Alexithymia and Alcohol Dependence

The Roles of Negative Mood and Alcohol Craving

Fred Arne Thorberg*, Ross Mc D. Young, Penelope Hasking, Michael Lyvers, Jason P. Connor, Edythe D. London, Ya Ling Huang, Gerald F.X. Feeney

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Background: Alexithymia is a personality trait associated with emotion regulation difficulties. Up to 67% of alcohol-dependent patients in treatment have alexithymia. Objectives: The objective of this study was to investigate the direct and indirect effects of alexithymia, negative mood (stress, anxiety, and depression) and alcohol craving on alcohol dependence severity. Methods: Three hundred and fifty-five outpatients (mean age = 38.70, SD = 11.00, 244 males, range 18–71 years) undergoing Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for alcohol dependence completed the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS-21), Obsessive Compulsive Drinking Scale (OCDS), and Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) prior to the first treatment session. Results: Alexithymia had an indirect effect on alcohol dependence severity, via both negative mood and alcohol craving (b = 0.03, seb = 0.008, 95% CI: 0.02–0.05). An indirect effect of negative mood on alcohol dependence via alcohol craving was also observed (b = 0.12, seb = 0.03, 95% CI: 0.07–0.16). Conclusions/importance: Alexithymia worked through negative mood and alcohol craving leading to increased alcohol dependence severity, indicating that craving had an indirect effect on the relationship between alexithymia and alcohol dependence severity. Targeting alcohol craving and negative mood for alcohol-dependent patients with alexithymia seems warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Aug 2019

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Affective Symptoms
mood
Alcoholism
alcohol
Alcohols
Anxiety
Depression
Craving
Cognitive Therapy
Alcohol Drinking
Personality
Emotions
Outpatients
anxiety
personality traits
Therapeutics

Cite this

Thorberg, F. A., Young, R. M. D., Hasking, P., Lyvers, M., Connor, J. P., London, E. D., ... Feeney, G. F. X. (2019). Alexithymia and Alcohol Dependence: The Roles of Negative Mood and Alcohol Craving. Substance Use and Misuse. https://doi.org/10.1080/10826084.2019.1650773
Thorberg, Fred Arne ; Young, Ross Mc D. ; Hasking, Penelope ; Lyvers, Michael ; Connor, Jason P. ; London, Edythe D. ; Huang, Ya Ling ; Feeney, Gerald F.X. / Alexithymia and Alcohol Dependence : The Roles of Negative Mood and Alcohol Craving. In: Substance Use and Misuse. 2019.
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abstract = "Background: Alexithymia is a personality trait associated with emotion regulation difficulties. Up to 67{\%} of alcohol-dependent patients in treatment have alexithymia. Objectives: The objective of this study was to investigate the direct and indirect effects of alexithymia, negative mood (stress, anxiety, and depression) and alcohol craving on alcohol dependence severity. Methods: Three hundred and fifty-five outpatients (mean age = 38.70, SD = 11.00, 244 males, range 18–71 years) undergoing Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for alcohol dependence completed the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS-21), Obsessive Compulsive Drinking Scale (OCDS), and Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) prior to the first treatment session. Results: Alexithymia had an indirect effect on alcohol dependence severity, via both negative mood and alcohol craving (b = 0.03, seb = 0.008, 95{\%} CI: 0.02–0.05). An indirect effect of negative mood on alcohol dependence via alcohol craving was also observed (b = 0.12, seb = 0.03, 95{\%} CI: 0.07–0.16). Conclusions/importance: Alexithymia worked through negative mood and alcohol craving leading to increased alcohol dependence severity, indicating that craving had an indirect effect on the relationship between alexithymia and alcohol dependence severity. Targeting alcohol craving and negative mood for alcohol-dependent patients with alexithymia seems warranted.",
author = "Thorberg, {Fred Arne} and Young, {Ross Mc D.} and Penelope Hasking and Michael Lyvers and Connor, {Jason P.} and London, {Edythe D.} and Huang, {Ya Ling} and Feeney, {Gerald F.X.}",
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Alexithymia and Alcohol Dependence : The Roles of Negative Mood and Alcohol Craving. / Thorberg, Fred Arne; Young, Ross Mc D.; Hasking, Penelope; Lyvers, Michael; Connor, Jason P.; London, Edythe D.; Huang, Ya Ling; Feeney, Gerald F.X.

In: Substance Use and Misuse, 20.08.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Alexithymia and Alcohol Dependence

T2 - The Roles of Negative Mood and Alcohol Craving

AU - Thorberg, Fred Arne

AU - Young, Ross Mc D.

AU - Hasking, Penelope

AU - Lyvers, Michael

AU - Connor, Jason P.

AU - London, Edythe D.

AU - Huang, Ya Ling

AU - Feeney, Gerald F.X.

PY - 2019/8/20

Y1 - 2019/8/20

N2 - Background: Alexithymia is a personality trait associated with emotion regulation difficulties. Up to 67% of alcohol-dependent patients in treatment have alexithymia. Objectives: The objective of this study was to investigate the direct and indirect effects of alexithymia, negative mood (stress, anxiety, and depression) and alcohol craving on alcohol dependence severity. Methods: Three hundred and fifty-five outpatients (mean age = 38.70, SD = 11.00, 244 males, range 18–71 years) undergoing Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for alcohol dependence completed the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS-21), Obsessive Compulsive Drinking Scale (OCDS), and Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) prior to the first treatment session. Results: Alexithymia had an indirect effect on alcohol dependence severity, via both negative mood and alcohol craving (b = 0.03, seb = 0.008, 95% CI: 0.02–0.05). An indirect effect of negative mood on alcohol dependence via alcohol craving was also observed (b = 0.12, seb = 0.03, 95% CI: 0.07–0.16). Conclusions/importance: Alexithymia worked through negative mood and alcohol craving leading to increased alcohol dependence severity, indicating that craving had an indirect effect on the relationship between alexithymia and alcohol dependence severity. Targeting alcohol craving and negative mood for alcohol-dependent patients with alexithymia seems warranted.

AB - Background: Alexithymia is a personality trait associated with emotion regulation difficulties. Up to 67% of alcohol-dependent patients in treatment have alexithymia. Objectives: The objective of this study was to investigate the direct and indirect effects of alexithymia, negative mood (stress, anxiety, and depression) and alcohol craving on alcohol dependence severity. Methods: Three hundred and fifty-five outpatients (mean age = 38.70, SD = 11.00, 244 males, range 18–71 years) undergoing Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for alcohol dependence completed the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS-21), Obsessive Compulsive Drinking Scale (OCDS), and Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) prior to the first treatment session. Results: Alexithymia had an indirect effect on alcohol dependence severity, via both negative mood and alcohol craving (b = 0.03, seb = 0.008, 95% CI: 0.02–0.05). An indirect effect of negative mood on alcohol dependence via alcohol craving was also observed (b = 0.12, seb = 0.03, 95% CI: 0.07–0.16). Conclusions/importance: Alexithymia worked through negative mood and alcohol craving leading to increased alcohol dependence severity, indicating that craving had an indirect effect on the relationship between alexithymia and alcohol dependence severity. Targeting alcohol craving and negative mood for alcohol-dependent patients with alexithymia seems warranted.

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DO - 10.1080/10826084.2019.1650773

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JO - International Journal of the Addictions

JF - International Journal of the Addictions

SN - 1082-6084

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