The construct of alexithymia: associations with defense mechanisms

Helmes, Edward C., McNeill, Pamela D., Holden, Ronald R., and Jackson, Chris (2008) The construct of alexithymia: associations with defense mechanisms. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 64 (3). pp. 318-331.

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Alexithymia is a dimensional personality construct that encompasses a cluster of cognitive and affective characteristics relating to difficulty identifying and describing feelings, limited imaginal capacity, and having an externally oriented thinking style. Attempts to explain the etiology of high levels of alexithymia have resulted in disagreements regarding the relationship between alexithymia and psychological defense mechanisms. Much of the previous research suggests strong associations between alexithymia and immature or maladaptive defense styles. To examine these relationships using correlations, multiple regression and factor analytic techniques, three nonclinical populations in Australia and Canada were studied with a view to evaluating the association of defense mechanisms and response styles with alexithymia. Our results support the association of alexithymia with emotional inhibition, but extend those associations to immature defense styles and aspects of social desirability.

Item ID: 6556
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1097-4679
Keywords: alexithymia; identyifying feelings; difficulty describing feelings; construct validity; defense mechanisms; repression; emotional inhibition; Toronto Alexithymia Scale; Defence Mechanisms Inventory
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Date Deposited: 30 Mar 2010 01:05
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170199 Psychology not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920111 Nervous System and Disorders @ 100%
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