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J Health Psychol. 2011 Nov;16(8):1177-86. doi: 10.1177/1359105311402407. Epub 2011 Apr 4.

Depression partially mediates the relationship between alexithymia and somatization in a sample of healthy children.

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  • 1University of California at Los Angeles, CA, USA.


A link between alexithymia and somatization has been widely established, yet little is known about different factors that may influence this relationship. Evidence supporting the idea of psychopathology as a mediator has been presented but not widely tested, particularly in children. The present study examined depressive symptoms as a mediator of alexithymia and somatization in a sample of healthy children in order to better understand the alexithymia-somatization link from a developmental perspective. Results indicated that depression significantly partially mediated this relationship, at least for two facets of alexithymia (difficulty identifying and describing feelings). Possible mechanisms, implications, and directions for future research are discussed.

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