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Bull Menninger Clin. 2007 Summer;71(3):227-47.

Assessing verbal elaboration of affect in clinical interviews: exploring sex differences.

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Département de Psychologie, Université de Montréal, C.P. 6128, Succ. Centre-ville, Montréal, Québec, Canada.


Recent interest in the transformative impact of reflective mechanisms on affect regulation has led to a focus on forms of "mentalized affectivity." This article aims at describing a method for assessing affect mentalization as it appears in verbal data. The method will be illustrated by a preliminary exploration of sex differences in the verbal expression of affect in a clinical setting. The Grille de l'Elaboration Verbale des Affects (GEVA) was applied to the transcribed first evaluation interview of 18 female and 18 male patients seeking psychotherapy. Controlling for GAF and language, results reveal that women take more ownership of their affect and are more expressive, verbally and nonverbally, than men, who are more mentally externalizing and use the motor modality more often than women.

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