Alexithymia in alcohol dependent patients: Gender differences, associations with craving and dependence severity

Fred Thorberg, Ross Mc D Young, K A Sullivan, Michael F. Lyvers, Jason P. Connor, Anne S Landheim, Reidar Tyssen, Gerald F X Feeney

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting AbstractResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Up to 50% of alcoholics have alexithymia, a multifaceted personality trait associated with emotion regulation difficulties. Although research has examined alexithymia and alcohol dependence, gender differences are yet to be explored. The objective of the present study was to determine gender differences in relation to alexithymia as well as the relationship with craving and dependence severity in a sample of alcohol dependent outpatients. Three hundred and seventy eight patients (66 %male) aged between 18-71 years (M = 38.92) undertaking Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy for alcohol dependence were recruited. Participants with a diagnosis of a co-morbid major psychiatric disorder, organic brain syndrome or alcohol-related medical complications were excluded. Participants were detoxified prior to assessment and completed the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), the Obsessive Compulsive Drinking Scale (OCDS) and the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT), as part of a larger study. T-tests indicated that males scored significantly higher on Difficulties Describing Feelings and Externally Oriented Thinking compared to females. Chi-square test indicated that 34.5% of males were classified as alexithymic, 25.4% borderline alexithymic, 40.1% non-alexithymic compared to 26.4%, 26.4% and 47.1% for females. TAS-20 scales were significantly correlated with all OCDS scales for males, but not for females. In conclusion, the present study found a stronger relationship between alexithymia craving and alcohol dependence severity for men.These findings highlight the importance of con-ducting gender specific research on alexithymia in alcoholic populations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94
Number of pages1
JournalInternational Journal of Psychology
Volume47
Issue numberSpecial Issue: XXX International Congress of Psychology
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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Affective Symptoms
Alcohols
Alcoholism
Emotions
Brain Diseases
Cognitive Therapy
Chi-Square Distribution
Alcoholics
Research
Alcohol Drinking
Drinking
Psychiatry
Personality
Craving
Alcohol
Alexithymia
Gender Differences
Outpatients
Population

Cite this

Thorberg, F., Young, R. M. D., Sullivan, K. A., Lyvers, M. F., Connor, J. P., Landheim, A. S., ... Feeney, G. F. X. (2012). Alexithymia in alcohol dependent patients: Gender differences, associations with craving and dependence severity. International Journal of Psychology, 47(Special Issue: XXX International Congress of Psychology), 94. https://doi.org/10.1080/00207594.2012.709088
Thorberg, Fred ; Young, Ross Mc D ; Sullivan, K A ; Lyvers, Michael F. ; Connor, Jason P. ; Landheim, Anne S ; Tyssen, Reidar ; Feeney, Gerald F X. / Alexithymia in alcohol dependent patients : Gender differences, associations with craving and dependence severity. In: International Journal of Psychology. 2012 ; Vol. 47, No. Special Issue: XXX International Congress of Psychology. pp. 94.
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title = "Alexithymia in alcohol dependent patients: Gender differences, associations with craving and dependence severity",
abstract = "Up to 50{\%} of alcoholics have alexithymia, a multifaceted personality trait associated with emotion regulation difficulties. Although research has examined alexithymia and alcohol dependence, gender differences are yet to be explored. The objective of the present study was to determine gender differences in relation to alexithymia as well as the relationship with craving and dependence severity in a sample of alcohol dependent outpatients. Three hundred and seventy eight patients (66 {\%}male) aged between 18-71 years (M = 38.92) undertaking Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy for alcohol dependence were recruited. Participants with a diagnosis of a co-morbid major psychiatric disorder, organic brain syndrome or alcohol-related medical complications were excluded. Participants were detoxified prior to assessment and completed the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), the Obsessive Compulsive Drinking Scale (OCDS) and the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT), as part of a larger study. T-tests indicated that males scored significantly higher on Difficulties Describing Feelings and Externally Oriented Thinking compared to females. Chi-square test indicated that 34.5{\%} of males were classified as alexithymic, 25.4{\%} borderline alexithymic, 40.1{\%} non-alexithymic compared to 26.4{\%}, 26.4{\%} and 47.1{\%} for females. TAS-20 scales were significantly correlated with all OCDS scales for males, but not for females. In conclusion, the present study found a stronger relationship between alexithymia craving and alcohol dependence severity for men.These findings highlight the importance of con-ducting gender specific research on alexithymia in alcoholic populations.",
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Thorberg, F, Young, RMD, Sullivan, KA, Lyvers, MF, Connor, JP, Landheim, AS, Tyssen, R & Feeney, GFX 2012, 'Alexithymia in alcohol dependent patients: Gender differences, associations with craving and dependence severity' International Journal of Psychology, vol. 47, no. Special Issue: XXX International Congress of Psychology, pp. 94. https://doi.org/10.1080/00207594.2012.709088

Alexithymia in alcohol dependent patients : Gender differences, associations with craving and dependence severity. / Thorberg, Fred; Young, Ross Mc D; Sullivan, K A ; Lyvers, Michael F.; Connor, Jason P.; Landheim, Anne S; Tyssen, Reidar; Feeney, Gerald F X.

In: International Journal of Psychology, Vol. 47, No. Special Issue: XXX International Congress of Psychology, 2012, p. 94.

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting AbstractResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Alexithymia in alcohol dependent patients

T2 - Gender differences, associations with craving and dependence severity

AU - Thorberg, Fred

AU - Young, Ross Mc D

AU - Sullivan, K A

AU - Lyvers, Michael F.

AU - Connor, Jason P.

AU - Landheim, Anne S

AU - Tyssen, Reidar

AU - Feeney, Gerald F X

N1 - *Due to publisher error, only the first author is appearing on the paper. Details on the record are correct and verified by Bond author.

PY - 2012

Y1 - 2012

N2 - Up to 50% of alcoholics have alexithymia, a multifaceted personality trait associated with emotion regulation difficulties. Although research has examined alexithymia and alcohol dependence, gender differences are yet to be explored. The objective of the present study was to determine gender differences in relation to alexithymia as well as the relationship with craving and dependence severity in a sample of alcohol dependent outpatients. Three hundred and seventy eight patients (66 %male) aged between 18-71 years (M = 38.92) undertaking Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy for alcohol dependence were recruited. Participants with a diagnosis of a co-morbid major psychiatric disorder, organic brain syndrome or alcohol-related medical complications were excluded. Participants were detoxified prior to assessment and completed the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), the Obsessive Compulsive Drinking Scale (OCDS) and the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT), as part of a larger study. T-tests indicated that males scored significantly higher on Difficulties Describing Feelings and Externally Oriented Thinking compared to females. Chi-square test indicated that 34.5% of males were classified as alexithymic, 25.4% borderline alexithymic, 40.1% non-alexithymic compared to 26.4%, 26.4% and 47.1% for females. TAS-20 scales were significantly correlated with all OCDS scales for males, but not for females. In conclusion, the present study found a stronger relationship between alexithymia craving and alcohol dependence severity for men.These findings highlight the importance of con-ducting gender specific research on alexithymia in alcoholic populations.

AB - Up to 50% of alcoholics have alexithymia, a multifaceted personality trait associated with emotion regulation difficulties. Although research has examined alexithymia and alcohol dependence, gender differences are yet to be explored. The objective of the present study was to determine gender differences in relation to alexithymia as well as the relationship with craving and dependence severity in a sample of alcohol dependent outpatients. Three hundred and seventy eight patients (66 %male) aged between 18-71 years (M = 38.92) undertaking Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy for alcohol dependence were recruited. Participants with a diagnosis of a co-morbid major psychiatric disorder, organic brain syndrome or alcohol-related medical complications were excluded. Participants were detoxified prior to assessment and completed the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), the Obsessive Compulsive Drinking Scale (OCDS) and the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT), as part of a larger study. T-tests indicated that males scored significantly higher on Difficulties Describing Feelings and Externally Oriented Thinking compared to females. Chi-square test indicated that 34.5% of males were classified as alexithymic, 25.4% borderline alexithymic, 40.1% non-alexithymic compared to 26.4%, 26.4% and 47.1% for females. TAS-20 scales were significantly correlated with all OCDS scales for males, but not for females. In conclusion, the present study found a stronger relationship between alexithymia craving and alcohol dependence severity for men.These findings highlight the importance of con-ducting gender specific research on alexithymia in alcoholic populations.

U2 - 10.1080/00207594.2012.709088

DO - 10.1080/00207594.2012.709088

M3 - Meeting Abstract

VL - 47

SP - 94

JO - International Journal of Psychology

JF - International Journal of Psychology

SN - 0020-7594

IS - Special Issue: XXX International Congress of Psychology

ER -

Thorberg F, Young RMD, Sullivan KA, Lyvers MF, Connor JP, Landheim AS et al. Alexithymia in alcohol dependent patients: Gender differences, associations with craving and dependence severity. International Journal of Psychology. 2012;47(Special Issue: XXX International Congress of Psychology):94. https://doi.org/10.1080/00207594.2012.709088