A psychometric comparison of the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) and the Observer Alexithymia Scale (OAS) in an alcohol-dependent sample

Fred Arne Thorberg*, Ross McD Young, Karen A. Sullivan, Michael Lyvers, Jason P. Connor, Gerald F X Feeney

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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Alexithymia is characterised by deficits in emotional insight and self-reflection that impact on the efficacy of psychological treatments. Given the high prevalence of alexithymia in Alcohol Use Disorders, valid assessment tools are critical. The majority of research on the relationship between alexithymia and alcohol-dependence has employed the self-administered Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20). The Observer Alexithymia Scale (OAS) has also been recommended. The aim of the present study was to assess the validity and reliability of the OAS and the TAS-20 in an alcohol-dependent sample. Two hundred and ten alcohol-dependent participants in an outpatient Cognitive Behavioral Treatment program were administered the TAS-20 at assessment and upon treatment completion at 12. weeks. Clinical psychologists provided observer assessment data for a subsample of 159 patients. The findings confirmed acceptable internal consistency, test-retest reliability and scale homogeneity for both the OAS and TAS-20, except for the low internal consistency of the TAS-20 EOT scale. The TAS-20 was more strongly associated with alcohol problems than the OAS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-123
Number of pages5
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010


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