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Psychother Psychosom. 2000 May-Jun;69(3):128-31.

The relationship between dimensions of alexithymia and dissociation.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-University of Greifswald, Klinikum der Hansestadt Stralsund, Germany.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The study investigated the following hypotheses: (1) Alexithymia is significantly associated with dissociation. (2) Pathological versus nonpathological dissociation is associated with alexithymic traits.

METHODS:

Psychiatric in- and outpatients (n = 173) and nonclinical subjects (n = 38) were investigated with the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), the FDS (German version of Dissociation Experience Scale) and the Symptom Check List (SCL-90-R; GSI). Correlation analyses followed by MANOVA and logistic regression were performed.

RESULTS:

Significant correlations and partial correlations, controlling for GSI, were observed between dissociation and alexithymia. The MANOVA demonstrated significantly higher scores for the two TAS-20 dimensions 'difficulty identifying feelings' and 'difficulty expressing feelings' in the group with pathological dissociation. On the basis of the TAS-20 subscores, logistic regression analysis correctly classified 72.5% of the cases into the pathological and the nonpathological dissociation group.

CONCLUSIONS:

These results support our hypothesis that pathological traits of dissociation are highly associated with alexithymia. A model is discussed in which alexithymic characteristics may contribute to the development of pathological dissociation and stress-related disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder.

Copyright 2000 S. Karger AG, Basel

PMID:
10773776
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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