4 years ago

Alexithymia and Emotional Processing: A Mediation Model

Jeanne C. Watson, Ana Nunes Silva, António Branco Vasco
Objective Although alexithymia has been associated with difficulties in emotional regulation, both constructs are complex and this association remains unclear. This research attempts to study the relation between both constructs to identify better ways to guide clinical intervention. Method Emotion awareness, differentiation, and regulation were tested as mediators of the associations between alexithymia and severity of symptoms. The model was tested in a clinical (121 participants) and a nonclinical sample (188 participants). Results Mediation effects were found in both samples with respect to different alexithymia factors, with the effects being higher in the clinical sample. Conclusion Emotional awareness and emotional differentiation mediate the relationship between alexithymia and emotion regulation. The similarities between samples suggest that emotional processing may be better thought of as being on a continuum. Being aware of the differential effect each alexithymia factor has on emotional processing may be helpful to guide intervention.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/jclp.22422

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