– 47.  Lane RD, Sechrest L, Reidel R, Weldon V, Kaszniak A, Schwartz GE. Impaired verbal and nonverbal emotion recognition in alexithymia. Psychosom Med 1996;58:203– 10. 542 J.D. Henry et al. / Journal of Psychosomatic Research 60 (2006) 535–543  Honkalampi K, Hintikka J, Tanskanen A, Lehtonen J, Viinamaki H. Depression is strongly associated with alexithymia in the general population. J Psychosom Res 2000;48:99– 104.  Rabbitt P, Maylor EA, McInnes L, Bent N, Moore B. What goods can self assessment questionnaires deliver for cognitive gerontology. Appl Cogn Psychol 1995;9:S127– 52.  De Gucht W. Stability of neuroticism and alexithymia in somatization. Comp Psychol 2003;44:466–71.  Salminen JK, Saarijarvi S, Aairela E, Tamminen T. Alexithymia— state or trait—one year follow up study of general hospital psychiatric consultation outpatients. J Psychosom Res 1994;38:681– 5.  Honkalampi K, Koivumaa-Honkanen H, Tanskanen A, Hintikka J, Lehtonen J, Viinamaki H. Why do alexithymic features appear to be stable? A 12-month follow-up study of a general population. Psychother Psychosom 2001;70:247– 53.|
Actions (login required)