Psychiatry and Clinical Psychopharmacology

The relationship between alexithymia and dissociation in an adolescent sample


Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Karadeniz Technical University Medical School, Trabzon - Turkey


Medical University of South Carolina, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Charleston, SC, USA

Psychiatry and Clinical Psychopharmacology 2003; 13: 167-173
Read: 637 Downloads: 362 Published: 09 March 2021

Objective: The relationship between alexithymia and dissociation has not been well researched and clarified in an adolescent population. Our study aims to test the hypothesized link between alexithymia and dissociation along with other possible predictors of dissociation in an adolescent population.

Method: The sample consisted of 145 adolescent high school students between the ages of 15 and 18. The subjects were assessed using the Dissociative Experiences Scale, the Toronto Alexithymia Scale, the Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale, the Beck Anxiety and Depression Scales, and a sociodemographic form. Multiple linear regression analyses were used to predict scores on the Dissociative Experiences Scale.

Results: When anxiety was entered in the regression model, alexithymia was no longer associated with dissociation and anxiety became the sole significant predictor of the Dissociative Experiences Scale scores. This model accounted for 17% of the variance. This finding shows that alexithymia is not a predictor of dissociation in our adolescent population.

Conclusion: Alexithymia does not predict dissociative tendencies in adolescents. Anxiety emerges as a significant predictor but by itself can not explain the plentitude of factors determining dissociative tendencies. But because only 17% of the variance is explained in this model, it seems that many other factors involved in the development of dissociative processes need to be addressed. Including more variables in a regression equation could highlight the predictors of dissociation better.

EISSN 2475-0581