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Sample records for 20-item toronto alexithymia

  1. Psychometric Properties of the 20-Item Toronto Alexithymia Scale in a Group of Italian Younger Adolescents

    PubMed Central

    Faraci, Palmira; Gori, Alessio

    2015-01-01

    Objective Alexithymia is a personality construct that inhibits and interferes with normal affect regulating abilities. The purpose of our study was to assess psychometric properties of TAS-20 in younger adolescents. Methods Data were collected from 508 younger adolescents (48.8% male and 51.2% female) with a mean age of 12.56 years (DS=0.50, range: 12-13 years). We administered the following scales: 20-Item-Toronto Alexithymia Scale. Results The confirmatory factor analysis performed on the second random subsample showed reasonable goodness-of-fit for the oblique bi-factorial model: [chi]2 (32, n=254)=54.22; p=0.008; χ2/df=1.69; NNFI=0.92; CFI=0.95; SRMR=0.05; RMSEA=0.05; 90% confidence interval=0.027-0.078. Conclusion Based on the outcomes of our research we support the idea of evaluating adolescents for alexithymia. PMID:26508961

  2. Factorial structure of the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale in a large sample of somatoform patients.

    PubMed

    Koch, Anne Sarah; Kleiman, Alexandra; Wegener, Ingo; Zur, Berndt; Imbierowicz, Katrin; Geiser, Franziska; Conrad, Rupert

    2015-02-28

    Although a strong association between alexithymia and somatization has been postulated in numerous studies, no systematic study has investigated the psychometric properties of the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) in a sample of patients with somatoform disorder yet. The purpose of this study was to ensure a valid assessment by the German version of the TAS-20 in somatoform samples. We investigated whether the original three-factor model proposed by Bagby et al. (1994a), which is widely used in clinical research and practice, is replicable in a large sample of somatoform patients (n=806). Using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) the goodness-of-fit of the originally proposed factor structure was compared to three factor models generated with exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and other factorial solutions derived from the literature. Our results demonstrate that the original three-factor model is not replicable in somatoform patients. Instead, the four-factor model by Franz et al. (2001b) described the data best. However, none of the models met all criteria of confirmatory factor analysis. Our results indicate that the three-factor model is not robust in the German version of the TAS-20. At this state of research we recommend to use the TAS-20 sum-score as a measure of alexithymia in somatoform patients in clinical practice.

  3. The internet administration version of the 20-item Toronto alexithymia scale.

    PubMed

    Bagby, R Michael; Ayearst, Lindsay E; Morariu, Raluca A; Watters, Carolyn; Taylor, Graeme J

    2014-03-01

    Researchers are increasingly administering tests developed and validated in paper format via the Internet. Yet, the equivalence between paper and Internet concerning administration of tests is not typically demonstrated. We evaluated the reliability, factorial and external validity, and measurement equivalency of the Internet version of the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20; Bagby, Parker, & Taylor, 1994; Bagby, Taylor, & Parker, 1994; Lumley et al., 2007) vis-à-vis the paper version. Participants (N = 621) completed the TAS-20 either on the Internet or on paper. Reliability and item-to-scale homogeneity were evaluated for each format. We used confirmatory factor analyses (CFAs) to evaluate factorial validity and used CFA-based factorial invariance procedures to determine measurement equivalency. Alpha coefficients and mean interitem correlations (MICs) were adequate for the full-scale TAS-20 Internet and paper versions and the difficulty identifying feelings (DIF) and difficulty describing feelings (DDF) factor scale test scores; in both formats, alpha and MICs were poorer for externally oriented thinking (EOT) factor test scores compared to scores for the DIF and DDF. The fit of the 3-factor structure of the TAS-20 was adequate for both formats. Factorial invariance across formats was also demonstrated; mean scores for the total scale and each factor scale were not different across formats. Correlations with the domain and facet scales of the Revised NEO Personality Inventory (Costa & McCrae, 1992b) were mostly similar across formats. The Internet and paper versions of the TAS-20 are comparably reliable and valid. An Internet version of the TAS-20 expands opportunities to collect data and permits generalizing of results across studies using the different modes of administration.

  4. Serbian translation of the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale: psychometric properties and the new methodological approach in translating scales.

    PubMed

    Trajanović, Nikola N; Djurić, Vladimir; Latas, Milan; Milovanović, Srdjan; Jovanović, Aleksandar A; Djurić, Dusan

    2013-01-01

    Since inception of the alexithymia construct in 1970's, there has been a continuous effort to improve both its theoretical postulates and the clinical utility through development, standardization and validation of assessment scales. The aim of this study was to validate the Serbian translation of the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) and to propose a new method of translation of scales with a property of temporal stability. The scale was expertly translated by bilingual medical professionals and a linguist, and given to a sample of bilingual participants from the general population who completed both the English and the Serbian version of the scale one week apart. The findings showed that the Serbian version of the TAS-20 had a good internal consistency reliability regarding total scale (alpha=0.86), and acceptable reliability of the three factors (alpha=0.71-0.79). The analysis confirmed the validity and consistency of the Serbian translation of the scale, with observed weakness of the factorial structure consistent with studies in other languages. The results also showed that the method of utilizing a self-control bilingual subject is a useful alternative to the back-translation method, particularly in cases of linguistically and structurally sensitive scales, or in cases where a larger sample is not available. This method, dubbed as 'forth-translation' could be used to translate psychometric scales measuring properties which have temporal stability over the period of at least several weeks.

  5. Taxometric Analysis of the Toronto Structured Interview for Alexithymia.

    PubMed

    Keefer, Kateryna V; Taylor, Graeme J; Parker, James D A; Bagby, R Michael

    2017-03-01

    Alexithymia is a clinically relevant personality construct characterized by difficulties identifying and describing feelings, externally oriented thinking, and impoverished imaginal processes. Previous taxometric investigations provided evidence that alexithymia is best conceptualized as a continuous dimension rather than a discrete type, at least when assessed with the self-report 20-Item Toronto Alexithymia Scale. The aim of the current study was to test the categorical versus dimensional structure of alexithymia using the recently developed Toronto Structured Interview for Alexithymia. Three nonredundant taxometric procedures (MAXCOV, MAMBAC, and L-Mode) were performed on the Toronto Structured Interview for Alexithymia subscale scores from a multinational sample of 842 adults. All taxometric procedures produced unambiguously dimensional solutions, providing further evidence that the core alexithymia features are continuously distributed in the population. Discussion focuses on the theoretical, assessment, and clinical implications of these findings for the alexithymia construct.

  6. Alexithymia and Grief Reactions in Bereaved Japanese Women

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nakao, Mutsuhiro; Kashiwagi, Masayo; Yano, Eiji

    2005-01-01

    To examine the relationship between grief reactions and alexithymia, 54 Japanese women (33 outpatients attending a psychosomatic clinic and 21 normal healthy participants) completed the Texas Inventory of Grief (TIG), the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), and the Profile of Mood States (POMS). Each woman had experienced the death of a…

  7. [Testing and validation of the 26-Item Toronto Alexithymia Scale in a representative population sample

    PubMed

    Kupfer, Jörg; Brosig, Burkhard; Brähler, Elmar

    2000-01-01

    This paper presents the authorized German version of the 26-item Toronto alexithymia scale (TAS-26). Due to the fact, that the revised version of this questionnaire (TAS-20) displays low reliability concerning the scale "external oriented thinking" in the German version, we decided to reinvestigate all TAS-26 items. In a representative sample of the German population (N=2047), the four factor structure of the original version could be reproduced and reliabilities for the four scales as well as for a pooled 5th scale (scales 1 to 3) varied satisfyingly between r=.67 to r=.84. TAS-scale no. 4 "reduced daydreaming" correlated negatively with other TAS scales in this German version also, so we can not recommend to use this construct for the study of alexithymia. Scale values proved to be independent from age and sex, whereas a clear relation with education could be detected: persons with low education scored high on alexithymia scales. To validate the German version of the TAS-26, a mood questionnaire and a body experience questionnaire were used. It could be shown that high alexithymia scores were associated with negative body image and undesirable emotions. It is discussed whether the latter correlation is due to a methodological artefact, since persons with high alexithymia scores tend to prefer middle categories of the mood questionnaire.

  8. [Factorial analysis and internal consistency of the French version of the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS 20), in obese women].

    PubMed

    Pinaquy, S; Chabrol, H; Barbe, P

    2002-01-01

    The term alexithymia is derived from the Greek and means no words for feeling and is used to describe a personality trait characterized by the inability to experience and express emotion. Alexithymia is a relevant feature in subjects with eating disorders. The Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS) is the more used scale to assess alexithymia. The TAS 20 represents the latest revised and short version of the TAS, with psychometric properties clearly superior to the other alexithymia scales. The TAS 20 is a 20-items self-administered questionnaire including three subscales: ability to identify feelings, ability to describe feelings and externally oriented thinking. The TAS 20 was sparsely used in obese people and its validity was not studied at the present time in this specific population. The aim of this study was to assess the internal consistency and the factorial structure of the TAS 20 in a group of obese women. Method-The TAS 20 was administered to 192 obese women willing to loose weight, aged from 18 to 60 years. Their body mass index (BMI) was ranged from 27.5 to 55,0 kg/m2. The patients also completed a depression scale (Beck Depression Inventory 13). Cronbach's alpha coefficient was used to investigate the internal consistency of the scale. A confirmatory factorial analysis was performed to examine the validity of the initial three-factor structure in this population. The confirmatory factor analysis was conducted using STATISTICA 5.0((R)). Results-An exploratory factorial analysis using the principal components method was performed to search for a more relevant factorial structure. The global internal consistency value (a) was 0,74 for the full scale. The a coefficients were 0.78 and 0.67 respectively, for the two first subscales, (ability to identify feelings and ability to describe feelings), but was low (a=0.33) for the last subscale (externally oriented thinking). This result questionned the initial three-factor solution and conducted us to perform a

  9. Alexithymia and schizophrenic psychopathology.

    PubMed

    Maggini, Carlo; Raballo, Andrea

    2004-04-01

    This research is an attempt to gain a comprehensive insight into alexithymia in schizophrenia. Previous studies offered clinically-descriptive and phenomenologically oriented suggestions regarding alexithymia putative contribution in shaping schizophrenic psychopathology. However, the factorial structure of the scales used to assess alexithymia had never been applied to a schizophrenic sample as a preliminary step to interpret results, thus assuming the purported dimensions of the alexithymia construct (i.e. difficulties identifying feelings, difficulties describing feelings, and externally oriented thinking) to be transnosographically stable. In order to explore the psychopathologic meaning and interrelations with other schizophrenic symptoms, we evaluated 76 chronic schizophrenic outpatients using the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale, standardized measures of positive, negative, disorganized and depressive symptoms, social and physical anhedonia scales, and the Bonn Scale for the Assessment of Basic Symptoms. The principal component analysis ofTAS-20 items revealed a 4-factor structure with multiple correlations with psychotic, disorganized, depressive, anhedonic dimensions and basic symptoms. The data suggest that alexithymia in schizophrenia is more heterogeneous than was previously recognized, and has several components, some of which are more state-related, and others of which are more like trait features. Those components are specifically correlated with both overt and subjective dimensions of schizophrenic psychopathology.

  10. Measurement equivalence of the Toronto Structured Interview for Alexithymia across language, gender, and clinical status.

    PubMed

    Keefer, Kateryna V; Taylor, Graeme J; Parker, James D A; Inslegers, Ruth; Michael Bagby, R

    2015-08-30

    The Toronto Structured Interview for Alexithymia (TSIA) has been translated into Dutch, German, and Italian and validated in clinical and nonclinical populations. In order to make valid comparisons across different population groups, it is important to establish measurement equivalence across variables such as language, gender, and clinical status. Our objective in this study was to establish measurement equivalence in relation to language (English, Dutch, German, and Italian), gender, and clinical status (non-clinical, psychiatric, and medical) using differential item functioning (DIF). The sample was composed of 842 adults representing the four language groups, all of whom had undergone the TSIA assessment as part of several earlier studies. Ordinal Logistic Regression was employed to explore DIF of the TSIA items. Although several items were found to exhibit DIF for language, gender, or clinical status, all of these effects were within an acceptable range. These findings provide support for the measurement equivalence of the TSIA, and allow researchers to reliably compare results from studies using the TSIA across the four language groups, gender, and clinical status. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

  11. Alexithymia and childhood family environment.

    PubMed

    Kench, S; Irwin, H J

    2000-06-01

    Little research has been conducted on the contribution of environmental factors to the development of alexithymic tendencies. Ninety-two university students were surveyed to determine if features of the childhood family environment could predict the level of alexithymic tendencies. The 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale was used to measure alexithymic tendencies. Also surveyed retrospectively were dimensions of the childhood family environment such as the family's level of cohesion, expressiveness, conflict, disengagement, sociability, enmeshment, organization, and parenting style. Multiple-regression analysis showed that the set of family-environment variables did predict alexithymia scores. The sole family variable independently predictive of global alexithymic tendencies was expressiveness, although other family variables were predictive of individual components of alexithymia. The findings are consistent with the view that the childhood family environment has a bearing on the development of alexithymic tendencies, although other explanations by no means are excluded.

  12. [Alexithymia and automatic activation of emotional-evaluative information].

    PubMed

    Suslow, T; Arolt, V; Junghanns, K

    1998-05-01

    The emotional valence of stimuli seems to be stored in the associative network and is automatically activated on the mere observation of a stimulus. A principal characteristic of alexithymia represents the difficulty to symbolize emotions verbally. The present study examines the relationship between the dimensions of the alexithymia construct and emotional priming effects in a word-word paradigma. The 20-Item Toronto Alexithymia Scale was administered to 32 subjects along with two word reading tasks as measures of emotional and semantic priming effects. The subscale "difficulty describing feelings" correlated as expected negatively with the negative inhibition effect. The subscale "externally oriented thinking" tended to correlate negatively with the negative facilitation effect. Thus, these dimensions of alexithymia are inversely related to the degree of automatic emotional priming. In summary, there is evidence for an impaired structural integration of emotion and language in persons with difficulties in describing feelings. Poor "symbolization" of emotions in alexithymia is discussed from a cognitive perspective.

  13. Male sexuality and regulation of emotions: a study on the association between alexithymia and erectile dysfunction (ED).

    PubMed

    Michetti, P M; Rossi, R; Bonanno, D; Tiesi, A; Simonelli, C

    2006-01-01

    Alexithymia is a multidimensional construct that describes a constellation of personality features characterised by difficulties in differentiating, identifying and communicating emotions. The purpose of the present study was to investigate prevalence of alexithymia in outpatients with erectile dysfunction (ED), both in the psychogenic lifelong type (PLED) and in the acquired one (PAED). ED severity was evaluated with the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) and alexithymia was measured using the Italian version of the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20). The results suggest a high incidence of alexithymic characteristics in patients with psychogenic ED, a positive correlation between the alexithymia level and ED severity in patients with PAED and statistically significant differences in the alexithymia level between the two subgroups PLED and PAED. We assumed that alexithymia contributes to the origin of the PLED, and to a more severe manifestation of ED, once it appears in the acquired form.

  14. Alexithymia and emotional regulation: A cluster analytical approach

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Alexithymia has been a familiar conception of psychosomatic phenomenon. The aim of this study was to investigate whether there were subtypes of alexithymia associating with different traits of emotional expression and regulation among a group of healthy college students. Methods 1788 healthy college students were administered with the Chinese version of the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) and another set of questionnaires assessing emotion status and regulation. A hierarchical cluster analysis was conducted on the three factor scores of the TAS-20. The cluster solution was cross-validated by the corresponding emotional regulation. Results The results indicated there were four subtypes of alexithymia, namely extrovert-high alexithymia (EHA), general-high alexithymia (GHA), introvert-high alexithymia (IHA) and non-alexithymia (NA). The GHA was characterized by general high scores on all three factors, the IHA was characterized by high scores on difficulty identifying feelings and difficulty describing feelings but low score on externally oriented cognitive style of thinking, the EHA was characterized by high score on externally oriented cognitive style of thinking but normal score on the others, and the NA got low score on all factors. The GHA and IHA were dominant by suppressive character of emotional regulation and expression with worse emotion status as compared to the EHA and NA. Conclusions The current findings suggest there were four subtypes of alexithymia characterized by different emotional regulation manifestations. PMID:21345180

  15. Alexithymia and polysomnographic measures of sleep in healthy adults.

    PubMed

    Bazydlo, R; Lumley, M A; Roehrs, T

    2001-01-01

    This study examined associations between alexithymia and objective characteristics of sleep (latencies, stages, and amount and patterning of REM sleep) that may contribute to subjective reports of poor sleep quality and impaired dream recall among alexithymic people. Fifty healthy, normally sleeping adults from the community completed the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale and slept uninterrupted for one night in the laboratory while polysomnography was conducted. Various measures of sleep latency, sleep stages, and REM sleep-related variables were obtained, and analyses correlated these sleep measures with alexithymia, controlling for age, sex, and level of depressed affect. Higher alexithymia scores were significantly related to increased stage 1 (light) sleep and decreased stage 3/4 (deep) sleep. Alexithymia was unrelated to overall sleep efficiency or percentage of stage 2 sleep. Alexithymia was related to more frequent REM episodes and more stage 1 sleep during and immediately after REM episodes but was unrelated to the absolute amount of REM sleep. Alexithymia was also related to an earlier onset of the first REM episode. Alexithymia is associated with more light sleep and less deep sleep, which may contribute to subjective reports of poor sleep and increased sleepiness, fatigue, and somatic symptoms. Although alexithymia is not associated with an overall reduction of REM sleep, the increased frequency of episodes of REM that are interrupted and followed by light sleep rather than complete awakenings may contribute to limited dream recall.

  16. Alexithymia partly predicts pain, poor health and social difficulties in patients with temporomandibular disorders.

    PubMed

    Mingarelli, A; Casagrande, M; Di Pirchio, R; Nizzi, S; Parisi, C; Loy, B C; Solano, L; Rampello, A; Di Paolo, C

    2013-10-01

    Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) are functional diseases of the masticatory system; their symptoms are clicking, difficulty opening the mouth wide, ear pain, facial pain and headaches. The relationships among distress, emotional factors and TMD are well known. It was shown that patients with TMD have little awareness of their inner states and emotions, and it was found that those reporting oro-facial pain presented higher alexithymia than did asymptomatic people. Other authors confirmed that alexithymia was higher in the painful TMD group than controls. This study was aimed to evaluate whether alexithymia and its components can be considered as predisposing factors for pain severity, poor health and greater social difficulties in patients with TMD. One hundred thirty-three patients received a diagnosis of TMD and completed the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale. Multiple stepwise regressions showed that alexithymia and age explained 10% of the pain and 31% of poor health and also that alexithymia explained 7% of social difficulty. A direct comparison of patients with TMD based on alexithymia revealed a higher presence of pain in alexithymic patients with TMD than in those characterised by moderate or no alexithymia. In conclusion, alexithymia partly predicts pain, poor health and social difficulties in patients with TMD. Furthermore, alexithymic patients have more pain than those with moderate or low alexithymia.

  17. Alexithymia, hypertension, and subclinical atherosclerosis in the general population.

    PubMed

    Grabe, Hans Joergen; Schwahn, Christian; Barnow, Sven; Spitzer, Carsten; John, Ulrich; Freyberger, Harald J; Schminke, Ulf; Felix, Stephan; Völzke, Henry

    2010-02-01

    As a personality trait, alexithymia is assumed to present a longstanding risk factor for emotional dysregulation that also affects the autonomic nervous system. Therefore, we hypothesize that alexithymia is associated with hypertension and carotid atherosclerosis in the general population. A total of 1168 subjects (age <65 years) from the Study of Health in Pomerania (SHIP) were eligible for complete case analyses. Alexithymia was assessed with the 20-item Toronto-Alexithymia-Scale (TAS-20). An extensive interview and physical examination were performed. Extracranial carotid arteries were examined bilaterally with B-mode ultrasonography. Regression models were adjusted for sociodemographic factors and classical risk factors for cardiovascular diseases and mental distress. In the adjusted logistic regression models, alexithymia was significantly associated with hypertension (OR=1.60; 95% CI=1.14-2.25) and with atherosclerotic plaques (OR=1.70; 95% CI=1.14-2.54). Hypertension changed the effect of alexithymia on atherosclerosis only marginally (OR=1.76 to 1.70). Alexithymia may represent a relevant and independent risk factor for hypertension and carotid atherosclerosis at the population level. None of the putative confounders mediated a relevant proportion of the risk. Prospective studies are needed to confirm this association. 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Alexithymia and incidental learning of emotional words.

    PubMed

    Suslow, Thomas; Kersting, Anette; Arolt, Volker

    2003-12-01

    Alexithymia is thought to reflect a deficit in the cognitive capacity to process emotions. Prior research suggests that emotional valence has a memory enhancing effect in poor conceptual learning conditions. This study addressed the question of whether incidental learning of emotional words is a function of alexithymic tendencies. Incidental learning is unintentional learning that results from other activities. The 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) and measures of depression and verbal intelligence were administered to 30 nonclinical subjects (15 women, 15 men) whose mean age was 35.5 yr. (SD = 8.6) along with a sequential word-word evaluation task. Partial correlations indicated that the TAS-20 subscale, Difficulties identifying feelings was negatively correlated with recall of positive distractor words but not with recall of neutral distractors or recall of positive or negative target words. Emotional valence appears to have less organizational power in the memory of individuals with difficulties in recognizing their feelings.

  19. Art Therapy and Alexithymia.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Heiman, Marilyn; And Others

    1994-01-01

    Investigated effect of alexithymia upon person's art production. Administered Toronto Alexithymia Scale and 100-mm analog scales for depression and anxiety to 100 psychiatric patients. Each subject drew and identified his/her illness. All subjects, even those quantified as alexithymic, were able to graphically communicate their illness using these…

  20. Stability of alexithymia in late adolescence: results of a 4-year follow-up study.

    PubMed

    Karukivi, Max; Pölönen, Tuukka; Vahlberg, Tero; Saikkonen, Suvi; Saarijärvi, Simo

    2014-10-30

    The aim of the present study was to assess the stability of alexithymia in adolescents and the effects of parental factors and social support thereon. The sample comprised 315 late adolescents, of whom 259 were female and 56 male. At baseline, the mean age of the subjects was 19 years (range 17-21 years). The follow-up period was 4 years (2008-2012). The 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) was used for the assessment of alexithymia both at baseline and follow-up. The Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS) and the Parental Bonding Instrument (PBI) were used as measures at baseline. Regarding absolute stability, the changes in the TAS-20 total scores and two subscales (DIF and EOT) were statistically significant but the effect sizes for the changes were small (Cohen׳s d 0.21-0.24). The test-retest correlations for the TAS-20 total and subscale scores were high (ρ=0.50-0.64, P<0.001), indicating relative stability. While several parental and social support variables were associated with alexithymia at baseline, low social support from friends was the only to predict higher alexithymia at follow-up. Alexithymia is a stable personality trait also in late adolescence. Low social support from friends is related to alexithymia in young adulthood.

  1. Emotional dispositions and substance use: mediating effect of alexithymia.

    PubMed

    Bonnet, Agnès; Bréjard, Vincent; Pedinielli, Jean-Louis

    2013-02-01

    Substance consumption behaviors can range from use to abuse, the latter including addictive behaviors. Relationships between emotionality, alexithymia and substance-consumption behaviors among young adults were investigated through an explanatory model wherein alexithymia fulfills a mediating function by acting as an emotion-adjustment process. 256 students (62.1% women) with a mean age of 20.7 yr. (SD = 1.6), enrolled at two universities in southern France took part in the study. They filled out a substance-use questionnaire, the Emotionnalité positive et négative a 31 (EPN-31) emotionality scale, and the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20). Mediation analyses validated the hypothesis that emotional dimensions of alexithymia act as mediators between emotionality (negative emotionality and emotional arousal) and substance use. As a mediating factor, alexithymia may be regarded as a type of operational process that regulates emotions. These results could have important implications for clinical and therapeutic applications focusing on emotion-regulation strategies and substance use.

  2. Gambling Disorder and Affect Regulation: The Role of Alexithymia and Attachment Style.

    PubMed

    Di Trani, Michela; Renzi, Alessia; Vari, Chiara; Zavattini, Giulio Cesare; Solano, Luigi

    2016-08-23

    The aim of the present study was to explore the dimensions of alexithymia and attachment styles in a group of disordered gamblers and to evaluate the relationship between alexithymia, attachment styles, and the severity of gambling disorder. Sixty disordered gamblers diagnosed according to the diagnostic and statistical manual-5 filled out the Kurzfragebogen zum Glücksspielverhalten, the 20-Item Toronto Alexithymia Scale, and the Experiences in Close Relationships-Revised. Approximately 70 % of the sample displayed 'intermediate' and 'severe' gambling severity levels on the Kurzfragebogen zum Glücksspielverhalten, and 77 % showed 'high' or 'borderline' levels of alexithymia on the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (mean = 56.40). Regarding attachment styles, 70 % of the sample displayed an 'insecure' attachment, with a particularly high prevalence of the 'fearful' style (26.66 %). A linear regression analysis revealed that only the anxiety dimension of the Experiences in Close Relationships questionnaire predicted the severity of gambling. Our data appear to confirm that gambling disorder is characterised by emotional and relational dysregulation, and that pathological gambling behaviours may serve as external regulators of internal undifferentiated emotional states.

  3. Delayed ejaculation and alexithymia: what is the relationship?

    PubMed Central

    Michetti, Paolo Maria; Eleuteri, Stefano; Giuliani, Marta; Rossi, Roberta; Simonelli, Chiara

    2013-01-01

    Delayed Ejaculation (DE) is probably the least studied and understood of the male sexual dysfunctions (MSD). There is still little unanimity concerning its psychological/interpersonal aetiology. Previous studies found that MSD are strongly related with alexithymia, a multifaceted personality construct that describes a disturbance in the regulation of emotions.The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of alexithymia in men with DE and correlate alexithymia levels with DE severity. According to specific features of the symptoms, we hypothesized that alexithymia would not be correlated with this specific sexual disorder. 54 outpatients with a diagnosis of DE assessed at the Institute of Clinical Sexology and the Urology Department of Sapienza, University in Rome were enrolled in the study. DE was diagnosed after a specialist examination and according to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders -IV-TR criteria. Participants were provided with the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (20 items; TAS-20), a self-measure of the Intravaginal Ejaculation Latency Time and an ad hoc questionnaire to collect anamnestic data. 9.3% of patients could be categorized as alexithymics, 9.3% of them as borderline, while 81.4% of the sample was found to be non-alexithymic. The overall average TAS-20 score was 45.46. Results show that alexithymia is correlated neither with the presence of DE nor with its severity, in contrast to other MSDs, where this condition was found in about 30% of patients. The data presented suggest that DE, although not correlated to alexithymia, is probably related to other psychogenic features such as hypercontrol configuration. This paper can contribute to the understanding of DE, by excluding one of the possible etiological factors, previously found to be important in the onset and the maintenance of the other MSDs. More studies are needed in order to better understand DE and provide recommendations about treatment. PMID:24627775

  4. Alexithymia and suicide ideation in a sample of patients with binge eating disorder.

    PubMed

    Carano, Alessandro; De Berardis, Domenico; Campanella, Daniela; Serroni, Nicola; Ferri, Francesca; Di Iorio, Giuseppe; Acciavatti, Tiziano; Mancini, Lorena; Mariani, Giorgio; Martinotti, Giovanni; Moschetta, Francesco Saverio; Di Giannantonio, Massimo

    2012-01-01

    The goal of this cross-sectional study was to evaluate the relationships between alexithymia and suicide ideation in 80 adult outpatients with a DSM-IV diagnosis of binge eating disorder (BED). Alexithymia was measured with the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20); suicide ideation was assessed with the Scale of Suicide Ideation (SSI); severity of BED was assessed with the Binge Eating Scale (BES); and depressive and anxiety symptoms were evaluated, respectively, with the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) and the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (Ham-A). Prevalence of current suicide ideation was 27.5% (n = 22) in this sample and 10 subjects (12.5%) had attempted suicide at some time in their lives. Subjects with alexithymia had more significant suicide ideation, a higher prevalence of current suicide ideation, and more previous suicide attempts than those without alexithymia. In a linear regression model, higher MADRS scores and higher scores on the Difficulty in Identifying Feelings/Difficulty in Describing Feelings dimensions of the TAS-20 were associated with increased suicide ideation. Suicidal behavior is no less common in BED than in other eating disorders. Individuals with BED may show increased suicide ideation, especially in the presence of alexithymia and depressive symptoms, even if these symptoms are subclinical. The authors also discuss limitations of this study and future research needs.

  5. How Does Emotional Context Modulate Response Inhibition in Alexithymia: Electrophysiological Evidence from an ERP Study

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Fengqiong; Cao, Zhaolun; Zhu, Chunyan; Cai, Zhu; Hu, Panpan; Pu, Hui; Wang, Kai

    2012-01-01

    Background Alexithymia, characterized by difficulties in identifying and describing feelings, is highly indicative of a broad range of psychiatric disorders. Several studies have also discovered the response inhibition ability impairment in alexithymia. However, few studies on alexithymic individuals have specifically examined how emotional context modulates response inhibition procedure. In order to investigate emotion cognition interaction in alexithymia, we analyzed the spatiao-temporal features of such emotional response inhibition by the approaches of event-related potentials and neural source-localization. Method The study participants included 15 subjects with high alexithymia scores on the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (alexithymic group) and 15 matched subjects with low alexithymia scores (control group). Subjects were instructed to perform a modified emotional Go/Nogo task while their continuous electroencephalography activities were synchronously recorded. The task includes 3 categories of emotional contexts (positive, negative and neutral) and 2 letters (“M” and “W”) centered in the screen. Participants were told to complete go and nogo actions based on the letters. We tested the influence of alexithymia in this emotional Go/Nogo task both in behavioral level and related neural activities of N2 and P3 ERP components. Results We found that negatively valenced context elicited larger central P3 amplitudes of the Nogo–Go difference wave in the alexithymic group than in the control group. Furthermore, source-localization analyses implicated the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) as the neural generator of the Nogo-P3. Conclusion These findings suggest that difficulties in identifying feelings, particularly in negative emotions, is a major feature of alexithymia, and the ACC plays a critical role in emotion-modulated response inhibition related to alexithymia. PMID:23227242

  6. Alexithymia in chronic and episodic migraine: a comparative study.

    PubMed

    Galli, Federica; Caputi, Marcella; Sances, Grazia; Vegni, Elena; Bottiroli, Sara; Nappi, Giuseppe; Tassorelli, Cristina

    2017-06-01

    Alexithymia is a term used to describe a disorder where patients have difficulty in expressing their own feelings in words. The analysis of alexithymia in patients suffering from chronic migraine (CM) or episodic migraine (EM) compared to healthy controls. Two clinical samples formed by 80 CM patients (21 males and 59 females, mean age: 44.65) and 44 EM patients (8 males and 36 females, mean age: 42.18) were enrolled. A group of 67 healthy subjects served as controls (26 males and 41 females, mean age: 41.21). All subjects were requested to fill in the 20-item version of the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20). We found a statistically significant difference between groups in Factor 1 (difficulty in describing feelings), F(2, 191) = 7.96, p < 0.001, and in TAS total, F(2, 191) = 5.37, p = 0.005. Post-hoc analyses revealed that CM patients had higher scores in TAS factor 1 and in TAS total than healthy controls. There were no significant differences between CM and EM patients, even if CM sufferers reported a trend towards higher scores in each TAS factor as well as in TAS total. Alexithymia emerges as a potential characteristic trait of migraine, regardless of disease severity.

  7. Influencing factors of alexithymia in Chinese medical students: a cross-sectional study.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Yaxin; Luo, Ting; Liu, Jie; Qu, Bo

    2017-04-04

    A much higher prevalence of alexithymia has been reported in medical students compared with the general population, and alexithymia is a risk factor that increases vulnerability to mental disorders. Our aim was to evaluate the level of alexithymia in Chinese medical students and to explore its influencing factors. A cross-sectional study of 1,950 medical students at Shenyang Medical College was conducted in May 2014 to evaluate alexithymia in medical students using the Chinese version of the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20). The reliability of the questionnaire was assessed by Cronbach's α coefficient and mean inter-item correlations. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was used to evaluate construct validity. The relationships between alexithymia and influencing factors were examined using Student's t-test, analysis of variance, and multiple linear regression analysis. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS 21.0. Of the 1,950 medical students, 1,886 (96.7%) completed questionnaires. Overall, Cronbach's α coefficient of the TAS-20 questionnaire was 0.868. The results of CFA showed that the original three-factor structure produced an acceptable fit to the data. By univariate analysis, gender, grade (academic year of study), smoking behavior, alcohol use, physical activity, history of living with parents during childhood, and childhood trauma were influencing factors of TAS-20 scores (p < 0.05). Multiple linear regression analysis showed that gender, physical activity, grade, living with parents, and childhood trauma also had statistically significant association with total TAS-20 score (p < 0.05). Gender, physical activity, grade, history of living with parents during childhood, and childhood trauma were all factors determining the level of alexithymia. To prevent alexithymia, it will be advisable to promote adequate physical activity and pay greater attention to male medical students and those who are in the final year of training.

  8. Alexithymia and reduced white matter integrity in schizophrenia: a diffusion tensor imaging study on impaired emotional self-awareness.

    PubMed

    Kubota, Manabu; Miyata, Jun; Sasamoto, Akihiko; Kawada, Ryosaku; Fujimoto, Shinsuke; Tanaka, Yusuke; Sawamoto, Nobukatsu; Fukuyama, Hidenao; Takahashi, Hidehiko; Murai, Toshiya

    2012-11-01

    Alexithymia is characterized by deficits in emotional self-awareness. A number of previous studies have revealed impaired emotional self-awareness in schizophrenia. Although the pathology of schizophrenia is thought to involve disrupted white matter integrity, its relationship with alexithymia remains unclear. The present study investigated associations between alexithymia and white matter integrity, to seek the neural basis of impaired emotional self-awareness in schizophrenia. Forty-four patients with schizophrenia and 44 age-, gender- and predicted IQ level-matched healthy controls underwent diffusion-weighted imaging. Alexithymia was assessed using the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20). We applied tract-based spatial statistics to investigate the correlation between the TAS-20 total score and white matter fractional anisotropy (FA). TAS-20 scores were significantly higher in patients than in controls. In the patient group only, FA was negatively correlated with the TAS-20 total score in the corpus callosum, mostly the left part of the superior and inferior longitudinal fasciculi, the inferior occipito-frontal fasciculus, the anterior and posterior thalamic radiation, and the precuneus white matter. These results suggest that schizophrenia is associated with alexithymia, and that reduced white matter integrity within these regions constitutes an important pathology underlying impaired self-emotional awareness in schizophrenia.

  9. The Big Five personality dimensions and mental health: The mediating role of alexithymia.

    PubMed

    Atari, Mohammad; Yaghoubirad, Mahsa

    2016-12-01

    The role of personality constructs on mental health has attracted research attention in the last few decades. The Big Five personality traits have been introduced as parsimonious dimensions of non-pathological traits. The five-factor model of personality includes neuroticism, agreeableness, conscientiousness, extraversion, and openness to experience. The present study aimed to examine the relationship between the Big Five dimensions and mental health considering the mediating role of alexithymia as an important emotional-processing construct. A total of 257 participants were recruited from non-clinical settings in the general population. All participants completed the Ten-Item Personality Inventory (TIPI), 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), and General Health Questionnaire-28 (GHQ-28). Structural equation modeling was utilized to examine the hypothesized mediated model. Findings indicated that the Big Five personality dimensions could significantly predict scores of alexithymia. Moreover, alexithymia could predict mental health scores as measured by indices of depression, anxiety, social functioning, and somatic symptoms. The fit indices (GFI=0.94; CFI=0.91; TLI=0.90; RMSEA=0.071; CMIN/df=2.29) indicated that the model fits the data. Therefore, the relationship between the Big Five personality dimensions and mental health is mediated by alexithymia.

  10. Interoceptive–reflective regions differentiate alexithymia traits in depersonalization disorder

    PubMed Central

    Lemche, Erwin; Brammer, Michael J.; David, Anthony S.; Surguladze, Simon A.; Phillips, Mary L.; Sierra, Mauricio; Williams, Steven C.R.; Giampietro, Vincent P.

    2013-01-01

    It is unclear to what degree depersonalization disorder (DPD) and alexithymia share abnormal brain mechanisms of emotional dysregulation. We compared cerebral processing of facial expressions of emotion in individuals with DPD to normal controls (NC). We presented happy and sad emotion expressions in increasing intensities from neutral (0%) through mild (50%) to intense (100%) to DPD and non-referred NC subjects in an implicit event-related fMRI design, and correlated respective brain activations with responses on the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) and its three subscales F1-F3. The TAS-20 predicts clinical diagnosis of DPD with a unique variance proportion of 38%. Differential regression analysis was utilized to ascertain brain regions for each alexithymia subscale. Differential regions of total alexithymia severity for happy emotion were the globus pallidus externus; for identifying feelings (TAS-20 F1 subscale), the right anterior insula; for description of feelings (F2), the right dorsal mid-anterior cingulate gyrus (BA 24); and for externally oriented cognitive style (F3), the left paracingulate gyrus (BA 32). For sad emotion, the differential region for the total TAS-20 score was the dorsal anterior cingulate gyrus (BA 24); for TAS-20 F1, the left inferior anterior insula; for TAS-20 F2, the right PCC (BA 31); and for TAS-20 F3, the right orbital gyrus (BA 10). Supporting our hypotheses, the ascertained brain regions for TAS-20 subscales subserve interoception, monitoring and reflection of internal states and emotion. The presented analyses provide evidence that alexithymia plays a substantial role in emotional dysregulation in DPD, presumably based on restrictions in interoception. PMID:23932225

  11. Alexithymia associated with nightmare distress in idiopathic REM sleep behavior disorder.

    PubMed

    Godin, Isabelle; Montplaisir, Jaques; Gagnon, Jean-François; Nielsen, Tore

    2013-12-01

    Idiopathic REM sleep behavior disorder (iRBD) is characterized by atypical REM sleep motor activity, vivid dreams and nightmares, and dream-enacting behaviors that can result in injuries to the patient and bed partner. It is also a known predictor of Parkinson disease (PD). Alexithymia has been associated with disturbances in sleep and dreaming (e.g., nightmares) and is a non-motor symptom of PD. We assessed alexithymia and disturbed dreaming in iRBD patients with the aim of determining if these two factors are elevated and interrelated among this population. Questionnaire study of clinically diagnosed patients. Clinical sleep disorders center. Thirty-two iRBD patients and 30 healthy age- and sex-matched control participants. Participants completed the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), the Dream Questionnaire, and the Beck Depression Inventory. iRBD patients obtained higher TAS-20 total scores (62.16 ± 13.90) than did controls (52.84 ± 7.62; F 1,59 = 10.44, P < 0.01), even when controlling for depressive symptoms, and more frequently attained the suggested cutoff for alexithymia than did controls (P < 0.01). iRBD patients obtained higher scores on the Difficulty Identifying Feelings alexithymia subscale. For both iRBD and control groups, the Difficulty Indentifying Feelings subscale correlated positively with the Nightmare Distress scale of the Dream Questionnaire. Elevated alexithymia scores among idiopathic rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder patients, and especially a difficulty in identifying feelings, parallels evidence of dysautonomia in this population. The higher incidence of distressing nightmares and the association of nightmares with alexithymia further extend similar findings for both clinical and non-clinical samples and suggest that an affect regulation disturbance may be common to the two sets of symptoms.

  12. [Alexithymia and anger in women with fibromyalgia syndrome].

    PubMed

    Güleç, Hüseyin; Sayar, Kemal; Topbaş, Murat; Karkucak, Murat; Ak, Ismail

    2004-01-01

    Fibromyalgia syndrome is characterized by both somatic and psychic symptoms and it is suggested that psychic factors contribute to the clinical presentation of this syndrome. This study was planned to have a better understanding of fibromyalgia through elaborating the role of alexithymia and anger in the pathogenesis of this illness. The study was carried out in the Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation outpatient clinic with 101 women with fibromyalgia syndrome, 30 women with rheumatoid arthritis and 59 healthy women with no current or past medical history. The subjects were evaluated by the Visual Analog Scale, Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20 items, Spielberger State-Trait Anger Inventory, Beck Depression Scale, Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire and a sociodemographic data form. All these groups were similar to each other in means of age, years of education, marital and economical status. In the fibromyalgia syndrome group, the scores of anxiety and anger-in were calculated significantly higher than other groups. The depression and alexithymia scores were found higher than healthy group. These findings suggest that fibromyalgia patients suffer more anxiety and anger toward oneself, which is anger-in, than rheumatoid arthritis patients. Though the patient groups were more alexithymic than the healthy group, alexitimia scores of the two patient groups were not different. This situation suggest that anger-in, which is suppressed and unexpressed anger style is a part of the fibromyalgia syndrome together as well as high anxiety.

  13. Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms in first-time myocardial infarction patients: roles of attachment and alexithymia.

    PubMed

    Gao, Wen; Zhao, Jing; Li, Yang; Cao, Feng-Lin

    2015-11-01

    To explore the roles of attachment and alexithymia in the severity of post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms and to specify the relationship between sub-dimensions of attachment, alexithymia and posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms in patients with first-time myocardial infarction in mainland China. Patients experiencing myocardial infarction have a risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms. However, there have been few studies on the roles of attachment and alexithymia. A cross-sectional survey design. Ninety-seven patients participated in the assessment of post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms, attachment and alexithymia from June-December in 2012. To assess post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms and their correlates, we administered the Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Checklist-Civilian Version, the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale and the Experiences in Close Relationships Scale 5-17 days after the remission of first myocardial infarction attack. Twenty-five (25·77%) patients met the criteria of posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms. Greater attachment anxiety and avoidance were associated with more severe posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms. Except for externally oriented thinking, all dimensions of alexithymia were significantly correlated with post-traumatic stress symptoms. In the regression model, attachment anxiety and difficulties identifying feelings were found to be predictive and the total regression equation explained 24·2% variance of posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms among myocardial infarction patients. First-time myocardial infarction patients were at risk of developing posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms. Attachment anxiety and difficulties identifying feelings were positively associated with posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms in the early stage of myocardial infarction rehabilitation. It is essential to evaluate the causal relationship between attachment, alexithymia and posttraumatic stress disorder

  14. Association between the Catechol-O-Methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met Polymorphism and Alexithymia in Patients with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Koh, Min Jung; Kang, Jee In; Namkoong, Kee; Lee, Su Young

    2016-01-01

    Purpose Alexithymia, defined as a deficit in the ability to recognize and describe one's own feelings, may be related to the development and maintenance of obsessive-compulsive symptoms. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met polymorphism and alexithymia in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Materials and Methods We recruited 244 patients with OCD (169 males, 75 females). Alexithymia was assessed using the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), and genotyping of the COMT Val158Met polymorphism was evaluated. Results Patients with the COMT Val/Val genotype had significantly higher total and "difficulty identifying feelings" (DIF) subdimension scores than those with the Val/Met or Met/Met genotypes. Patients with the COMT Val/Val genotype had significantly higher "difficulty describing feelings" (DDF) subdimension scores than those with the COMT Val/Met genotype. However, there were no differences in the scores for the "externally oriented thinking" (EOT) subdimension among the three genotypes. Conclusion These results indicate that the high-activity Val allele of the COMT Val158Met polymorphism is associated with increased alexithymic traits in patients with OCD. The present finding suggests that alexithymia is an endophenotype of OCD that is mediated by the COMT Val158Met polymorphism. PMID:26996573

  15. Association between the Catechol-O-Methyltransferase (COMT) Val¹⁵⁸Met Polymorphism and Alexithymia in Patients with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.

    PubMed

    Koh, Min Jung; Kang, Jee In; Namkoong, Kee; Lee, Su Young; Kim, Se Joo

    2016-05-01

    Alexithymia, defined as a deficit in the ability to recognize and describe one's own feelings, may be related to the development and maintenance of obsessive-compulsive symptoms. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val¹⁵⁸Met polymorphism and alexithymia in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). We recruited 244 patients with OCD (169 males, 75 females). Alexithymia was assessed using the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), and genotyping of the COMT Val¹⁵⁸Met polymorphism was evaluated. Patients with the COMT Val/Val genotype had significantly higher total and "difficulty identifying feelings" (DIF) subdimension scores than those with the Val/Met or Met/Met genotypes. Patients with the COMT Val/Val genotype had significantly higher "difficulty describing feelings" (DDF) subdimension scores than those with the COMT Val/Met genotype. However, there were no differences in the scores for the "externally oriented thinking" (EOT) subdimension among the three genotypes. These results indicate that the high-activity Val allele of the COMT Val¹⁵⁸Met polymorphism is associated with increased alexithymic traits in patients with OCD. The present finding suggests that alexithymia is an endophenotype of OCD that is mediated by the COMT Val¹⁵⁸Met polymorphism.

  16. Alexithymia Associated with Nightmare Distress in Idiopathic REM Sleep Behavior Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Godin, Isabelle; Montplaisir, Jaques; Gagnon, Jean-François; Nielsen, Tore

    2013-01-01

    Study Objectives: Idiopathic REM sleep behavior disorder (iRBD) is characterized by atypical REM sleep motor activity, vivid dreams and nightmares, and dream-enacting behaviors that can result in injuries to the patient and bed partner. It is also a known predictor of Parkinson disease (PD). Alexithymia has been associated with disturbances in sleep and dreaming (e.g., nightmares) and is a non-motor symptom of PD. We assessed alexithymia and disturbed dreaming in iRBD patients with the aim of determining if these two factors are elevated and interrelated among this population. Design: Questionnaire study of clinically diagnosed patients. Setting: Clinical sleep disorders center. Patients or participants: Thirty-two iRBD patients and 30 healthy age- and sex-matched control participants. Measurements and Results: Participants completed the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), the Dream Questionnaire, and the Beck Depression Inventory. iRBD patients obtained higher TAS-20 total scores (62.16 ± 13.90) than did controls (52.84 ± 7.62; F1,59 = 10.44, P < 0.01), even when controlling for depressive symptoms, and more frequently attained the suggested cutoff for alexithymia than did controls (P < 0.01). iRBD patients obtained higher scores on the Difficulty Identifying Feelings alexithymia subscale. For both iRBD and control groups, the Difficulty Indentifying Feelings subscale correlated positively with the Nightmare Distress scale of the Dream Questionnaire. Conclusions: Elevated alexithymia scores among idiopathic rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder patients, and especially a difficulty in identifying feelings, parallels evidence of dysautonomia in this population. The higher incidence of distressing nightmares and the association of nightmares with alexithymia further extend similar findings for both clinical and non-clinical samples and suggest that an affect regulation disturbance may be common to the two sets of symptoms. Citation: Godin I

  17. Relationships between the emotional and cognitive components of alexithymia and dependency in alcoholics.

    PubMed

    Loas, G; Otmani, O; Lecercle, C; Jouvent, R

    2000-09-25

    Several authors have shown that alexithymia, emotional and perceptual dependency characterize patients suffering from substance abuse. The aim of the study is to test the hypothesis that the emotional and cognitive components of alexithymia are associated with dependency in alcoholics. Three groups were investigated: 60 inpatients meeting the DSM-IV criteria for alcohol dependence, 57 healthy subjects, 144 university students. All subjects completed the following rating scales: The 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), the Interpersonal Dependency Inventory (IDI), the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and the Embedded Figures Test (EFT). Partial correlations, using the BDI score as constant, were calculated. In normal subjects, the 'Emotion' subscale of the TAS-20 correlated with the 'Lack of social self-confidence' subscale of the IDI and the 'Cognitive' subscale of the TAS-20 did not correlate with the EFT score. In alcoholics, the 'Cognitive' subscale of the TAS-20 correlated with the 'Lack of social self-confidence' subscale, with the EFT score and with the 'Affirmation of autonomy' subscale. A particular cognitive style characterized by externally oriented thinking, affirmation of autonomy as denial of emotional dependency and field dependence could characterize alcoholics.

  18. Alexithymia in healthy women: a brain morphology study.

    PubMed

    Borsci, Genoveffa; Boccardi, Marina; Rossi, Roberta; Rossi, Giuseppe; Perez, Jorge; Bonetti, Matteo; Frisoni, Giovanni B

    2009-04-01

    Alexithymia relates to difficulty recognizing and describing own feelings. Recent literature shows that specific structures process emotions. Aim of this study was to investigate whether alexithymia is associated with a specific cerebral morphology of candidate structures in healthy adults. Fifty-four female volunteers were enrolled in the study and the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) was self-administered. Gray matter (GM) volume was assessed with an optimized voxel-based morphometry (VBM) protocol on high-resolution 3D magnetic resonance images. The following three experiments were carried out: 1) contrast between the 14 volunteers with TAS-20 scores > or = 61 (alexithymic) and the 30 with scores < 51 (non-alexithymic), 2) correlation of TAS-20 scores on the whole sample and 3) contrast between the 14 alexithymic and 14 non-alexithymic matched by age. The significant threshold for VBM comparisons and correlation was set at p<0.005 uncorrected. The alexithymic group showed smaller GM volume in the anterior cingulate cortex (cluster size: 735 voxel no.; z=3.26; stereotaxic coordinates: -12, 22, 30) and middle temporal gyrus (256; 3.21; -60, 2, -20). Of specific biological relevance, smaller clusters were located in the anterior insula, orbitofrontal cortex and superior temporal sulcus. The opposite comparison was negative. The correlation analysis confirmed the pattern of results mainly in the left hemisphere. Our findings suggest that the ability to process emotional aspects of the self correlates with morphology of a specific set of cerebral structures known to be involved in decision making and self awareness and rich in neurons subserving social competence.

  19. [Alexithymia and links with depression and anxiety in multiple sclerosis].

    PubMed

    Chahraoui, K; Pinoit, J-M; Viegas, N; Adnet, J; Bonin, B; Moreau, T

    2008-03-01

    This study evaluates the prevalence of alexithymia in multiple sclerosis and examines the links between alexithymia, depression and anxiety. Sixty-one subjects aged between 18 and 60 years and suffering from multiple sclerosis took part in the study. The psychological assessment consisted of an interview with a psychologist and three questionnaires: the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS), the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). The prevalence of alexithymia was 42.5%, 34.4% for depression and 44.3% for anxiety (high and moderate level). The alexithymic subjects were more depressed and anxious. Results indicated positive correlations between anxiety (state and trait), depression and alexithymia scores. The various dimensions of alexithymia were found to be diversely correlated with anxiety and depression. Our results point out the importance of anxiety in multiple sclerosis and the specificity of alexithymia.

  20. Caffeine use and alexithymia in university students.

    PubMed

    Lyvers, Michael; Duric, Natalija; Thorberg, Fred Arne

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Alexithymia refers to difficulties with identifying, describing, and regulating one's own emotions. This trait dimension has been linked to risky or harmful use of alcohol and illicit drugs; however, the most widely used psychoactive drug in the world, caffeine, has not been examined previously in relation to alexithymia. The present study assessed 106 male and female university students aged 18-30 years on their caffeine use in relation to several traits, including alexithymia. The 18 participants defined as alexithymic based on their Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) scores reported consuming nearly twice as much caffeine per day as did non-alexithymic or borderline alexithymic participants. They also scored significantly higher than controls on indices of frontal lobe dysfunction as well as anxiety symptoms and sensitivity to punishment. In a hierarchical linear regression model, sensitivity to punishment negatively predicted daily caffeine intake, suggesting caffeine avoidance by trait-anxious individuals. Surprisingly, however, TAS-20 alexithymia scores positively predicted caffeine consumption. Possible reasons for the positive relationship between caffeine use and alexithymia are discussed, concluding that this outcome is tentatively consistent with the hypo-arousal model of alexithymia.

  1. Alexithymia and vaginismus: a preliminary correlation perspective.

    PubMed

    Ciocca, G; Limoncin, E; Di Tommaso, S; Gravina, G L; Di Sante, S; Carosa, E; Tullii, A; Marcozzi, A; Lenzi, A; Jannini, E A

    2013-05-01

    The aim of this study was to measure the prevalence of alexithymia and emotional dysregulation in women with vaginismus not associated with other organic or psychopathological disorders. The study involved the psychometric assessment of 41 patients with vaginismus and 100 healthy women, all of childbearing age. Alexithymia was evaluated by TAS-20 (Toronto Alexithymia Scale). Sexual function was assessed by FSFI (Female Sexual Function Index). In patients with vaginismus, the primary diagnosis of dyspareunia was excluded and an expert psychologist evaluated patients and controls according to DSM IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: 4th edition) criteria to exclude mental disorders. Over half (51.1%) of the patients with vaginismus were classified as alexithymic or borderline (alexithymic trend), compared with just 18% of the control group. In addition, there was a significant difference in the TAS-20 total scores between the two groups (P<0.0001). In terms of relative risk, women suffering from vaginismus thus have a 3.8 times higher probability of showing alexithymia than do healthy women. Vaginismus is a complex syndrome and alexithymia is far from being its only characteristic. However, we found a significant correlation between vaginismus and alexithymia. In theory, alexithymia could thus be a risk factor for vaginismus, although future studies are required to demonstrate any chain of causation between these two conditions.

  2. Family-of-origin expressiveness: measurement, meaning, and relationship to alexithymia.

    PubMed

    Yelsma, P; Hovestadt, A J; Anderson, W T; Nilsson, J E

    2000-07-01

    The need for research instruments to assess the impact of affective expressiveness within the family is evident, yet few appear to be adequately designed for this purpose. In this article, we present two studies addressing this need. In the first study, the original 40-item Family-of-Origin Scale was administered to 416 students to determine those items that constitute the factor structure. This instrument was designed to assess perceived levels of health in the family of origin but has unsubstantiated construct validity. Results from a confirmatory factor analysis indicated that the instrument has one major factor, and results from five other studies provide evidence supporting the construct validity. Face validity of this 22-item construct indicates that it assesses an individual's perceived level of global expressive atmosphere within his or her family of origin. In the second study, the new Family-of-Origin Expressive Atmosphere Scale and the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale were administered to 295 students. Students' self-reported expressive atmospheres in their family-of-origin scores were significantly correlated with the total scores of alexithymia and each of the three factors: impaired ability to identify feelings, impaired ability to describe feelings, and externally oriented thinking processes. No significant gender differences were found.

  3. Alexithymia in patients with conversion disorder.

    PubMed

    Gulpek, Demet; Kelemence Kaplan, Figen; Kesebir, Sermin; Bora, Ozlem

    2014-07-01

    In the recent years, it has been observed that alexithymia is not specified for the psychosomatic disorders. It is known that alexithymia is observed frequently in various psychiatric disorders especially in the somatoform disorders. The aim of this study is to evaluate alexithymia in the patients with the conversion disorder. The study was performed in the Psychiatry Outpatients Clinics of the Izmir Atatürk Training and Research Hospital and Erenköy Psychiatry Education and Research Hospital. A total of 93 cases-47 outpatients who were diagnosed with conversion disorder according to the DSM-IV criteria and 46 age, gender and educational level matched healthy controls-were included in the study. All the cases were assessed by a Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV and were evaluated with a questionnaire (which included demographics and clinical data), the Toronto Alexithymia Scale and the Somatosensory Amplification Scale. When the two groups were compared, the Toronto Alexithymia Scale scores (except "externally oriented thinking" subscale) and the Somatosensory Amplification Scale score of the conversion disorder group were statistically significantly higher than the control group. The number of the alexithymic cases of the patient group was significantly higher than the control group's. The level of alexithymia in conversion disorder patients, without any other psychiatric disorder, is higher than that of the healthy controls. During the evaluation of the psychological state of patients with conversion disorder, it could be useful to keep in mind the probability of them having alexithymia to determine the type of suitable therapy.

  4. Metacognition Beliefs and General Health in Predicting Alexithymia in Students.

    PubMed

    Babaei, Samaneh; Ranjbar Varandi, Shahryar; Hatami, Zohre; Gharechahi, Maryam

    2015-06-12

    The present study was conducted to investigate the role of metacognition beliefs and general health in alexithymia in Iranian students. This descriptive and correlational study included 200 participants of high schools students, selected randomly from students of two cities (Sari and Dargaz), Iran. Metacognitive Strategies Questionnaire (MCQ-30); the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) and Farsi Version of the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) were used for gathering the data. Using the Pearson's correlation method and regression, the data were analyzed. The findings indicated significant positive relationships between alexithymia and all subscales of general health. The highest correlation was between alexithymia and anxiety subscale (r=0.36, P<0.01). Also, there was a significant negative relationship between alexithymia and some metacognitive strategies. The highest significant negative relationship was seen between alexithymia and the sub-scale of risk uncontrollability (r=-0.359, P < 0.01). Based on the results of multiple regressions, three predictors explained 21% of the variance (R2=0. 21, F=7.238, P<0.01). It was found that anxiety subscale of General Health significantly predicted 13% of the variance of alexithymia (β=0.36, P<0.01) and risk uncontrollability subscale of Metacognition beliefs predicted about 8% of the variance of alexithymia (β=-0.028, P<0.01). The findings demonstrated that metacognition beliefs and general health had important role in predicting of alexithymia in students.

  5. Metacognition Beliefs and General Health in Predicting Alexithymia in Students

    PubMed Central

    Babaei, Samaneh; Varandi, Shahryar Ranjbar; Hatami, Zohre; Gharechahi, Maryam

    2016-01-01

    Objectives: The present study was conducted to investigate the role of metacognition beliefs and general health in alexithymia in Iranian students. Methods: This descriptive and correlational study included 200 participants of high schools students, selected randomly from students of two cities (Sari and Dargaz), Iran. Metacognitive Strategies Questionnaire (MCQ-30); the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) and Farsi Version of the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) were used for gathering the data. Using the Pearson’s correlation method and regression, the data were analyzed. Results: The findings indicated significant positive relationships between alexithymia and all subscales of general health. The highest correlation was between alexithymia and anxiety subscale (r=0.36, P<0.01). Also, there was a significant negative relationship between alexithymia and some metacognitive strategies. The highest significant negative relationship was seen between alexithymia and the sub-scale of risk uncontrollability (r=-0.359, P < 0.01). Based on the results of multiple regressions, three predictors explained 21% of the variance (R2=0. 21, F=7.238, P<0.01). It was found that anxiety subscale of General Health significantly predicted 13% of the variance of alexithymia (β=0.36, P<0.01) and risk uncontrollability subscale of Metacognition beliefs predicted about 8% of the variance of alexithymia (β=-0.028, P<0.01). Conclusions: The findings demonstrated that metacognition beliefs and general health had important role in predicting of alexithymia in students. PMID:26383206

  6. Alexithymia and Early Maladaptive Schemas in chronic pain patients.

    PubMed

    Saariaho, Anita S; Saariaho, Tom H; Mattila, Aino K; Karukivi, Max; Joukamaa, Matti I

    2015-08-01

    Psychological factors have an impact on subjective pain experience. The aim of this study was to explore the occurrence of alexithymia and Early Maladaptive Schemas in a sample of 271 first visit chronic pain patients of six pain clinics. The patients completed the study questionnaire consisting of the Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20, the Finnish version of the Young Schema Questionnaire short form-extended, the Beck Depression Inventory-II, and pain variables. Alexithymic patients scored higher on Early Maladaptive Schemas and had more pain intensity, pain disability and depression than nonalexithymic patients. Both alexithymia and depression correlated significantly with most Early Maladaptive Schemas. The co-occurrence of alexithymia, Early Maladaptive Schemas and depression seems to worsen the pain experience. Screening of alexithymia, depression and Early Maladaptive Schemas may help to plan psychological treatment interventions for chronic pain patients. © 2015 Scandinavian Psychological Associations and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. Parental bonding and alexithymia: a meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Thorberg, F A; Young, R McD; Sullivan, K A; Lyvers, M

    2011-04-01

    The primary purpose of this meta-analysis was to explore, clarify and report the strength of the relationship between alexithymia, as measured by the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), and parenting style as measured by the Parental Bonding Instrument (PBI). Web of Science, PsycInfo, PubMed and ProQuest: Dissertations and Theses searches were undertaken, yielding nine samples with sufficient data to be included in the meta-analysis. Evidence indicated moderate to strong relationships between maternal care and alexithymia, and between maternal care and two of the three TAS-20 alexithymia facets (Difficulties Describing Feelings and Difficulties Identifying Feelings, but not Externally Oriented Thinking). Moderate relationships were observed for both maternal- and paternal-overprotection and alexithymia respectively, and for overprotection (both maternal and paternal) and Difficulties Describing Feelings. This study is the first meta-analysis of the relationship between parenting styles and alexithymia, and findings confirm an especially strong association between maternal care and key elements of alexithymia. This review highlights the issues that still remain to be addressed in exploring the link between parenting style and alexithymia. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  8. Alexithymia is not a stable personality trait in patients with substance use disorders.

    PubMed

    de Haan, Hein; Joosten, Evelien; Wijdeveld, Toon; Boswinkel, Peter; van der Palen, Job; De Jong, Cor

    2012-06-30

    The construct of alexithymia as a vulnerability factor for substance use disorders (SUD) is under debate, because of conflicting research results regarding alexithymia as a state or trait phenomenon. The absolute and relative stability of alexithymia were evaluated in a pre-post design as part of a randomised controlled trial, controlling for several co-variates. Assessments were done with the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) and the Addiction Severity Index (EuropASI) at baseline and follow-up of a 3-month trial of inpatient Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) with or without a Shared Decision Making intervention for 187 SUD patients. Paired sample t-tests and analyses of variance were performed to assess absolute stability, intraclass correlation coefficients were calculated for relative stability and multivariate linear regression models were used to evaluate the relation between co-variates and change in alexithymia. Mean level reduction of total TAS-20 and two subfactors demonstrated no absolute stability, but change in alexithymia differed for patients with low, moderate and high alexithymia scores. Relative stability of alexithymia was moderate to high for the total population, but differed according to low, moderate and high alexithymia scores. The EuropASI "psychiatry" domain, covering anxiety and depression, was related to alexithymia, but CBT-related variables were not. In conclusion, alexithymia is partly a state-dependent phenomenon, but not a stable personality trait in this SUD population.

  9. The relationship between attachment styles and alexithymia: mediating role of defense mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Besharat, Mohammad Ali; Khajavi, Zeinab

    2013-12-01

    This study examined the mediating role of ego defense mechanisms on the relationship between attachment styles and alexithymia. Four hundred and forty-three Iranian high school students (213 boys, 230 girls) participated in this study. Participants completed Defense Styles Questionnaire (DSQ-40), Adult Attachment Inventory (AAI), and Farsi version of the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (FTAS-20). Results showed a significant negative correlation between secure attachment style and alexithymia, while avoidant and ambivalent attachment styles showed significant positive associations with alexithymia. Regression analysis indicated that defense mechanisms have a mediating role between attachment styles and alexithymia. It can be concluded that a mediation role of ego defense mechanisms on the relationship between attachment styles and alexithymia was partial. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Alexithymia and Acne Vulgaris: A Case Control Study

    PubMed Central

    Baykir, Murat; Ateş, Gülfem; Ekşioğlu, Meral

    2011-01-01

    Objective To assess relationship between alexithymia and acne vulgaris in young people. Methods A hundred and eleven subjects between 15 and 25 years of age referred to out-patient clinic of dermatology with acne and 78 subjects applied to family physician for complaints other than acne were included in patient and control groups of the study, respectively. A questionnaire to determine demographic characteristics, an acne classification to determine severity of acne and Toronto Alexithymic Scale (TAS) to assess alexithymia were used. Results The mean scores of TAS were 52.7±10.8 and 51.7±10.7 in patient and control groups, respectively. Alexitymia was determined in 23.4% of the subjects in acne group and in 24.4% of control group. No significant differences were found between groups in terms of alexithymia, intermediate alexitymia and three-factors of TAS. Conclusion Alexithymia does not appear to be related to acne vulgaris. PMID:22216042

  11. The associations between pathological narcissism, alexithymia and disordered eating attitudes among participants of pro-anorexic online communities.

    PubMed

    Zerach, Gadi

    2014-01-01

    This study investigated the relationships between pathological narcissism, alexithymia, and disordered eating attitudes among participants of pro-anorexic online communities. Specifically, we explored the possible moderating role of alexithymia in the relationships between narcissistic vulnerability and disordered eating attitudes. Participants included 97 Israeli female young adults who are active participants in pro-anorexic online communities. These participants completed a battery of self-reported questionnaires: The Pathological Narcissism Inventory (PNI); The Eating Attitudes Test-26 (EAT-26); and The Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20). Narcissistic grandiosity, vulnerability, and alexithymia were positively related to disordered eating attitudes. Alexithymia moderated the relationships between narcissistic vulnerability and the total score of disordered eating attitudes. Furthermore, alexithymia moderated the relationships between both narcissistic vulnerability and grandiosity and the oral control subscale of EAT-26. These findings highlight the interaction between the pathological narcissism and the fundamental trait of alexithymia that might put individuals at risk for disordered eating.

  12. RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ALEXITHYMIA, PARENTING STYLE, AND PARENTAL CONTROL.

    PubMed

    Cuzzocrea, Francesca; Barberis, Nadia; Costa, Sebastiano; Larcan, Rosalba

    2015-10-01

    Research on the relationship between parental alexithymia and parenting is relatively scarce. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships between parental alexithymia and three styles of parenting (authoritarian, authoritative, and permissive) and the relationships between parental alexithymia and two domains of psychological control (dependency and achievement). The participants were 946 parents ages 29-60 years (mothers: n = 473, M age = 44.6 yr., SD = 4.7; fathers: n = 473, M age = 48.1 yr., SD = 5.1) of children ages 11-18 years. All participants completed a sociodemographic questionnaire, the Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20 (TAS-20), the Parental Authority Questionnaire-Revised (PAQ-R), and the Dependency-Oriented and Achievement-Oriented Psychological Control Scale (DAPCS). Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) was used to examine whether alexithymia could predict the three parenting styles (authoritarian, authoritative, and permissive) and the two domains of psychological control (dependency and achievement). The first model showed that alexithymia was a positive predictor of authoritative and permissive parenting and a negative predictor of authoritarian parenting in both paternal and maternal data. The second model showed that, in both paternal and maternal data, alexithymia was a positive predictor of both dependency-oriented psychological control (DPC) and achievement-oriented psychological control (APC).

  13. Alexithymia, emotional empathy, and self-regulation in Anorexia Nervosa

    PubMed Central

    Beadle, Janelle N.; Paradiso, Sergio; Salerno, Alexandria; McCormick, Laurie M.

    2013-01-01

    BACKGROUND During starvation, individuals with Anorexia Nervosa (AN) experience poor awareness of personal emotions (alexithymia), difficulty understanding others’ mental states (cognitive empathy), and poor regulation of personal emotions (self-regulation). Despite its important role in social interaction and interpersonal relationships, emotional empathy has not been measured in AN. Furthermore, how weight affects relationships among alexithymia, empathy, and self-regulation has not been investigated. METHODS Women with AN were tested longitudinally during starvation (N=26) and after weight restoration (N=20) and compared to 16 age-matched healthy women at comparable time-points. The Toronto Alexithymia Scale 20 (TAS-20) assessed alexithymia and the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI) measured empathy. Self-regulation was assessed by a subset of 37 items from the MMPI 2. RESULTS Relative to comparison participants, AN participants at starvation and weight restoration reported greater alexithymia and personal distress (a domain of emotional empathy measuring vicarious negative arousal to others’ suffering). Among AN participants, personal distress was positively correlated with alexithymia and negatively correlated with self-regulation, when accounting for depression. CONCLUSIONS This study provides evidence that alexithymia and personal distress may represent vulnerability features of AN. Higher levels of personal distress in AN may be related to poor self-regulation and emotional awareness. PMID:23638441

  14. Alexithymia, emotional empathy, and self-regulation in anorexia nervosa.

    PubMed

    Beadle, Janelle N; Paradiso, Sergio; Salerno, Alexandria; McCormick, Laurie M

    2013-05-01

    Individuals with anorexia nervosa (AN) who are starved have poor awareness (alexithymia), reduced understanding of others' mental states (cognitive empathy), and difficulty regulating personal emotions (self-regulation). Despite its important role in social interaction, sympathy for others (emotional empathy) has not been measured in AN. Furthermore, it is unknown how restoring weight affects the relationship among alexithymia, empathy, and self-regulation in AN. Women with AN were tested longitudinally during their starvation period (N = 26) and after weight was restored (N = 20) and compared with 16 age-matched healthy women. Alexithymia, empathy, and self-regulation were assessed with the Toronto Alexithymia Scale, the Interpersonal Reactivity Index, and items measuring self-regulation from the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2, respectively. Relative to comparison participants, individuals with AN during both starvation and weight restoration reported greater alexithymia and emotional empathy in one domain, personal distress (vicarious negative arousal to others' suffering). Among AN participants, personal distress was positively correlated with alexithymia and negatively correlated with self-regulation, when accounting for depression. High levels of alexithymia and personal distress may be persistent features of AN because they do not resolve upon weight restoration. Greater personal distress in AN may be a function of poor emotional awareness and regulation.

  15. Alexithymia in patients with substance use disorders: state or trait?

    PubMed

    de Haan, Hein A; van der Palen, Job; Wijdeveld, Toon G M; Buitelaar, Jan K; De Jong, Cor A J

    2014-04-30

    Previous research on substance use disorders (SUD) has yielded conflicting results concerning whether alexithymia is a state or trait, raising the question of how alexithymia should be addressed in the treatment of SUD-patients. The absolute and relative stabilities of alexithymia were assessed using the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) and its subscales. In total, 101 patients with SUD were assessed twice during a 3-week inpatient detoxification period while controlling for withdrawal symptoms and personality disorder traits. The relative stability of the total TAS-20 and subscales was moderate to high but showed remarkable differences between baseline low, moderate, and high alexithymic patients. A small reduction in the mean levels of the total TAS-20 scores and those of one subscale revealed the absence of absolute stability. The levels of alexithymia were unrelated to changes in withdrawal symptoms, including anxiety- and depression-like symptoms. The differences between low, moderate, and high alexithymic patients in terms of the change in alexithymia scores between baseline and follow-up indicated a strong regression to the mean. The findings suggest that alexithymia in SUD patients as measured using the TAS-20 is both a state and trait phenomenon and does not appear to be related to changes in anxiety- and depression-like symptoms.

  16. NEUROCOGNITIVE CORRELATES OF ALEXITHYMIA IN ASYMPTOMATIC INDIVIDUALS WITH HIV

    PubMed Central

    Bogdanova, Yelena; Díaz-Santos, Mirella; Cronin-Golomb, Alice

    2010-01-01

    Alexithymia, an impairment of affective and cognitive emotional processing, is often associated with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and may reflect effects of the virus on brain areas that are also important for multiple cognitive functions, such as the prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortices. We hypothesized that there would be a correlation between extent of alexithymia and cognitive performance associated with these brain areas, including attention, executive function, and visuospatial processing. Thirty-four asymptomatic HIV+ participants and 34 matched healthy HIV− volunteers were administered the Toronto Alexithymia Scale, a series of neuropsychological tests, and measures of apathy, depression, and quality of life (QoL). The HIV+ participants had significantly higher levels of alexithymia, depression and apathy than the HIV− group. The extent of alexithymia and two of its processing components (Difficulty Describing Feelings [DDF] and Externally Oriented Thinking), but not depression, correlated with performance on measures of executive and visuospatial abilities, consistent with dysfunction of the frontostriatal circuits and their cortical projections. Apathy was related to alexithymia and two processing components (Difficulty Identifying Feelings and DDF) but to only one cognitive measure. The higher rate of alexithymia, as well as cognitive dysfunction, in HIV may be a consequence of the infection on the frontostriatal system and its cortical connections. Our findings also demonstrated a dissociation of apathy and alexithymia in HIV, pointing to overlapping but distinct neural substrates within frontostriatal circuits. Alexithymia correlated strongly with QoL ratings, underscoring the importance of assessment and treatment of HIV-associated emotional and cognitive processing deficits. PMID:20036267

  17. [Alexithymia and Asperger syndrome].

    PubMed

    Paula-Pérez, I; Martos-Pérez, J; Llorente-Comí, M

    2010-03-03

    The study starts with the hypothesis that the difficulty to identify and describe emotions and feelings, and to differentiate the feelings of bodily sensations that accompany them, are a common denominator of the construct of alexithymia and Asperger syndrome (AS). The study evaluates the levels of alexithymia in nine adult male subjects with AS. The results are classified according to whether the source of information is the subject itself with SA (significant alexithymia level in 2/3 parts of the subjects surveyed) or if the source is a relative (the final score in relation to the presence of the alexithymia is the double than in neurotypical population). It's confirmed a significant comorbidity between alexithymia and SA leading to the question of whether alexithymia is a idiosyncratic trait of individuals with SA.

  18. Poker mania and problem gambling: a study of distorted cognitions, motivation and alexithymia.

    PubMed

    Mitrovic, Dana V; Brown, Jac

    2009-12-01

    This study examines the relationships between distorted cognitions, motivation, and alexithymia on problem gambling in poker players (n = 96). Respondents completed questionnaires containing the Canadian Problem Gambling Index, Gambling Motivation Scale, Gambler's Beliefs Questionnaire, and Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20. The results suggest that problem gambling is significantly related to distorted cognitions, non-self-determined motivation, and difficulty identifying feelings. Implications are drawn for the development of more relevant intervention, prevention, and treatment strategies.

  19. Relationship between alexithymia and dependent personality disorder: a dimensional analysis.

    PubMed

    Loas, Gwenolé; Baelde, Olympe; Verrier, Annie

    2015-02-28

    The present study had two aims and used two different samples. The first aim was to determine if alexithymia and dependent personality disorder (DPD) are distinct or overlapping constructs. The second aim was to determine the specificity and the stability of the relationship between alexithymia and DPD. The first study used exploratory principal components analysis (PCA) in a sample of 477 non-clinical subjects who completed three questionnaires measuring alexithymia (Twenty item Toronto Alexithymia Scale, i.e. TAS-20), dependent personality disorder (Dependent Personality Questionnaire, i.e. DPQ) and depression (Beck Depression Inventory-II, i.e. BDI-II). The second study used a sample of 305 subjects consecutively admitted to an outpatient department of legal medicine. The subjects completed (at admission and 3 months later) the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV, screen questionnaire (SCID-II-SQ), the TAS-20 and the BDI. Multiple regressions were done. For the first study, the PCA yielded a four-factor solution with no overlap of the significant factor loadings for the items from each scale and with the factors corresponding to their respective construct. For the second study, multiple regressions showed that only avoidant personality disorder was an independent predictor of the TAS-20 scores. Alexithymia is a construct that is distinct and separate from DPD and depression. Alexithymia is not a stable feature of DPD while it is a core feature of avoidant personality disorder. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Cognitive and psychosocial correlates of alexithymia following traumatic brain injury.

    PubMed

    Henry, Julie D; Phillips, Louise H; Crawford, John R; Theodorou, Georgia; Summers, Fiona

    2006-01-01

    Changes in emotional and social behaviour are considered to be amongst the most common and debilitating consequences of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Little is known of the effects of TBI on alexithymia, which refers to impairment in aspects of understanding emotions. In the current study TBI patients (N=28) were compared with demographically matched healthy controls (N=31) on the Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20 (TAS-20), a measure that taps three distinct characteristics of the alexithymia concept; difficulty in identifying emotions, difficulty in describing emotions and externally oriented thinking. Patients and controls also completed measures of anxiety, depression, quality of life, and measures of fluency to assess executive function. Patients showed greater levels of alexithymia, in terms of difficulty identifying emotions and reduced introspection. Difficulty in identifying emotions was associated with poorer quality of life, even when depression and anxiety were controlled. Difficulty in identifying emotions was also uniquely associated with executive function deficits. Thus, although studies typically focus on aspects of cognitive change following head injury, these results lend support to Becerra et al.'s (Becerra, R., Amos, A., & Jongenelis, S. (2002). Organic alexithymia: a study of acquired emotional blindness. Brain Injury, 16, 633-645.) notion of an 'organic alexithymia', and suggest that more attention should be focused upon assessment of emotional change post-head injury.

  1. Alexithymia and eating behaviour in severely obese patients.

    PubMed

    Noli, G; Cornicelli, M; Marinari, G M; Carlini, F; Scopinaro, N; Adami, G F

    2010-12-01

    Alexithymia is the inability to express feelings with words and comprises a psychological construct frequently found in obese individuals. In eating disordered patients who show a tendency to lose control over food intake, personality traits with alexithymic characteristics have been demonstrated. The present cross-sectional study investigated the relationships between alexithymia and eating behaviour in severely obese patients. This study analysed 150 obese patients undergoing bariatric surgery and 132 subjects at more than 1 year after biliopancreatic diversion (BPD), when body weight has steadily normalised and any preoccupation with weight, food and diet has been completely abandoned. Obese and operated subjects completed the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS), and eating behaviour was assessed via a semi-structured interview exploring binge eating disorder (BED), night eating and emotional eating, as well as by utilisation of the Three Factor Eating Questionnaire (TFEQ). Although alexithymic patients showed deranged eating behaviour, as evaluated by the TFEQ scores, the frequency of BED, night eating and emotional eating was similar in alexithymic (TAS > 60) and non-alexithymic patients. However, the prevalence of alexithymia was similar in obese and BPD subjects, whereas, in the operated subjects, TFEQ scores were lower (P < 0.005) than those in obese patients. These data suggest that, in severely obese patients, alexithymia does not influence eating behaviour; in severely obese patients, the tendency to lose control over food intake apparently represents a psychological construct that is substantially independent from alexithymia.

  2. The Relationship between Childhood Sexual Abuse, Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Alexithymia in Two Outpatient Samples: Examination of Women Treated in Community and Institutional Clinics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McLean, Linda M.; Toner, Brenda; Jackson, Jennifer; Desrocher, Mary; Stuckless, Noreen

    2006-01-01

    Relationships between trauma variables, complex post-traumatic stress disorder (complex PTSD), affect dysregulation, dissociation, somatization, and alexithymia were studied in 70 women with early-onset sexual abuse treated in community-based private (n = 25) or clinic outpatient settings (n = 45). Measures were the Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20…

  3. The Relationship between Childhood Sexual Abuse, Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Alexithymia in Two Outpatient Samples: Examination of Women Treated in Community and Institutional Clinics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McLean, Linda M.; Toner, Brenda; Jackson, Jennifer; Desrocher, Mary; Stuckless, Noreen

    2006-01-01

    Relationships between trauma variables, complex post-traumatic stress disorder (complex PTSD), affect dysregulation, dissociation, somatization, and alexithymia were studied in 70 women with early-onset sexual abuse treated in community-based private (n = 25) or clinic outpatient settings (n = 45). Measures were the Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20…

  4. Association between alexithymia, neuroticism, and social desirability scores among Italian graduate students.

    PubMed

    Messina, Antonino; Fogliani, Anna Maria; Paradiso, Sergio

    2010-08-01

    An inverse correlation between social desirability and alexithymia has been observed in undergraduate students in Japan and Australia. It is not clear how this association is influenced by the personality dimension of neuroticism. This study examined the association of scores on social desirability with those on alexithymia controlled for neuroticism, in a sample of 111 Italian graduate students, with age range of 24 to 58 years. Students completed the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (short form) and the Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20 (TAS-20). Social desirability scores inversely correlated with TAS-20 total scores, neuroticism scores, and the TAS-20 subscale, Difficulty identifying feelings. Neuroticism directly correlated with TAS-20 total score, Difficulty identifying feelings, and Difficulty describing feelings. Students with higher alexithymia and neuroticism scores seem to present themselves in less socially desirable ways. The correlation of social desirability with alexithymia was moderated by higher neuroticism scores.

  5. Thinking About One's Feelings: Association Between Alexithymia and Cognitive Styles in a Nonclinical Population.

    PubMed

    Rinaldi, Romina; Radian, Viorica; Rossignol, Mandy; Kandana Arachchige, Kendra G; Lefebvre, Laurent

    2017-10-01

    Alexithymia is described as a disturbance in the cognitive and affective processing of emotions. Little is known about the cognitive styles associated with this personality trait. In this article, we examine to what extent alexithymia is linked with poorer rational cognitive style. A total of 685 participants from a nonclinical sample completed the Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20 along with self-reported and behavioral measures of cognitive styles. Results suggest that people with a high level of self-reported alexithymia show lower rational abilities. The findings of this study extend previous work on cognitive processes underlying emotional self-regulation impairments in alexithymia, suggesting that these difficulties may be linked to a poorer use of rational process.

  6. What is the relationship between alexithymia and ego defense styles? A correlational study with Iranian students.

    PubMed

    Besharat, Mohammad Ali; Shahidi, Shahriar

    2011-06-01

    The relationship between alexithymia and ego defense styles was investigated in a sample of Iranian students. The association between the components of alexithymia including difficulty in identifying and describing feelings and externally oriented thinking with ego defense styles including mature, neurotic, and immature defense styles was investigated in two hundred and eighty six students in the University of Tehran. All participants were asked to complete the Farsi version of the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (FTAS-20) and Defense Styles Questionnaire (DSQ). Results showed that there was a significant negative correlation between alexithymia and mature defense style as well as a significant positive association with neurotic and immature defense styles. It is concluded that alexithymia is associated with ego defense mechanisms. Results are discussed in terms of the implications of the present results in terms of designing possible modification and intervention programmes as well as answering important theoretical questions. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  7. [No association between catechol-O-methyltransferase val158met polymorphism and alexithymia].

    PubMed

    Hermes, Sandra; Hennig, Jürgen; Stingl, Markus; Leichsenring, Falk; Leweke, Frank

    2011-01-01

    Reduced concentrations of dopamine in prefrontal brain structures may play a role in alexithymia. Dopamine degradation in the orbitofrontal cortex is regulated by catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT), and a functional single nucleotide polymorphism of the COMT gene, Val158Met, has been related to psychiatric illness. This study examines the association between the COMT Val158Met gene polymorphism, and alexithymia. 120 healthy students and 120 patients with mental disorders were genotyped for the COMT Val158Met polymorphism. Additionally, the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) was administered. COMT genotype did not show a significant correlation with the TAS-20 in either group. COMT Val158Met polymorphism alone does not seem to be a major factor in alexithymia in healthy students. This is true even if patients with mental disorders covering a broader range of alexithymia are included. Thus, other genes, possibly interacting with cultural, environmental, and developmental factors, may be implicated.

  8. Intimate partner violence: relationships between alexithymia, depression, attachment styles, and coping strategies of battered women.

    PubMed

    Craparo, Giuseppe; Gori, Alessio; Petruccelli, Irene; Cannella, Vincenza; Simonelli, Chiara

    2014-06-01

    One of the most common forms of violence against women is the intimate partner violence (IPV). This term includes physical, sexual, and emotional abuse and controlling behaviors by an intimate partner. This exploratory study investigates the relationship between alexithymia, adult attachment styles, depression, and coping strategies in a group of female victims of IPV and a control group. Participants were 80 female victims of IPV with an age range from 18 years to 54 years (mean 31.62; standard deviation 9.81). The control group included 80 women with no history of IPV with an age range from 19 years to 37 years (mean 25.05; standard deviation 3.67). We administered the following self-report questionnaires: (i) 20-Item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20); (ii) Coping Orientation Problems Experienced; (iii) Beck Depression Inventory (BDI)-II; and (iv) Attachment Style Questionnaire (ASQ). Compared with control group, the IPV group showed higher mean scores on TAS-20 (52.9 vs. 41.1, P < 0.001) and BDI-II (19.50 vs. 9.95, P < 0.001). In both groups, we found significant correlations between BDI-II and TAS-20 total scores (P < 0.001) and between BDI-II and the following dimensions of ASQ: confidence (P < 0.001), discomfort with closeness (P = 0.002), relationships as secondary (P < 0.001), need for approval (P < 0.001), and preoccupation with relationships (P < 0.001). Differently from the control group, in the IPV group, social support correlated significantly and positively (P < 0.001) with the dimension preoccupation with relationships on ASQ, but not with the secure attachment style. In comparison to the control group, alexithymia, depressive symptoms, and an insecure attachment style were negatively correlated with the ability to cope with stress for women in the IPV group. © 2014 International Society for Sexual Medicine.

  9. Interpersonal-Psychological Theory, Alexithymia, and Personality Predict Suicide Ideation among Maladjusted Soldiers in Taiwan.

    PubMed

    Huang, Kai-Cheng; Tzeng, Dong-Sheng; Lin, Chi-Hung; Chung, Wei-Ching

    2016-11-24

    This case-control study enrolled 226 maladjusted soldiers and 229 controls to investigate the impact of the interpersonal-psychological theory of suicide, alexithymia, personality, and childhood trauma on suicide risk among Taiwanese soldiers. Assessments included the Toronto Alexithymia Scale, Eysenck Personality Inventory, Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview, and Brief Symptom Rating Scale. In addition to thwarted belongingness and perceived burdensomeness, other risks included less extraversion with higher neuroticism, higher alexithymia, poor academic performance, domestic violence, and life-threatening events. Our study demonstrates the interaction of the interpersonal-psychological theory and other suicide risk factors in Taiwanese soldiers.

  10. Interference Resolution in Emotional Working Memory as a Function of Alexithymia.

    PubMed

    Colligan, Sean M; Koven, Nancy S

    2015-01-01

    Although alexithymia is recognized as a set of traitlike deficits in emotion processing, research suggests there are concomitant cognitive issues as well, including what appears to be an unusual pattern of enhanced working memory (WM) despite broader executive dysfunction. It is unknown whether this enhancement includes the executive elements of WM and whether executive control of WM in alexithymia differs for emotional and neutral stimuli. This study examined how alexithymia moderates patterns of interference resolution in WM with valenced and nonvalenced stimuli. Participants (N = 93) completed the Toronto Alexithymia Scale and a recency probes WM task containing positive, negative, and neutral stimuli, with some trials containing proactive interference from previous trials. The reaction time difference between interference and noninterference trials indexed degree of interference resolution. Toronto Alexithymia Scale score moderated a within-subject effect such that, when valenced probes were used, there was less proactive interference in the positive relative to negative valence condition; this valence-based interference discrepancy was significant for a subset of highly alexithymic participants. Alexithymia did not moderate proactive interference to negative or neutral stimuli or accuracy of responses. These results suggest that, although alexithymia does not influence executive control in WM for nonemotional items, alexithymic people demonstrate an idiosyncratic response to positive stimuli that might indicate blunted reactivity.

  11. Alexithymia predicts arousal-based processing deficits and discordance between emotion response systems during emotional imagery.

    PubMed

    Peasley-Miklus, Catherine E; Panayiotou, Georgia; Vrana, Scott R

    2016-03-01

    Alexithymia is believed to involve deficits in emotion processing and imagery ability. Previous findings suggest that it is especially related to deficits in processing the arousal dimension of emotion, and that discordance may exist between self-report and physiological responses to emotional stimuli in alexithymia. The current study used a well-established emotional imagery paradigm to examine emotion processing deficits and discordance in participants (N = 86) selected based on their extreme scores on the Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20. Physiological (skin conductance, heart rate, and corrugator and zygomaticus electromyographic responses) and self-report (valence, arousal ratings) responses were monitored during imagery of anger, fear, joy, and neutral scenes and emotionally neutral high arousal (action) scenes. Results from regression analyses indicated that alexithymia was largely unrelated to responses on valence-based measures (facial electromyography, valence ratings), but that it was related to arousal-based measures. Specifically, alexithymia was related to higher heart rate during neutral and lower heart rate during fear imagery. Alexithymia did not predict differential responses to action versus neutral imagery, suggesting specificity of deficits to emotional contexts. Evidence for discordance between physiological responses and self-report in alexithymia was obtained from within-person analyses using multilevel modeling. Results are consistent with the idea that alexithymic deficits are specific to processing emotional arousal, and suggest difficulties with parasympathetic control and emotion regulation. Alexithymia is also associated with discordance between self-reported emotional experience and physiological response to emotion, consistent with prior evidence. (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  12. The influence of alexithymia on mobile phone addiction: The role of depression, anxiety and stress.

    PubMed

    Gao, Tingting; Li, Jiaomeng; Zhang, Han; Gao, Jinglei; Kong, Yixi; Hu, Yueyang; Mei, Songli

    2017-09-01

    Alexithymia is an important predictor of mobile phone addiction. Enhancing and improving college students' mental health can reduce the rate of mobile phone addiction. However, it is not clear about the role of depression, anxiety and stress in the relationship between college students' alexithymia and mobile phone addiction. A total of 1105 college students were tested with the Toronto Alexithymia Scale, the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale and the Mobile Phone Addiction Index. An individual's level of alexithymia was significantly correlated with depression, anxiety, stress and mobile phone addiction. Alexithymia had a significantly positive prediction effect on mobile phone addiction, and depression, anxiety, and stress on mobile phone are positive predictors. Depression, anxiety or stress had partially mediating effects between alexithymia and mobile phone addiction. Alexithymia not only directly had a positively impact on mobile phone addiction, but both also had an indirect effect on mobile phone addiction through depression, anxiety or stress. Limitations included sampling method and modest sample size, self-report measures, and unmeasured potential confounders. Alexithymia is an important correlate of mobile phone addiction, and depression, anxiety or stress is an important mediator in this relationship. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Alexithymia and its association with burnout, depression and family support among Greek nursing staff

    PubMed Central

    Bratis, Dionisios; Tselebis, Athanasios; Sikaras, Christos; Moulou, Aikaterini; Giotakis, Konstantinos; Zoumakis, Emmanuel; Ilias, Ioannis

    2009-01-01

    Background Few studies have examined the relation between alexithymia (i.e. the inability to recognize and verbalize emotions) and professional burnout. Considering the absence of relevant studies in the Greek scientific literature, the aim of this work was to examine the associations of alexithymia with the three facets of professional burnout, the perception of family support and depression in nursing personnel. Methods The study was performed in one of the largest hospitals in Greece and included 95 nurses. Assessments of alexithymia, burnout, depression and family support were made by means of the Toronto Alexithymia Scale, the Maslach Burnout Inventory, the Beck Depression Inventory and the Julkunen Family Support Scale, respectively. Student's t-test, Pearson's correlation and stepwise linear regression were used for the evaluation of data. Results Alexithymia was correlated positively with depression, emotional exhaustion and depersonalization, and negatively with sense of family support and personal achievement. Additionally, family support was correlated positively with personal achievement and negatively with depression. Conclusion In the scientific literature there is a debate as to whether alexithymia is a stable personality characteristic or if it is dependent on symptoms of mental disorders. We tried to interpret the associations of alexithymia with professional burnout, depressive symptoms and family support. From this study it appears very likely that alexithymia is directly associated with depression and personal achievement, but also - indirectly - with the sense of family support. PMID:19671188

  14. Alexithymia and fear of pain independently predict heat pain intensity ratings among undergraduate university students.

    PubMed

    Katz, Joel; Martin, Andrea L; Pagé, M Gabrielle; Calleri, Vincent

    2009-01-01

    Alexithymia is a disturbance in awareness and cognitive processing of affect that is associated with over-reporting of physical symptoms, including pain. The relationship between alexithymia and other psychological constructs that are often associated with pain has yet to be evaluated. The present study examined the importance of alexithymia in the pain experience in relation to other integral psychological components of Turk's diathesis-stress model of chronic pain and disability, including fear of pain, anxiety sensitivity, pain avoidance and pain catastrophizing. Heat pain stimuli, using a magnitude estimation procedure, and five questionnaires (Anxiety Sensitivity Index, Fear of Pain Questionnaire III, Pain Catastrophizing Scale, avoidance subscale of the Pain Anxiety Symptoms Scale-20 and Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20) were administered to 67 undergraduate students (44 women) with a mean (+/- SD) age of 20.39+/-3.77 years. Multiple linear regression analysis revealed that sex, fear of pain and alexithymia were the only significant predictors of average heat pain intensity (F[6, 60]=5.43; R2=0.35; P=0.008), accounting for 6.8%, 20.0% and 9.6% of unique variance, respectively. Moreover, the difficulty identifying feelings and difficulty describing feelings subscales, but not the externally oriented thinking subscale of the Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20 significantly predicted average heat pain intensity. Individuals with higher levels of alexithymia or increased fear of pain reported higher average pain intensity ratings. The relationship between alexithymia and pain intensity was unrelated to other psychological constructs usually associated with pain. These findings suggest that difficulties with emotion regulation, either through reduced emotional awareness via alexithymia or heightened emotional awareness via fear of pain, may negatively impact the pain experience.

  15. Alexithymia in personality disorders: correlations with symptoms and interpersonal functioning.

    PubMed

    Nicolò, Giuseppe; Semerari, Antonio; Lysaker, Paul H; Dimaggio, Giancarlo; Conti, Laura; D'Angerio, Stefania; Procacci, Michele; Popolo, Raffaele; Carcione, Antonino

    2011-11-30

    Impairment in the ability to recognize and make sense of emotions has been hypothesized to be present in a sub-sample of people suffering from personality disorder (PD). In particular it is possible that difficulty recognizing and expressing feelings, or alexithymia, is related to many of the symptoms and problems in making sense of social interactions which are hallmarks of PD. In this study we measured levels of alexithymia with the Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20 and explored its correlations with the overall presence of PD and different PD diagnoses, symptoms, and interpersonal difficulties. Results were largely consistent with the hypothesis. Higher levels of alexithymia were related to high levels of global psychopathology and with dysfunctional representation of interpersonal relations. A sub-sample of patients, mostly suffering from avoidant, dependent, passive-aggressive and depressive PD, had alexithymic features and, in particular reported difficulties describing their feelings to others. A patient with cluster B PD featured no alexithymia. Implications of this study for future research and treatment are discussed. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Alexithymia: relationship with ego defense and coping styles.

    PubMed

    Parker, J D; Taylor, G J; Bagby, R M

    1998-01-01

    There is controversy in the literature as to whether alexithymia reflects a deficit in the cognitive processing of emotions or a defensive coping style. Previous studies with clinical populations reported a strong association between alexithymia and a maladaptive (immature) ego defense style. The present study was designed to examine this relationship in nonclinical populations, and also to explore the relationships between alexithymia and three general styles for coping with stressful situations. Sample 1, 287 nonclinical adults, completed the Twenty-Item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) and the Defense Style Questionnaire (DSQ). Sample 2, 83 undergraduate students who had been categorized previously into alexithymic and nonalexithymic subgroups, completed the DSQ and the Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations (CISS). In sample 1, the TAS-20 and its three factors were associated most strongly with an immature defense style, weakly with a neurotic defense style, and negatively with a mature defense style. In sample 2, alexithymic students scored significantly higher than nonalexithymic students on the immature and neurotic defense factors of the DSQ and significantly lower on the mature defense factor. Alexithymic students also scored significantly higher on the emotion-oriented coping scale and the distraction component of the avoidance-oriented coping scale of the CISS and significantly lower on the task-oriented coping scale. The results fail to support the view that alexithymia is an adaptive defense or coping style.

  17. Facial emotion recognition and alexithymia in adults with somatoform disorders.

    PubMed

    Pedrosa Gil, Francisco; Ridout, Nathan; Kessler, Henrik; Neuffer, Michaela; Schoechlin, Claudia; Traue, Harald C; Nickel, Marius

    2008-01-01

    The primary aim of this study was to investigate facial emotion recognition (FER) in patients with somatoform disorders (SFD). Also of interest was the extent to which concurrent alexithymia contributed to any changes in emotion recognition accuracy. Twenty patients with SFD and 20 healthy, age, sex and education matched, controls were assessed with the Facially Expressed Emotion Labelling Test of FER and the 26-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale. Patients with SFD exhibited elevated alexithymia symptoms relative to healthy controls. Patients with SFD also recognized significantly fewer emotional expressions than did the healthy controls. However, the group difference in emotion recognition accuracy became nonsignificant once the influence of alexithymia was controlled for statistics. This suggests that the deficit in FER observed in the patients with SFD was most likely a consequence of concurrent alexithymia. It should be noted that neither depression nor anxiety was significantly related to emotion recognition accuracy, suggesting that these variables did not contribute the emotion recognition deficit. Impaired FER observed in the patients with SFD could plausibly have a negative influence on these individuals' social functioning. 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  18. Facial emotion recognition and alexithymia in adults with somatoform disorders.

    PubMed

    Pedrosa Gil, Francisco; Ridout, Nathan; Kessler, Henrik; Neuffer, Michaela; Schoechlin, Claudia; Traue, Harald C; Nickel, Marius

    2009-01-01

    The primary aim of this study was to investigate facial emotion recognition in patients with somatoform disorders (SFD). Also of interest was the extent to which concurrent alexithymia contributed to any changes in emotion recognition accuracy. Twenty patients with SFD and twenty healthy, age, sex and education matched, controls were assessed with the Facially Expressed Emotion Labelling Test of facial emotion recognition and the 26-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-26). Patients with SFD exhibited elevated alexithymia symptoms relative to healthy controls. Patients with SFD also recognized significantly fewer emotional expressions than did the healthy controls. However, the group difference in emotion recognition accuracy became nonsignificant once the influence of alexithymia was controlled for statistically. This suggests that the deficit in facial emotion recognition observed in the patients with SFD was most likely a consequence of concurrent alexithymia. Impaired facial emotion recognition observed in the patients with SFD could plausibly have a negative influence on these individuals' social functioning. (c) 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  19. What's in the name 'alexithymia'? A commentary on "Affective agnosia: Expansion of the alexithymia construct and a new opportunity to integrate and extend Freud's legacy.".

    PubMed

    Taylor, Graeme J; Bagby, R Michael; Parker, James D A

    2016-09-01

    The recent proposal of a new type of agnosia termed 'affective agnosia' extends Freud's legacy and captures the concept of not knowing one's own emotions. This concept links well with the theory of levels of emotional awareness and maps onto a hierarchical model of neural substrates of emotional experience, but does not encompass the pensée opératoire component of the alexithymia construct. Moreover, identifying agnosia and anomia subtypes, which connotes a categorical conceptualization of alexithymia, is inconsistent with the dimensional nature of the construct. We describe a more widely accepted definition of alexithymia, and argue that although aptly descriptive, the concept of affective agnosia does not advance the theory, measurement, and treatment of alexithymia. A review of alexithymia literature indicates that impairment in the mental representation of emotions has been a central aspect of alexithymia theory since the concept was introduced, and guided the development of the Toronto Alexithymia Scale and other measures of the construct. Moreover, techniques to enhance mentalization of emotions have been used by psychotherapists for several decades.

  20. Alexithymia in victims of sexual assault: an effect of repeated traumatization?

    PubMed

    Zeitlin, S B; McNally, R J; Cassiday, K L

    1993-04-01

    The authors compared scores on the Toronto Alexithymia Scale of 12 rape victims with PTSD, 12 rape victims without PTSD, and 12 nontraumatized comparison subjects. Rape victims were more alexithymic than were nontraumatized comparison subjects, and subjects with a history of more than one episode of rape were more alexithymic than were subjects with a single episode.

  1. A behavioral genetic analysis of alexithymia and the Dark Triad traits of personality.

    PubMed

    Cairncross, Molly; Veselka, Livia; Schermer, Julie Aitken; Vernon, Philip A

    2013-06-01

    The present study is the first to assess phenotypic correlations between alexithymia and the Dark Triad traits of personality in a community sample, as well as the common genetic and environmental factors underlying these correlations. Participants were 232 North American adult twin pairs who completed the Narcissistic Personality Inventory, the Self-Report Psychopathy Scale, the MACH-IV, and the Toronto Alexithymia Scale. Results revealed that alexithymia correlates significantly and positively with psychopathy and Machiavellianism, and negatively with narcissism. Subsequent bivariate behavioral genetic analysis demonstrated that these phenotypic correlations were primarily attributable to common genetic and common non-shared environmental factors. The implication of these findings regarding the maladaptive functions of alexithymia within the antisocial realm of behavior and the need for replication are discussed.

  2. Alexithymia as a mediator between attachment and the development of borderline personality disorder in adolescence.

    PubMed

    Deborde, Anne-Sophie; Miljkovitch, Raphaële; Roy, Caroline; Dugré-Le Bigre, Corinne; Pham-Scottez, Alexandra; Speranza, Mario; Corcos, Maurice

    2012-10-01

    Insecure attachment and the inability to identify emotions have both been put forward as possible explanations for dysfunction of the emotional system in borderline personality disorder (BPD). This study aimed to test a model according to which the influence of attachment on the development of BPD in adolescence is mediated by alexithymia. Borderline severity was assessed by means of the Structured Interview for DSM-IV Personality Disorders. Attachment and alexithymia were measured respectively with the Relationship Styles Questionnaire and the Toronto Alexithymia Scale. Mediation analyses conducted on 105 participants (54 with BPD and 51 matched controls) suggest that the role of security and negative model of self (i.e., preoccupied and fearful attachment styles) in the development of BPD symptoms are mediated by alexithymia.

  3. Alexithymia and impoverished dream recall in asthmatic patients: evidence from self-report measures.

    PubMed

    Nielsen, T; Ouellet, L; Warnes, H; Cartier, A; Malo, J L; Montplaisir, J

    1997-01-01

    Early clinical impressions that alexithymia is associated with diminished dream recall have been supported by more recent research. The present study was designed to examine this association using self-report measures and a carefully screened clinical population. Thirty-three male and 43 female asthmatics from an outpatient clinic were administered the Toronto Alexithymia Scale, the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire, and a questionnaire concerning retrospective recall of dreams and nightmares. Multiple regression analyses revealed that, among men, dream recall was negatively related to alexithymia, especially to the TAS analytical mode of thinking subscale, independent of age and neuroticism. Among women, dream and nightmare recall were positively correlated with neuroticism. These results are consistent with early clinical observations of pensée opératoire, with some research findings, and with the notion that dream recall may be differentially associated with components of alexithymia in men and women patients.

  4. Traumatic experiences, alexithymia, and posttraumatic symptomatology: a cross-sectional population-based study in Germany.

    PubMed

    Eichhorn, Svenja; Brähler, Elmar; Franz, Matthias; Friedrich, Michael; Glaesmer, Heide

    2014-01-01

    Previous studies have established an association between number of traumatic experiences and alexithymia. The present study examines this relationship in a large-scale representative sample of the German general population (N=2,507) and explores the potential mediating effects of posttraumatic symptomatology, particularly avoidance/numbing. Alexithymia was assessed with the German version of the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20). Posttraumatic symptomatology was operationalized by the symptom score of the modified German version of the Posttraumatic Symptom Scale, and traumatic experiences were assessed with the trauma list of the Munich Composite International Diagnostic Interview. Two mediation analyses were conducted. Of the total sample, 24.2% (n=606) reported at least one traumatic experience, 10.6% (n=258) were classified as alexithymic, and 2.4% (n=59) fulfilled the criteria of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Participants who had survived five or more traumatic experiences had significantly higher alexithymia sum scores. The PTSD symptom cluster avoidance/numbing mediated the association between the number of traumatic experiences and alexithymia. Our findings illustrate an association between number of traumatic experiences and alexithymia and the influence of emotional avoidance and numbing within this relationship. The significant relationship between alexithymia and number of traumatic experiences in a general population sample further supports the concept of multiple and complex traumatization as associated with alexithymia. The results suggest the importance of further investigations determining the causal impact of alexithymia both as a potential premorbid trait and as consequence of traumatization. Lastly, future investigations are needed to clarify alexithymia as a distinct trauma-relevant characteristic for better diagnostics and specialized trauma-integrative therapy.

  5. The Relations of Self-Reported Aggression to Alexithymia, Depression, and Anxiety After Traumatic Brain Injury.

    PubMed

    Neumann, Dawn; Malec, James F; Hammond, Flora M

    To compare self-reported aggression in people with and without traumatic brain injury (TBI) and examine the relations of aggression to alexithymia (poor emotional insight), depression, and anxiety. Rehabilitation hospital. Forty-six adults with moderate to severe TBI who were at least 3 months postinjury; 49 healthy controls (HCs); groups were frequency matched for age and gender. Cross-sectional study using a quasi-experimental design. Aggression (Buss-Perry Aggression Questionnaire); alexithymia (Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20); depression (Patient Health Questionnaire-9); and trait anxiety (State-Trait Anxiety Inventory). Participants with TBI had significantly higher aggression scores than HCs. For participants with TBI, 34.2% of the adjusted variance of aggression was significantly explained by alexithymia, depression, and anxiety; alexithymia accounted for the largest unique portion of the variance in this model (16.2%). Alexithymia, depression, and anxiety explained 46% of the adjusted variance of aggression in HCs; in contrast to participants with TBI, depression was the largest unique contributor to aggression (15.9%). This was the first empirical study showing that poor emotional insight (alexithymia) significantly contributes to aggression after TBI. This relation, and the potential clinical implications it may have for the treatment of aggression, warrants further investigation.

  6. Role of Alexithymia, Anxiety, and Depression in Predicting Self-Efficacy in Academic Students.

    PubMed

    Faramarzi, Mahbobeh; Khafri, Soraya

    2017-01-01

    Objective. Little research is available on the predictive factors of self-efficacy in college students. The aim of the present study is to examine the role of alexithymia, anxiety, and depression in predicting self-efficacy in academic students. Design. In a cross-sectional study, a total of 133 students at Babol University of Medical Sciences (Medicine, Dentistry, and Paramedicine) participated in the study between 2014 and 2015. All participants completed the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), College Academic Self-Efficacy Scale (CASES), and 14 items on anxiety and depression derived from the 28 items of the General Health Questionnaire (28-GHQ). Results. Pearson correlation coefficients revealed negative significant relationships between alexithymia and the three subscales with student self-efficacy. There was no significant correlation between anxiety/depression symptoms and student self-efficacy. A backward multiple regression analysis revealed that alexithymia was a negative significant predictor of self-efficacy in academic students (B = -0.512, P < 0.001). The prevalence of alexithymia was 21.8% in students. Multiple backward logistic analysis regression revealed that number of passed semesters, gender, mother's education, father's education, and doctoral level did not accurately predict alexithymia in college students. Conclusion. As alexithymia is prevalent in college students and affects self-efficacy and academic functioning, we suggest it should be routinely evaluated by mental physicians at universities.

  7. The Impact of Alexithymia on Desire for Alcohol during a Social Stress Test.

    PubMed

    Knapton, Cindy; Bruce, Gillian; Williams, Lynn

    2017-09-14

    Alexithymia is a personality construct comprising difficulty in identifying and describing emotions and externally oriented thinking. Its role in heavy and problematic alcohol consumption is well documented, together with its relationship with social stress. However, little research has examined whether social stress has any effect on desire for alcohol among alexithymic individuals. In this experimental study, we explored the relationship between alexithymia and desire for alcohol in response to an experimental social stressor. One hundred and thirty eight social drinkers completed the Toronto Alexithymia Scale, self-report measures of alcohol consumption and a stress-inducing task. Desire for alcohol was measured at three time points: baseline, stressor and recovery. Correlation analysis demonstrated that alexithymia was associated with significantly higher rates of alcohol consumption and higher levels of desire for alcohol. Mixed measures ANOVA demonstrated a significant main effect of alexithymia and a significant group by time effect of alexithymia on desire for alcohol. Conclusions/Importance: The findings demonstrate increased desire for alcohol before, during and after a social stressor among alexithymic participants. These findings offer an insight into the relationship between alexithymia, social stress and alcohol consumption.

  8. Alexithymia, negative emotions, and sexual behavior in heterosexual university students from Italy.

    PubMed

    Scimeca, Giuseppe; Bruno, Antonio; Pandolfo, Gianluca; Micò, Umberto; Romeo, Vincenzo M; Abenavoli, Elisabetta; Schimmenti, Adriano; Zoccali, Rocco; Muscatello, Maria R A

    2013-01-01

    Alexithymia is a construct which denotes thought characterized by pragmatic content, an inability to recognize and verbally express emotion, a difficulty in distinguishing between feelings and bodily sensations, and a limitation in fantasy life. Research has revealed a role for alexithymia in different kinds of sexual dysfunctions; it was also associated with reduced frequency of penile-vaginal intercourse but not with sexual behaviors-like masturbation-which do not include an emotional interaction in normal individuals. The aim of this research was to further investigate the association between alexithymia scores and sexual behavior in a sample of normal individuals, taking into account the role of gender differences and the possible effect of negative emotions (depression, anxiety, and anger). Participants were 300 university students (142 men and 158 women); sexual behavior was measured by the Sex and the Average Woman (or Man) Scale while alexithymia was measured with the Toronto Alexithymia Scale. The findings of the study showed that higher alexithymia scores were associated with lower levels of sexual satisfaction and higher levels of sexual detachment for females, and with sexual shyness and sexual nervousness for both genders. Results also suggested that the correlations between alexithymia scores and sexual behavior are partially influenced by the effect of negative emotions. Overall, it seems that the same detachment which denotes the alexithymic interpersonal style also characterizes sexual behavior.

  9. Alexithymia and psychopathological symptoms in adolescent outpatients and mothers suffering from migraines: a case control study.

    PubMed

    Cerutti, Rita; Valastro, Carmela; Tarantino, Samuela; Valeriani, Massimiliano; Faedda, Noemi; Spensieri, Valentina; Guidetti, Vincenzo

    2016-01-01

    Headache is a common disorder affecting a growing number of children and adolescents. In recent years, there has been an increase in scientific interest in exploring the relationship between migraine and emotional regulation, and in particular, the impact of emotional dysregulation on mental and physical health. The present study aims to explore the relationship between migraine and alexithymia among adolescents and their mothers as well as the impact of this association on mental health. An additional aim is to verify whether alexithymia may be a predictor of psychopathological symptoms in adolescents and mothers with migraines. A total of 212 subjects were involved in this study. The sample was divided into (a) Experimental Group (EG) consisting of 106 subjects (53 adolescents and 53 mothers) with a diagnosis of migraine according to International Classification of Headache Disorders (ICHD-3) and (b) Control Group (CG) including 106 subjects (53 adolescents and 53 mothers) without a diagnosis of migraine. All participants completed the Toronto Alexithymia Scale to assess alexithymia and the Symptom Checklist-90-R to assess psychopathological symptoms. Higher rates of alexithymia were found in the adolescents and mothers of the EG in comparison to the adolescents and mothers of the CG. Furthermore, adolescents and mothers experiencing both migraine and alexithymia, demonstrated a higher risk of psychopathology. Findings from this study provide evidence that the co-occurrence of migraine and alexithymia increases the risk of psychopathology for both adolescents and their mothers.

  10. Role of Alexithymia, Anxiety, and Depression in Predicting Self-Efficacy in Academic Students

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    Objective. Little research is available on the predictive factors of self-efficacy in college students. The aim of the present study is to examine the role of alexithymia, anxiety, and depression in predicting self-efficacy in academic students. Design. In a cross-sectional study, a total of 133 students at Babol University of Medical Sciences (Medicine, Dentistry, and Paramedicine) participated in the study between 2014 and 2015. All participants completed the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), College Academic Self-Efficacy Scale (CASES), and 14 items on anxiety and depression derived from the 28 items of the General Health Questionnaire (28-GHQ). Results. Pearson correlation coefficients revealed negative significant relationships between alexithymia and the three subscales with student self-efficacy. There was no significant correlation between anxiety/depression symptoms and student self-efficacy. A backward multiple regression analysis revealed that alexithymia was a negative significant predictor of self-efficacy in academic students (B = −0.512, P < 0.001). The prevalence of alexithymia was 21.8% in students. Multiple backward logistic analysis regression revealed that number of passed semesters, gender, mother's education, father's education, and doctoral level did not accurately predict alexithymia in college students. Conclusion. As alexithymia is prevalent in college students and affects self-efficacy and academic functioning, we suggest it should be routinely evaluated by mental physicians at universities. PMID:28154839

  11. Temperament, character traits, and alexithymia in patients with panic disorder.

    PubMed

    Izci, Filiz; Gültekin, Bulent Kadri; Saglam, Sema; Koc, Merve Iris; Zincir, Selma Bozkurt; Atmaca, Murad

    2014-01-01

    The primary aim of the present study was to compare temperament and character traits and levels of alexithymia between patients with panic disorder and healthy controls. Sixty patients with panic disorder admitted to the psychiatry clinic at Fırat University Hospital were enrolled in the study, along with 62 healthy age-matched and sex-matched controls. The Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV axis I (SCID-I), Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI), Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), and Panic Agoraphobia Scale (PAS) were administered to all subjects. Within the temperament dimension, the mean subscale score for harm avoidance was significantly higher in patients with panic disorder than in controls. With respect to character traits, mean scores for self-directedness and cooperativeness were significantly lower than in healthy controls. Rates of alexithymia were 35% (n=21) and 11.3% (n=7) in patients with panic disorder and healthy controls, respectively. The difficulty identifying feelings subscale score was significantly higher in patients with panic disorder (P=0.03). A moderate positive correlation was identified between PAS and TAS scores (r=0.447, P<0.01). Moderately significant positive correlations were also noted for PAS and TCI subscale scores and scores for novelty seeking, harm avoidance, and self-transcendence. In our study sample, patients with panic disorder and healthy controls differed in TCI parameters and rate of alexithymia. Larger prospective studies are required to assess for causal associations.

  12. [The role of alexithymia as a psychosomatic factor in psoriasis].

    PubMed

    Torres-Hernández, Marcela; López-García, Sonia; Pedroza-Escobar, David; Escamilla-Tilch, Mónica

    2015-01-01

    Alexithymia is the lack of mental representations of emotions leading to limited ability to understand and regulate these and can contribute to the development or maintenance of a psychosomatic illness. The aim of the study was to demonstrate that alexithymia is a feature that occurs more frequently in patients with psoriasis and that the coexistence of alexitimia-psoriasis is associated with high levels of trait anxiety. We applied the Toronto Alexithymia Scale -20 (TAS-20), Inventory of state-trait anxiety (STAI) to 16 outpatients with psoriasis of Dermatology Service of Hospital de Especialidades (Centro Médico Nacional Siglo XXI) and the results were compared with 25 control subjects. 25 % of patients with psoriasis presented alexitimia, while in the control group was 8 % (p = 0.002). Correlation between the scores of the TSA-20 and STAI-trait (r = 0.6957, p < 0.0001) was observed. The alexitimia occurs more frequently in individuals with psoriasis than in the general population, and levels of trait anxiety in individuals with psoriasis are similar regardless of the presence of alexithymia.

  13. Alexithymia is inversely associated with women's frequency of vaginal intercourse.

    PubMed

    Brody, Stuart

    2003-02-01

    The study examined the relation between frequency of penile-vaginal intercourse (FSI; contrasted with other sexual behavior) and alexithymia (difficulty recognizing, identifying, and communicating emotions, reduced fantasy capacity, and an externally oriented cognitive style). To minimize response bias, persons scoring above the 86th percentile on the Eysenck Personality Inventory Lie scale were excluded. Participants (54 female and 39 male healthy young adults) completed the German version of the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), and provided both recall and diary measures of FSI, partner sex without vaginal intercourse, and masturbation. For women, TAS-20 scores were inversely associated with both recall and diary measures of FSI but not other sexual behavior. For men, TAS-20 scores were unrelated to all sexual behavior measures. Thus, for normal women but not men, alexithymia was specifically associated with lower FSI. Results are discussed in terms of the unique nature of penile-vaginal intercourse, emotional integration and sexuality, and both less alexithymia and greater FSI being associated with indices of better physical and psychological health.

  14. Temperament, character traits, and alexithymia in patients with panic disorder

    PubMed Central

    Izci, Filiz; Gültekin, Bulent Kadri; Saglam, Sema; Koc, Merve Iris; Zincir, Selma Bozkurt; Atmaca, Murad

    2014-01-01

    Background The primary aim of the present study was to compare temperament and character traits and levels of alexithymia between patients with panic disorder and healthy controls. Methods Sixty patients with panic disorder admitted to the psychiatry clinic at Fırat University Hospital were enrolled in the study, along with 62 healthy age-matched and sex-matched controls. The Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV axis I (SCID-I), Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI), Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), and Panic Agoraphobia Scale (PAS) were administered to all subjects. Results Within the temperament dimension, the mean subscale score for harm avoidance was significantly higher in patients with panic disorder than in controls. With respect to character traits, mean scores for self-directedness and cooperativeness were significantly lower than in healthy controls. Rates of alexithymia were 35% (n=21) and 11.3% (n=7) in patients with panic disorder and healthy controls, respectively. The difficulty identifying feelings subscale score was significantly higher in patients with panic disorder (P=0.03). A moderate positive correlation was identified between PAS and TAS scores (r=0.447, P<0.01). Moderately significant positive correlations were also noted for PAS and TCI subscale scores and scores for novelty seeking, harm avoidance, and self-transcendence. Conclusion In our study sample, patients with panic disorder and healthy controls differed in TCI parameters and rate of alexithymia. Larger prospective studies are required to assess for causal associations. PMID:24876780

  15. Alexithymia and cancer-related fatigue: a controlled cross-sectional study.

    PubMed

    Gritti, Paolo; Lombardi, Salvatore; Nobile, Barbara; Trappoliere, Paola; Gambardella, Antonio; Di Caprio, Ester Livia; Resicato, Gianluca

    2010-01-01

    The study aims to investigate the alexithymia construct in patients with a recent or longtime diagnosis of cancer as well as in healthy people, and whether alexithymia and fatigue are linked in the mentioned groups. A first group, diagnosed less than 3 months previously (n = 63), and a second group whose cancer diagnosis dated back more than 30 months (n = 53), matched for sex, age, educational level and cancer site were assessed. Matched healthy controls (n = 50) were also evaluated. Alexithymia was assessed with the Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20, while fatigue was assessed with the Brief Fatigue Inventory. Alexithymia scores were higher in the recently diagnosed group than in the group with a longtime cancer diagnosis (t = 2.18, P < 0.05). Both groups had higher scores than controls (t = 4.3, P < 0.001; t = 2.01, P < 0.05). Alexithymic subjects were 45.6% in the recently diagnosed and 21.4% in the longtime diagnosed group (Chi(2) = 6.3, P < 0.05) and 18% in controls. Fatigue was more severe in patients with a longtime diagnosis compared with recently diagnosed patients (t = 7.079, P = 0.000). A weak but significant association between fatigue and alexithymia was found in recently diagnosed patients (r = 0.27.2; P < 0.05). Our study confirms that alexithymia scores are higher in cancer patients than in controls. The study suggests that alexithymia could be considered a dynamic reaction to illness in recently diagnosed patients, declining during subsequent phases. High fatigue rates in patients with a longtime diagnosis of cancer underline the role of the long course of illness in the perception of fatigue. The association between fatigue and alexithymia was weak in the recently diagnosed group and not significant in patients with a longtime diagnosis, in whom fatigue was an important complaint.

  16. Relationship between internet addiction and alexithymia among university students.

    PubMed

    Baysan-Arslan, Seher; Cebeci, Sevsen; Kaya, Mehmet; Canbal, Metin

    2016-12-01

    Epidemiological studies concerning internet addiction found that 50% of internet addicts also have other kinds of psychiatric disorders. This study aims to examine the relationship between alexithymia and internet addiction levels among Turgut Özal University students in Ankara, Turkey. University students (1,107 students; 452 students from 12 associate degree programs and 655 students from 10 undergraduate programs) participated in the study. The researchers used the personal information form, the Toronto Alexithymia Scale and the Internet Addiction Scale. The approval for the current study was received from the Turgut Özal University Medical Faculty Clinical Studies Ethics Committee. The number of the alexithymic students was 12.5% whereas the number of the students who were internet addicts was 13.5%. The internet addiction scores were higher among alexithymic individuals than the non-alexithymic (p.

  17. [Psychosocial functioning in non-psychiatric acute and chronic inpatients: depression, alexithymia and lack of assertiveness].

    PubMed

    Arancibia, Marcelo; Behar, Rosa; Marín, Sofía; Inzunza, Nicolás; Madrid, Eva

    2016-11-01

    Depression, alexithymia, and lack of assertiveness interfere with individual psychosocial functioning and may result in longer hospitalization stay and poorer therapeutic results. To analyze the psychosocial functioning in acute and chronic patients and its association with psychological, clinical and sociodemographic variables. We performed a cross-sectional study that included 80 inpatients of both sexes with organic pathology, aged between 18 to 70 years old, without any current psychiatric disorder. Clinical and sociodemographic data were collected from a semi-structured interview and hospital records. Beck Depression Inventory-IA, Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20 and Rathus Assertiveness Scale were administered. Fifty five percent of patients had some degree of depression, 33% alexithymia and 34% lack of assertiveness. The levels of depression, alexithymia and lack of assertiveness in chronic patients were significantly higher than those observed in acute patients. Women and participants older than 60 years exhibited the highest degrees of depression. Alexithymia and lack of assertiveness were associated with a lower educational level. A negative significant correlation between alexithymia and assertiveness scores was observed among acute patients. Participants with chronic diseases had a lower psychosocial functioning. Less educated patients showed more alexithymic and less assertive features. We emphasized the need of a better management of these aspects by the health team, since social functioning might interfere with the outcome of physical illnesses.

  18. Dorsal Anterior Cingulate Thickness Is Related to Alexithymia in Childhood Trauma-Related PTSD

    PubMed Central

    Demers, Lauren A.; Olson, Elizabeth A.; Crowley, David J.; Rauch, Scott L.; Rosso, Isabelle M.

    2015-01-01

    Alexithymia, or “no words for feelings”, is highly prevalent in samples with childhood maltreatment and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) has been identified as a key region involved in alexithymia, early life trauma, and PTSD. Functional alterations in the dACC also have been associated with alexithymia in PTSD. This study examined whether dACC morphology is a neural correlate of alexithymia in child maltreatment-related PTSD. Sixteen adults with PTSD and a history of childhood sexual abuse, physical abuse, or exposure to domestic violence, and 24 healthy controls (HC) completed the Toronto Alexithymia Scale 20 (TAS–20) and underwent magnetic resonance imaging. Cortical thickness of the dACC was measured using FreeSurfer, and values were correlated with TAS–20 scores, controlling for sex and age, in both groups. Average TAS–20 score was significantly higher in the PTSD than the HC group. TAS–20 scores were significantly positively associated with dACC thickness only in the PTSD group. This association was strongest in the left hemisphere and for TAS–20 subscales that assess difficulty identifying and describing feelings. We found that increasing dACC gray matter thickness is a neural correlate of greater alexithymia in the context of PTSD with childhood maltreatment. While findings are correlational, they motivate further inquiry into the relationships between childhood adversity, emotional awareness and expression, and dACC morphologic development in trauma-related psychopathology. PMID:26439117

  19. Alexithymia, responsibility attitudes and suicide ideation among outpatients with obsessive-compulsive disorder: an exploratory study.

    PubMed

    De Berardis, Domenico; Serroni, Nicola; Campanella, Daniela; Rapini, Gabriella; Olivieri, Luigi; Feliziani, Barbara; Carano, Alessandro; Valchera, Alessandro; Iasevoli, Felice; Tomasetti, Carmine; Mazza, Monica; Fornaro, Michele; Perna, Giampaolo; Di Nicola, Marco; Martinotti, Giovanni; Di Giannantonio, Massimo

    2015-04-01

    Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is psychiatric disorder with a significant suicide risk, and the presence of alexithymia may increase this risk. As several studies attribute an important role, in OCD, to responsibility, the aims of this study were to evaluate possible clinical differences between patients positive or not for alexithymia concerning disorder severity, responsibility attitudes and suicide ideation and investigate which variables were associated with increased suicide ideation. 104 adult outpatients with OCD were recruited. Alexithymia was measured with Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), attitude about responsibility was tested with Responsibility Attitude Scale (RAS), suicide ideation was assessed with Scale of Suicide Ideation (SSI) and depressive symptoms were evaluated with Montgomery Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS). Score of item #11 on the Y-BOCS was considered as a measure of insight. Patients positive for alexithymia showed higher responsibility attitudes and more severe suicide ideation. In a blockwise regression model, the presence of lower insight, higher RAS scores and difficulty in identifying feelings dimension of TAS-20 were associated with higher SSI scores. OCD patients with alexithymia may show higher disorder severity, lower insight and inflated responsibility, all related to suicide ideation, independently from depressive symptoms. Implications were discussed and study limitations considered and reported. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Handedness, alexithymia, and focus laterality as risk factors for psychiatric comorbidity in patients with epilepsy.

    PubMed

    Kalinin, Vladimir V; Zemlyanaya, Anna A; Krylov, Oleg E; Zheleznova, Elena V

    2010-03-01

    The aim of the current study was to evaluate the effect of seizure lateralization, handedness, and alexithymia on psychopathology in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy. One hundred five patients were included in the study. The Hopkins Symptom Checklist--90 (SCL-90) and Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-26) were used for psychopathological assessment of patients. Handedness was evaluated using Annett's scale. Among the patients studied were 74 right-handers and 31 left-handers, and 25 alexithymic and 80 nonalexithymic persons. Left-sided foci were observed in 52, and right-sided foci in 53 persons. MANOVA was used for analysis of the interrelationship between nominal fixed factors (handedness, alexithymia, and focus laterality) and the dependent variables SCL-90, Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression, and Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety. MANOVA revealed that alexithymia exerts maximal effect on psychopathological variables, and maximal values of SCL-90 constructs were observed for persons with alexithymia/left-handedness and alexithymia/right-sided seizure focus combinations. (c) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. The relationship between alexithymia, anxiety, depression, and internet addiction severity in a sample of Italian high school students.

    PubMed

    Scimeca, Giuseppe; Bruno, Antonio; Cava, Lucia; Pandolfo, Gianluca; Muscatello, Maria Rosaria Anna; Zoccali, Rocco

    2014-01-01

    We aimed to assess whether Internet addiction (IA) severity was related to alexithymia scores among high school students, taking into account the role of gender differences and the possible effect of anxiety, depression, and age. Participants in the study were 600 students (ages ranging from 13 to 22; 48.16% girls) recruited from three high schools in two cities from Southern Italy. Participants completed a sociodemographic questionnaire, the Toronto Alexithymia Scale, the Internet Addiction Test, the Hamilton Anxiety Scale, and the Hamilton Depression Scale. The findings of the study showed that IA scores were associated with alexithymia scores, over and above the effect of negative emotions and age. Students with pathological levels of alexithymia reported higher scores on IA severity. In particular, results showed that difficulty in identifying feelings was significantly associated with higher scores on IA severity. No effect of gender was found. Implications for clinicians were discussed.

  2. Relationship of alexithymia and dissociation with severity of borderline personality features in male substance-dependent inpatients.

    PubMed

    Evren, Cuneyt; Cınar, Ozgul; Evren, Bilge

    2012-08-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate possible interactions between severity of borderline personality features (BPFs), dissociative experiences, and alexithymia among substance-dependent men while controlling for their current age, depression, and anxiety. Participants were 200 substance-dependent men consecutively admitted to a dependency treatment unit. The Borderline Personality Inventory, the Toronto Alexithymia Scale, the Dissociative Experiences Scale, the Beck Depression Inventory, and the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory were administered to all participants. Severity of negative affect, alexithymia, dissociative experiences, and BPF were correlated with each other. Being younger, severity of dissociative experiences, difficulty in identifying feelings, depression, and trait anxiety predicted the severity of BPF in linear regression analysis. These findings suggest that alexithymia and dissociative experiences may be a way of coping with depression and chronic anxiety, but they also seem to be related to the severity of BPF independent of the negative affect and from each other. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. When parenting fails: alexithymia and attachment states of mind in mothers of female patients with eating disorders

    PubMed Central

    Pace, Cecilia Serena; Cavanna, Donatella; Guiducci, Valentina; Bizzi, Fabiola

    2015-01-01

    Introduction: In recent years alexithymia and attachment theory have been recognized as two parallel research lines trying to improve the information on the development and maintenance of eating disorders (EDs). However, no research has analyzed these constructs among patients’ families. In this study we compared alexithymia and attachment in mothers of patients with EDs and a control group. Further, we hypothesized that mothers of daughters with EDs with insecure and unresolved states of mind will reported high levels of alexithymia. Lastly, we explored the daughters’ evaluations of maternal alexithymia. Methods: 45 mothers of ED women and 48 mothers of healthy controls (N = 93) matched for age and socio-demographic variables were administered by the Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20 (TAS-20) (S), while two sub-groups of “ED” mothers (n = 20) and “non-ED” ones (n = 22) were assessed by the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI). Moreover, the Observer Alexithymia Scale (OAS) was administered to the daughters for evaluating maternal alexithymia. Results: Regarding alexithymia, no differences were found between ED and non-ED mothers according to the TAS-20, while ED mothers showed more unresolved AAI classifications than non-ED mothers. No correlations were found between the TAS-20 and the AAI. Lastly, ED mothers were evaluated more alexithymic by their daughters with the OAS than those in the control group, and their alexithymic traits were significantly correlated with dismissing states of mind (idealization and lack of memory) in the AAIs. Discussion: Our results highlighted an interesting discrepancy among mothers with ED daughters between the low level of alexithymia provided by their self-reports and the high level of alexithymia observed by their daughters, although the OAS showed severe methodological limitations. Maternal attachment states of mind characterized by the lack of resolution of past losses could be connected to a confusing and incoherent

  4. Lack of Association between Oxytocin Receptor (OXTR) Gene Polymorphisms and Alexithymia: Evidence from Patients with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.

    PubMed

    Koh, Min Jung; Kim, Wonji; Kang, Jee In; Namkoong, Kee; Kim, Se Joo

    2015-01-01

    Oxytocin receptor gene single nucleotide polymorphisms have been associated with structural and functional alterations in brain regions, which involve social-emotional processing. Therefore, oxytocin receptor gene polymorphisms may contribute to individual differences in alexithymia, which is considered to be a dysfunction of emotional processing. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between oxytocin receptor gene single nucleotide polymorphisms or haplotypes and alexithymia in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder. We recruited 355 patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (234 men, 121 women). Alexithymia was measured by using the Toronto Alexithymia Scale. We performed single-marker and haplotype association analyses with eight single nucleotide polymorphisms (rs237885, rs237887, rs2268490, rs4686301, rs2254298, rs13316193, rs53576, and rs2268498) in the oxytocin receptor gene. There were no significant associations between any of the eight single nucleotide polymorphism of the oxytocin receptor gene and alexithymia. In addition, a six-locus haplotype block (rs237885-rs237887-rs2268490-rs4686301-rs2254298-rs13316193) was not significantly associated with alexithymia. These findings suggest that genetic variations in the oxytocin receptor gene may not explain a significant part of alexithymia in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

  5. Role of theory of mind in emotional awareness and alexithymia: Implications for conceptualization and measurement.

    PubMed

    Lane, Richard D; Hsu, Chiu-Hsieh; Locke, Dona E C; Ritenbaugh, Cheryl; Stonnington, Cynthia M

    2015-05-01

    The goal of this study was to determine whether alexithymia, which is characterized by difficulty in recognizing and describing emotions, is associated with impairments in the ability to mentally represent emotional states. We studied 89 outpatients including 29 conversion disorder patients, 30 functional somatic syndrome [e.g. fibromyalgia] patients and 30 medical controls. Groups did not differ on affective or cognitive Theory of Mind (ToM) measures, the Levels of Emotional Awareness Scale (LEAS) or the Twenty-Item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) after adjusting for Positive and Negative Affect Scale (PANAS) variables. Across all patients, LEAS but not TAS-20 correlated positively with affective and cognitive ToM measures after adjusting for PANAS scores. Impairments in ToM functioning influence LEAS performance but not TAS-20 scores. These findings support the distinction between a milder "anomia" form of alexithymia associated with impaired emotion naming and a more severe "agnosia" form associated with impaired mental representation of emotion.

  6. Alexithymia components in excessive internet users: a multi-factorial analysis.

    PubMed

    Kandri, Theodora A; Bonotis, Konstantinos S; Floros, Georgios D; Zafiropoulou, Maria M

    2014-12-15

    The increasing use of computers and the internet - especially among young people - apart from its positive effects, sometimes leads to excessive and pathological use. The present study examined the relationship among the excessive use of the internet by university students, the alexithymia components and sociodemographic factors associated with internet users and their online activities. 515 university students from the University of Thessaly participated in the study. Participants anonymously completed: a) the Internet Addiction Test (IAT), b) the Toronto Alexithymia Test (TAS 20) and c) a questionnaire covering various aspects of internet use and demographic characteristics of internet users. Excessive use of the internet among Greek university students was studied within a multi-factorial context and was associated with the alexithymia and demographic factors in nonlinear correlations, forming thus a personalized emotional and demographic profile of the excessive internet users.

  7. Antisocial and psychopathic personalities in a sample of addicted subjects: differences in psychological resources, symptoms, alexithymia and impulsivity.

    PubMed

    Gori, Alessio; Craparo, Giuseppe; Sareri, Giuseppe Iraci; Caretti, Vincenzo; Giannini, Marco; Meringolo, Patrizia

    2014-10-01

    Psychopathy and antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) are two constructs not interchangeable. Compared to the ASPD, psychopathy is characterized by lack of anxiety, low withdrawal, and high levels of attention seeking. The sample of this study included 76 subjects with a substance use disorder. Subjects were aged between 18 and 59 years old (M=32.87, SD=9.36). With respect to level of education 3 subjects are elementary school graduates, 49 have a middle school diploma, 21 own a high school diploma, and 3 participants have a bachelor's degree. We administered the following measures: a) Psychopathic Personality Inventory-Revised (PPI-R); b) Psychological Treatment Inventory (PTI); c) 20-Item-Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20); d) Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS). Most of the significant correlations between the Psychopathic Index (PPI-R total score), and the measures administered are listed below: PPI-R total score and Deviance (r=.482, p<.001), PPI-R total score and Hypomania (r=.369, p < .001), PPI-R total score and Unresolved attachment (r=.293, p<.001), PPI-R total score and Manipulativeness (r=.550, p<.001), PPI-R total score and the TAS-20 total score (r=.230; p<.001), PPI-R total score and Difficulty in Identifying Feelings (DIF) factor (r=.250, p<.001), PPI-R total score and Attentional Impulsiveness (r=.409, p<.001); PPI-R total score and Motor Impulsiveness (r=.526, p<.001). Results of MANOVAs between the two groups also revealed significant differences on several variables analyzed. Our study showed that addicted subjects with psychopathic tendencies are more likely to experience negative emotions and have a peculiar cognitive style with respect to antisocial addicts. These results partially confirm those ones of previous studies underlining that psychopathic population is generally characterized for a major need for stimulation, poor behavioral controls, lack of realistic long-term goals, impulsivity, irresponsibility. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc

  8. Alexithymia and emotional awareness in females with Painful Rheumatic Conditions.

    PubMed

    Baeza-Velasco, Carolina; Carton, Solange; Almohsen, Caroline; Blotman, Francis; Gély-Nargeot, Marie Christine

    2012-11-01

    Research about the deficit of emotional regulation in Painful Rheumatic Conditions (PRC) indicates that these patients have alexithymic characteristics, as revealed by the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20). However, the use of a unique measure to assess alexithymic trends has been questioned. The aim of the present study is twofold: to compare the levels of alexithymia and emotional awareness in females with and without PRC; and to test the predictive validity of alexithymia measures beyond negative emotions. Thirty-nine women with PRC of diverse etiology and twenty-two healthy females responded to the TAS-20, the Levels of Emotional Awareness Scale (LEAS) and questionnaires of anxiety and depression. The total score, factor 1 (difficulty identifying feelings) and factor 2 (difficulty describing feelings) scores of TAS-20 were significantly higher among women with PRC than controls. Females with PRC had lower scores in the subscale "self" of the LEAS (capacity to describe their own emotional experience) than the control group. Only the LEAS significantly predicted the status group after adjusting for anxiety and depression. Our results highlighted the impairment of emotion processing in patients with PRC and the importance of using a multimodal assessment of emotional regulation in future research. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Alexithymia and personality disorder functioning styles in paranoid schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Yu, Shaohua; Li, Huichun; Liu, Weibo; Zheng, Leilei; Ma, Ying; Chen, Qiaozhen; Chen, Yiping; Yu, Hualiang; Lu, Yunrong; Pan, Bing; Wang, Wei

    2011-01-01

    Personality disorder functioning styles might contribute to the inconclusive findings about alexithymic features in schizophrenia. We therefore studied the relationship between alexithymia and personality styles in paranoid schizophrenia. We administered the Chinese versions of the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), the Parker Personality Measure (PERM), the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale as well as the Hamilton Anxiety and Depression Scales to 60 paranoid schizophrenia patients and 60 healthy control subjects. Patients scored significantly higher on the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale, TAS 'difficulty identifying feelings' and 'difficulty describing feelings', Hamilton Depression Scale and most PERM scales. In healthy subjects, difficulty identifying feelings predicted the PERM 'dependent' style, and the Hamilton Anxiety Scale predicted difficulty identifying feelings and difficulty describing feelings. In patients, difficulty identifying feelings nonspecifically predicted all the PERM scales; by contrast, the PERM 'antisocial' style predicted difficulty identifying feelings, the 'avoidant' style predicted difficulty describing feelings, and the 'histrionic' and 'paranoid (-)' styles predicted 'externally oriented thinking'. Personality disorder functioning styles - instead of anxiety, depression, psychotic symptoms or disease duration - were specifically associated with alexithymia scales in our patients, which sheds light on a cognitive-personological substrate in paranoid schizophrenia on the one hand, and calls for a longitudinal design to discover how premorbid or postacute residual personality styles contribute to the sluggish disorder on the other. Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  10. Association of childhood trauma and panic symptom severity in panic disorder: Exploring the mediating role of alexithymia.

    PubMed

    Zou, Zhili; Huang, Yulan; Wang, Jinyu; He, Ying; Min, Wenjiao; Chen, Xu; Wang, Jing; Zhou, Bo

    2016-12-01

    The aim of the present study was to examine the association between childhood trauma (CT), alexithymia, and panic symptom severity in patients with panic disorder (PD). Moreover, the effect of specific subtypes of CT on alexithymia and panic symptom severity was also investigated. 142 patients with PD and 146 healthy age-matched and sex-matched controls were enrolled in the study. The Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV axis I (SCID-I), Childhood Trauma Questionnaire-28 item Short Form (CTQ-28), Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), and Panic Disorder Severity Scale (PDSS) were administered to all subjects. The relationships among CT subtypes, alexithymia, and panic symptom severity were investigated using Pearson's correlation analysis. The types of CT that predict alexithymia and panic symptom severity were also investigated using Regression analyses. PD patients showed higher scores on reporting all kinds of CT except sexual abuse. In addition, the TAS-20, DIF (difficulty identifying feelings) and DDF (difficulty describing feelings) scores were significantly higher in patients with PD than in controls. Significant positive correlations were noted among CT, alexithymia and panic symptoms severity. Results of regression analyses showed alexithymia as a mediator between the different types of CT and panic disorder severity, except sexual abuse. Although self-report questionnaires are reliable and widely used, the phenomenon of patients who underreport or overreport their symptoms cannot be ignored. The present study showed that CT and alexithymia are more common in patients with PD and impact the severity of panic symptoms. Results suggest that alexithymia may be an important mediator between CT and panic disorder severity. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Mediator role of experiential avoidance in relationship of perceived stress and alexithymia with mental health.

    PubMed

    Zakiei, Ali; Ghasemi, Seyed Ramin; Gilan, Nader Rajabi; Reshadat, Sohyla; Sharifi, Kasra; Mohammadi, Omid

    2017-07-16

    This cross-sectional study investigated the mediatory role of experiential avoidance in the relationship between perceived stress and alexithymia with mental health. We enrolled 440 students (age 18-30 years) at Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences through stratified random sampling method. The study tools were demographic checklist, GHQ-28, Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20 and Perceived Stress Scale. Data were analysed by SPSS-18 and AMOS-18 using Pearson correlation, hierarchical regression analysis and structural equation modelling (SEM). There was a significant positive correlation between perceived stress and experiential avoidance, and alexithymia and mental health problems (P < 0.001). SEM showed that the relationship between perceived stress and mental health problems by experiential avoidance was 0.19 [(β = 0.19; standard error (SE) = 0.09; P = 0.001], and the relationship between alexithymia and mental health problems through experiential avoidance was 0.09 (β = 0.09; SE = 0.43; P = 0.01). The mediatory role of experiential avoidance was confirmed in such a way that the effects of alexithymia and perceived stress decreased.

  12. Childhood trauma in obsessive compulsive disorder: the roles of alexithymia and attachment.

    PubMed

    Carpenter, Leanne; Chung, Man Cheung

    2011-12-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the interrelationships between childhood trauma, attachment, alexithymia, and the severity of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) in a cohort of participants with OCD. There is a growing body of research linking traumatic experiences in childhood with the development of OCD. The mechanisms involved in this association are not yet clear. The sample was comprised of 82 people with OCD and 92 comparison participants. A cross-sectional design was used, utilizing internet-mediated administration of the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire - revised (CTQ-R); the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale - Self-Report (Y-BOCS-SR); the Experiences in Close Relationships Scale (ECR); and Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20). Partial least squares (PLS) analysis was used to determine significant paths between the constructs. Results of PLS analysis supported all of the hypotheses made: there was a significant positive correlation between childhood trauma and attachment avoidance, which in turn was significantly positively associated with alexithymia. Alexithymia was significantly associated with the severity of OCD symptoms and the number of OCD symptoms. Mediational analysis showed that alexithymia significantly carried an influence from attachment avoidance to the severity of obsessions and the number of obsession symptoms. There is a relationship between childhood trauma and OCD, however this relationship is not direct in nature but is influenced by peoples' past experiences with significant others and associated difficulties in emotional processing. © 2011 The British Psychological Society.

  13. From Childhood Trauma to Adult Dissociation: The Role of PTSD and Alexithymia.

    PubMed

    Terock, Jan; Van der Auwera, Sandra; Janowitz, Deborah; Spitzer, Carsten; Barnow, Sven; Miertsch, Martin; Freyberger, Harald J; Grabe, Hans-Jörgen

    The mechanism of how childhood trauma leads to increased risk for adult dissociation is not sufficiently understood. We sought to investigate the predicting effects and the putatively mediating roles of PTSD and alexithymia on the path from childhood trauma to adult dissociation. A total of 666 day-clinic outpatients were administered the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ), the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), the Posttraumatic Diagnostic Scale (PDS), and the Dissociative Experiences Scale (DES) and controlled for sex, age, and the Global Symptom Index (GSI). Linear regression analyses and mediation analyses were applied. Independent predictive effects on dissociation were found for childhood trauma, alexithymia and PDS, even after adjusting for GSI. Effects of childhood neglect on dissociation were slightly stronger than of abuse. Alexithymia did not mediate the path from childhood trauma to dissociation. Mediation by PDS was specific for childhood abuse, with all PTSD symptom clusters being significantly involved. Childhood abuse and neglect are important predictors of dissociation. While the effects of abuse are mediated by PTSD, the mechanism of how neglect leads to dissociation remains unclear. The results further support the predictive value of alexithymia for adult dissociation above and beyond the effects of childhood trauma, PTSD, and GSI scores. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  14. Relationship of internet addiction severity with depression, anxiety, and alexithymia, temperament and character in university students.

    PubMed

    Dalbudak, Ercan; Evren, Cuneyt; Aldemir, Secil; Coskun, Kerem Senol; Ugurlu, Hilal; Yildirim, Fatma Gul

    2013-04-01

    The aim of the study was to investigate the relationship of Internet addiction (IA) severity with alexithymia, temperament, and character dimensions of personality in university students while controlling for the effect of depression and anxiety. A total of 319 university students from two conservative universities in Ankara volunteered for the study. Students were investigated using the Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20, the Temperament and Character Inventory, the Internet Addiction Scale, the Beck Anxiety Inventory, and the Beck Depression Inventory. Of the university students enrolled in the study, 12.2 percent (n=39) were categorized into the moderate/high IA group (IA 7.2 percent, high risk 5.0 percent), 25.7 percent (n=82) were categorized into the mild IA group, and 62.1 percent (n=198) were categorized into the group without IA. Results revealed that the rate of moderate/high IA group membership was higher in men (20.0 percent) than women (9.4 percent). Alexithymia, depression, anxiety, and novelty seeking (NS) scores were higher; whereas self-directedness (SD) and cooperativeness (C) scores were lower in the moderate/high IA group. The severity of IA was positively correlated with alexithymia, whereas it was negatively correlated with SD. The "difficulty in identifying feelings" and "difficulty in describing feelings" factors of alexithymia, the low C and high NS dimensions of personality were associated with the severity of IA. The direction of this relationship between alexithymia and IA, and the factors that may mediate this relationship are unclear. Nevertheless, university students exhibiting high alexithymia and NS scores, along with low character scores (SD and C) should be closely monitored for IA.

  15. Extreme sensory processing patterns show a complex association with depression, and impulsivity, alexithymia, and hopelessness.

    PubMed

    Serafini, Gianluca; Gonda, Xenia; Canepa, Giovanna; Pompili, Maurizio; Rihmer, Zoltan; Amore, Mario; Engel-Yeger, Batya

    2017-03-01

    The involvement of extreme sensory processing patterns, impulsivity, alexithymia, and hopelessness was hypothesized to contribute to the complex pathophysiology of major depression and bipolar disorder. However, the nature of the relation between these variables has not been thoroughly investigated. This study aimed to explore the association between extreme sensory processing patterns, impulsivity, alexithymia, depression, and hopelessness. We recruited 281 euthymic participants (mean age=47.4±12.1) of which 62.3% with unipolar major depression and 37.7% with bipolar disorder. All participants completed the Adolescent/Adult Sensory Profile (AASP), Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), second version of the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II), Barratt Impulsivity Scale (BIS), and Beck Hopelessness Scale (BHS). Lower registration of sensory input showed a significant correlation with depression, impulsivity, attentional/motor impulsivity, and alexithymia. It was significantly more frequent among participants with elevated hopelessness, and accounted for 22% of the variance in depression severity, 15% in greater impulsivity, 36% in alexithymia, and 3% in hopelessness. Elevated sensory seeking correlated with enhanced motor impulsivity and decreased non-planning impulsivity. Higher sensory sensitivity and sensory avoiding correlated with depression, impulsivity, and alexithymia. The study was limited by the relatively small sample size and cross-sectional nature of the study. Furthermore, only self-report measures that may be potentially biased by social desirability were used. Extreme sensory processing patterns, impulsivity, alexithymia, depression, and hopelessness may show a characteristic pattern in patients with major affective disorders. The careful assessment of sensory profiles may help in developing targeted interventions and improve functional/adaptive strategies. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. The role of alexithymia: An 8-year follow-up study of chronic pain patients.

    PubMed

    Saariaho, Anita S; Saariaho, Tom H; Mattila, Aino K; Joukamaa, Matti I; Karukivi, Max

    2016-08-01

    The aim of this 8-year follow-up study was to ascertain changes in alexithymia, depressiveness and pain situation in a sample of chronic pain patients and to explore the impact of alexithymia and depression on the outcome. Participants (n=83) were chronic non-malignant pain patients who completed self-report study questionnaires before their first visit to the pain clinic and again 8years later. Study variables consisted of pain intensity measured by the Visual Analogous Scale, the Pain Disability Scale, the Toronto Alexithymia Scale and the Beck Depression Inventory. The moderate improvement in the pain situation was estimated as a decrease of 30% or more in pain intensity or pain disability. In the whole sample there was a significant decrease in pain intensity, pain disability and depressiveness, but only some of the patients achieved moderate improvement in their pain situation. Alexithymia remained stable during the 8-year period. The alexithymic patients had poorer pain situation and more depressiveness both at baseline and at follow-up. Unfavorable outcome in the pain situation was connected with male gender and alexithymia at baseline but not with depressiveness. Alexithymia and depressiveness were closely related to each other and the connection strengthened during the follow-up period. Alexithymic depressive chronic pain patients represent a special, more disabled subgroup among chronic pain patients. The authors recommend screening for and identifying alexithymia and depression in chronic pain patients. Structural treatment protocols such as cognitive-behavioral therapy may benefit these patients. More research is needed to develop treatment interventions for alexithymic patients. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Repressive coping and alexithymia in idiopathic environmental intolerance

    PubMed Central

    Zachariae, Robert; Rasmussen, Alice; Johansen, Jeanne Duus; Elberling, Jesper

    2010-01-01

    Objective To examine if the non-expression of negative emotions (i.e., repressive coping) and differences in the ability to process and regulate emotions (i.e., alexithymia) is associated with idiopathic environmental intolerance (IEI). Methods The study included participants who had previously participated in a general population-based study and reported symptoms of environmental intolerance (n = 787) and patients with IEI (n = 237). The participants completed questionnaires assessing IEI, namely, a measure of repressive coping combining scores on the Marlowe–Crowne Social Desirability Scale (MCSDS) and the Taylor Manifest Anxiety Scale (TMAS), the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), and a negative affectivity scale (NAS). Multiple, hierarchical linear regression analyses were conducted using IEI variables as the dependent variables. Results The TMAS and MCSDS scores were independently associated with the IEI variables, but there was no evidence of a role of the repressive coping construct. While the total alexithymia score was unrelated to IEI, the TAS-20 subscale of difficulties identifying feelings (DIF) was independently associated with symptoms attributed to IEI. Negative affectivity was a strong independent predictor of the IEI variables and a mediator of the association between DIF and IEI. Conclusion Our results provide no evidence for a role of repressive coping in IEI, and our hypothesis of an association with alexithymia was only partly supported. In contrast, strong associations between IEI and negative emotional reactions, defensiveness and difficulties identifying feelings were found, suggesting a need for exploring the influence of these emotional reactions in IEI. PMID:21432559

  18. Metacognitive mastery moderates the relationship of alexithymia with cluster C personality disorder traits in adults with substance use disorders.

    PubMed

    Lysaker, Paul H; Olesek, Kyle; Buck, Kelly; Leonhardt, Bethany L; Vohs, Jenifer; Ringer, Jamie; Dimaggio, Giancarlo; Popolo, Raffaele; Outcalt, Jared

    2014-03-01

    Cluster C personality disorder traits have been observed in substance use disorders and linked with poorer outcome. One potential factor which may cause these disturbances in personality function is alexithymia, or the inability to name and express emotion. There may be other proximate factors which moderate the impact of alexithymia on the expression of cluster C traits, such as metacognitive mastery, which is the ability to use knowledge about mental states of self and others to cope with distress and solve social problems. To examine the possibility that mastery mediated the effects of alexithymia on cluster C traits, we assessed each of these constructs using the Metacognitive Assessment Scale Abbreviated, Toronto Alexithymia Scale and SCID II among 58 adults in an early phase of recovery from substance misuse disorders in a residential setting. Results of a multiple regression revealed that, after controlling for symptom severity and severity of substance misuse history, metacognitive mastery moderated the effect of alexithymia on number of cluster C traits. A median split and subsequent ANCOVA revealed that participants with higher levels of alexithymia and poorer metacognitive mastery had more cluster C traits than the other groups. These findings may have clinical implications, suggesting that patients with substance use disorders may benefit from treatment which addresses metacognitive mastery.

  19. The relationship between childhood sexual abuse, complex post-traumatic stress disorder and alexithymia in two outpatient samples: examination of women treated in community and institutional clinics.

    PubMed

    McLean, Linda M; Toner, Brenda; Jackson, Jennifer; Desrocher, Mary; Stuckless, Noreen

    2006-01-01

    Relationships between trauma variables, complex post-traumatic stress disorder (complex PTSD), affect dysregulation, dissociation, somatization, and alexithymia were studied in 70 women with early-onset sexual abuse treated in community-based private (n = 25) or clinic outpatient settings (n = 45). Measures were the Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20 and the Psychological Trauma Assessment Program. Compared with the community sample, the clinic sample (1) met diagnostic criteria for both lifetime and current complex PTSD; (2) showed correlations between current affect dysregulation, dissociation, and somatization with alexithymia; and (3) higher levels of alexithymia. Results suggest the clinic sample continued to experience current forms of suffering, risk, and vulnerability associated with early-onset sexual trauma. The findings may have implications regarding types of treatment available in community versus clinic settings.

  20. Eating disordered patients: personality, alexithymia, and implications for primary care.

    PubMed

    Beales, D L; Dolton, R

    2000-01-01

    Eating disorders are becoming more apparent in primary care. Descriptions of character traits related to people with eating disorders are rarely reported in the primary care literature and there is little awareness of the implications of alexithymia--a concept that defines the inability to identify or express emotion. We hypothesised that many individuals with active eating disorders have alexithymic traits and a tendency to somatize their distress. To analyse the character traits and degree of alexithymia of a selected group of women with active eating disorders and in recovery, and to recommend responses by members of the primary care team that might meet the needs of such individuals. Letters were sent to 200 female members of the Eating Disorders Association who had agreed to participate in research. Seventy-nine women volunteered to complete four postal questionnaires. This gave a response rate of 38.5%. Responders were categorised into three groups--anorexic, bulimic, and recovered--using the criteria of the Eating Disorders Inventory (EDI-2). The results of the 16PF5 Personality Inventory (16PF5) and the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) were analysed using one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and correlated using Pearson's correlation. A biographical questionnaire was also completed. In all three subgroups, high scores were achieved on the 16PF5 on 'apprehension and social sensitivity', while there were significant differences in the scores for 'privateness': a scale that measures the ability to talk about feelings and confide in others. On the TAS-20, 65% of the anorexic and 83% of the bulimic group scored in the alexithymic range compared with 33% of the recovered group. There was a significant negative correlation between alexithymia and social skills such as 'social and emotional expressivity' on the 16PF5. The results of this study emphasise the difference between those with active eating disorders who achieved high scores for privacy, introversion

  1. Comparing Sensory Information Processing and Alexithymia between People with Substance Dependency and Normal.

    PubMed

    Bashapoor, Sajjad; Hosseini-Kiasari, Seyyedeh Tayebeh; Daneshvar, Somayeh; Kazemi-Taskooh, Zeinab

    2015-01-01

    Sensory information processing and alexithymia are two important factors in determining behavioral reactions. Some studies explain the effect of the sensitivity of sensory processing and alexithymia in the tendency to substance abuse. Giving that, the aim of the current study was to compare the styles of sensory information processing and alexithymia between substance-dependent people and normal ones. The research method was cross-sectional and the statistical population of the current study comprised of all substance-dependent men who are present in substance quitting camps of Masal, Iran, in October 2013 (n = 78). 36 persons were selected randomly by simple randomly sampling method from this population as the study group, and 36 persons were also selected among the normal population in the same way as the comparison group. Both groups was evaluated by using Toronto alexithymia scale (TAS) and adult sensory profile, and the multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) test was applied to analyze data. The results showed that there are significance differences between two groups in low registration (P < 0.020, F = 5.66), sensation seeking (P < 0.050, F = 1.92), and sensory avoidance (P < 0.008, F = 7.52) as a components of sensory processing and difficulty in describing emotions (P < 0.001, F = 15.01) and difficulty in identifying emotions (P < 0.002, F = 10.54) as a components of alexithymia. However, no significant difference were found between two groups in components of sensory sensitivity (P < 0.170, F = 1.92) and external oriented thinking style (P < 0.060, F = 3.60). These results showed that substance-dependent people process sensory information in a different way than normal people and show more alexithymia features than them.

  2. Illuminating the theoretical components of alexithymia using bifactor modeling and network analysis.

    PubMed

    Watters, Carolyn A; Taylor, Graeme J; Bagby, R Michael

    2016-06-01

    Alexithymia is a multifaceted personality construct that reflects deficits in affect awareness (difficulty identifying feelings, DIF; difficulty describing feelings, DDF) and operative thinking (externally oriented thinking, EOT; restricted imaginal processes, IMP), and is associated with several common psychiatric disorders. Over the years, researchers have debated the components that comprise the construct with some suggesting that IMP and EOT may reflect constructs somewhat distinct from alexithymia. In this investigation, we attempt to clarify the components and their interrelationships using a large heterogeneous multilanguage sample (N = 839), and an interview-based assessment of alexithymia (Toronto Structured Interview for Alexithymia; TSIA). To this end, we used 2 distinctly different but complementary methods, bifactor modeling and network analysis. Results of the confirmatory bifactor model and related reliability estimates supported a strong general factor of alexithymia; however, the majority of reliable variance for IMP was independent of this general factor. In contrast, network analysis results were based on a network comprised of only substantive partial correlations among TSIA items. Modularity analysis revealed 3 communities of items, where DIF and DDF formed 1 community, and EOT and IMP formed separate communities. Network metrics supported that the majority of central items resided in the DIF/DDF community and that IMP items were connected to the network primarily through EOT. Taken together, results suggest that IMP, at least as measured by the TSIA, may not be as salient a component of the alexithymia construct as are the DIF, DDF, and EOT components. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  3. Differences in alexithymia and emotional awareness in exhaustion syndrome and chronic fatigue syndrome.

    PubMed

    Maroti, Daniel; Molander, Peter; Bileviciute-Ljungar, Indre

    2017-02-01

    Symptoms of Exhaustion Syndrome (ES) and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) are overlapping and create difficulties of differential diagnosis. Empirical studies comparing ES and CFS are scarce. This study aims to investigate if there are any emotional differences between ES and CFS. This cross-sectional study compared self-reported alexithymia and observer-rated emotional awareness in patients with ES (n = 31), CFS (n = 38) and healthy controls (HC) (n = 30). Self-reported alexithymia was measured with the Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20 (TAS-20) and emotional awareness with an observer-rated performance test, the Level of Emotional Awareness Scale (LEAS). Additionally, depression and anxiety were scored by the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Results show that patients with ES expressed higher self-reported alexithymia in the TAS-20 compared to HC, but had similar emotional awareness capacity in the observer-rated performance test, the LEAS. Patients with CFS expressed more difficulties in identifying emotions compared to HCs, and performed significantly worse in the LEAS-total and spent more time completing the LEAS as compared to HC. Correlation and multiple regressions analyses revealed that depression and anxiety positively correlated with and explained part of the variances in alexithymia scores, while age and group explained the major part of the variance in LEAS. Findings of this study indicate that emotional status is different in patients with ES and CFS with respect to both self-reported alexithymia and observer-rated emotional awareness. Emotional parameters should be approached both in clinical investigation and psychotherapy for patients with ES and CFS.

  4. Report Card on Child Poverty in Toronto. Toronto Campaign 2000.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hughes, Colin

    This report provides detailed information on the child poverty rates in Toronto from 1990 to 1998. The report card offers income data for Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It includes new income data for Toronto from the Family Databank of Statistics Canada. This databank uses information reported by all income tax filers and from the Canada Child Tax…

  5. Latina Landscape: Queer Toronto

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jimenez, Karleen Pendleton

    2008-01-01

    A group of Latinas sat down one day around a wooden table on the third floor of a downtown Toronto community center, lit candles and began to write. They came together through a flier inviting all Latinas interested in writing. On the second meeting, they named themselves Lengua Latina (Latin Tongue). Lengua Latina is a structure established by…

  6. The relationship between alexithymia, shame, trauma, and body image disorders: investigation over a large clinical sample

    PubMed Central

    Franzoni, Emilio; Gualandi, Stefano; Caretti, Vincenzo; Schimmenti, Adriano; Di Pietro, Elena; Pellegrini, Gaetano; Craparo, Giuseppe; Franchi, Arianna; Verrotti, Alberto; Pellicciari, Alessandro

    2013-01-01

    Background The connections between eating disorders (EDs) and alexithymia have not been fully clarified. This study aims to define alexithymia’s connections with shame, trauma, dissociation, and body image disorders. Methods We administered the Dissociative Experience Scale-II, Trauma Symptom Inventory, Experience of Shame Scale, Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20, and Body Uneasiness Test questionnaires to 143 ED subjects. Extensive statistical analyses were performed. Results The subjects showed higher scores on alexithymia, shame, dissociation, and traumatic feelings scales than the nonclinical population. These aspects are linked with each other in a statistically significant way. Partial correlations highlighted that feelings of shame are correlated to body dissatisfaction, irrespective of trauma or depressed mood. Multiple regression analysis demonstrates that shame (anorexic patients) and perceived traumatic conditions (bulimic and ED not otherwise specified) are associated with adverse image disorders. Conclusion Shame seems to hold a central role in the perception of an adverse self-image. Alexithymia may be interpreted as being a consequence of previous unelaborated traumatic experiences and feelings of shame, and it could therefore be conceptualized as a maladaptive–reactive construct. PMID:23550168

  7. Childhood abuse and neglect as a risk factor for alexithymia in adult male substance dependent inpatients.

    PubMed

    Evren, Cuneyt; Evren, Bilge; Dalbudak, Ercan; Ozcelik, Basak; Oncu, Fatih

    2009-03-01

    The prevalence of childhood abuse and neglect (CAN) histories and their associations with alexithymia among male substance-dependent inpatients were studied. Participants were 159 consecutively admitted male substance dependents (115 alcohol and 44 other drugs). Substance dependence was diagnosed by means of the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID-I), Turkish version. Patients were investigated with the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) and Childhood Abuse and Neglect Questionnaire. Among substance-dependent patients, 57.0% had at least one type of CAN and 45.3% were considered as alexithymic since they had a score greater than 60 on the TAS-20. Rate of unemployment, low educational status, emotional abuse and history of suicide attempts were higher in alexithymic substance dependent patients. Those who had histories of two or more types of childhood abuse or neglect had also higher mean score on TAS-20, particularly on the item "difficulty in identifying feelings-DIF." Also, the number of childhood trauma types was positively correlated with TAS-20 and DIF and the "difficulty in describing feelings-DDF" items of TAS-20. History of childhood emotional abuse was the only determinant for alexithymia. Childhood emotional abuse might be a risk factor for alexithymia among inpatient substance dependents.

  8. Cognitive Failure and Alexithymia and Predicting High–Risk Behaviors of Students With Learning Disabilities

    PubMed Central

    Abbasi, Moslem; Bagyan, Mohammad Javad; Dehghan, Hamidreza

    2014-01-01

    Background: One of the threatening health issues is prevalence of high-risk behaviors in various groups. Because of rapid social changes, it has been considered as of the most important problems of society by health organizations, administrative laws, and social policymakers. Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine the role of cognitive failure and alexithymia in predicting high-risk behaviors of students with learning disabilities. Patients and Methods: This was a correlational research including all 14-16 years old students during 2012-2013 school year in Arak, IR Iran. Eighty students with learning disabilities were sampled by simply random sampling. The data were collected by cognitive failures questionnaire, Toronto alexithymia scale, and high-risk behavior questionnaire. Results: The results showed that high-risk behaviors had significant positive correlations with difficulty identifying feelings (r = 0.321), difficulty describing feelings (r = 0.336), externally oriented thinking (r = 0.248), distractibility (0.292), memory distortion (r = 0.374), blunders (r = 0.335), and names amnesia (r = 0.275). Multiple regression analysis showed that cognitive failure and alexithymia predicted 32% of the total variance of high-risk behaviors. Conclusions: These findings demonstrated that cognitive failure and alexithymia had important roles in strengthening and appearance of high-risk behaviors in students with learning disabilities. Therefore, considering those problems, precautionary actions might be necessary. PMID:25032160

  9. Spiritual well-being, dissociation, and alexithymia: examining direct and moderating effects.

    PubMed

    Rosik, Christopher H; Soria, Andrea

    2012-01-01

    In the present study we surveyed 131 adults seeking psychotherapy and pastoral care in an intensive outpatient psychotherapy program for full-time religious workers. We sought to determine whether dissociation and alexithymia are associated with spiritual well-being. We utilized the Dissociative Experiences Scale-II (DES-II), the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), the Spiritual Well-Being Scale (SWB) as well as the subscales of these instruments in a series of linear multiple regression analyses. DES-II total scores were inversely related to SWB total scores. No association was found between alexithymia and SWB, nor did alexithymia moderate the relationship between dissociation and SWB. Subscale analyses revealed that lower SWB and Existential Well-Being (EWB) were associated with greater nonpathological dissociation (DES-NP), which was unrelated to Religious Well-Being (RWB). By contrast, lower RWB was predicted by higher pathological dissociation (DES-T), which displayed no relationship to SWB or EWB. We conclude with a discussion of some implications of these findings.

  10. The relationship between alexithymia, empathy and moral judgment in patients with multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Gleichgerrcht, E; Tomashitis, B; Sinay, V

    2015-09-01

    Converging research in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) has shown increased rates of alexithymia and disturbances in social cognition, including empathy and theory of mind. Moral judgment is one of the most complex spheres of human cognition, relying on intricate neural circuits related to many other affective, social, cognitive and behavioral processes. Relapsing-remitting MS patients (n = 38) and age-, gender- and education-matched controls (n = 38) completed a measure of alexithymia (Toronto Alexithymia Scale), a measure of empathy (Interpersonal Reactivity Index) and a series of moral dilemmas, for which measures of moral permissibility, emotional reactivity and moral relativity (the perception of how one's moral attitudes compare to the attitudes of the rest of the people) were derived. Relative to controls, patients exhibited decreased levels of other-oriented empathy [empathic concern (P < 0.01) and fantasy (P < 0.01)], increased levels of self-oriented personal distress (P < 0.01), as well as higher rates of alexithymia (P < 0.001). Moral permissibility was significantly reduced in patients with MS (P = 0.038), who also showed higher levels of emotional reactivity (P < 0.01). Additionally, a significantly higher number of patients than controls considered that respondents would deliver similar judgments to the same moral scenarios (P < 0.001). Understanding such complex interactions between individual dispositions and moral cognition has the potential to contribute to the development of better assessment and intervention strategies for MS patients, enhancing quality of life by achieving better social participation. © 2015 EAN.

  11. Disordered eating attitudes, alexithymia and suicide probability among Turkish high school girls.

    PubMed

    Alpaslan, Ahmet Hamdi; Soylu, Nusret; Avci, Kadriye; Coşkun, Kerem Şenol; Kocak, Uğur; Taş, Hanife Uzel

    2015-03-30

    We aimed to examine association between disordered eating attitudes (DEAs), alexithymia and suicide probability among adolescent females and to explore potential link between alexithymia and suicide probability in subjects with DEAs. 381 female students completed Eating Attitude Test (EAT-26), Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) and Suicide Probability Scale (SPS). It was found that 13.2% (n=52) of the subjects have DEAs. Results indicated that total TAS-20 score and scores of Difficulty in Identifying Feelings (DIF) and Difficulty in Describing Feelings (DDF) subscales were significantly higher in DEAs group than in those non DEAs group (p<0.05). Additionally, total SPS score (p<0.001), Hopelessness (p=0.001), Suicide Ideation (p<0.001) and Hostility (p=0.003) subscales scores of SPS were significantly higher in the alexithymic DEAs than the non-alexithymic DEAs group. In order to control potential effect of depression, SPS subscales were used as covariate factors in ANCOVA. Negative Self-Evaluation subscale yielded a statistically significant difference between groups, other subscales did not. Results point out these; DEAs are relatively frequent phenomenon among female students in Turkey and presence of alexithymia was associated with an increased suicide probability in adolescents with DEAs. The results should be evaluated taking into account that depressive symptomatology was not assessed using a depression scale. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Alexithymia, impulsiveness, and psychopathology in nonsuicidal self-injured adolescents

    PubMed Central

    Gatta, Michela; Dal Santo, Francesco; Rago, Alessio; Spoto, Andrea; Battistella, Pier Antonio

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) is a multifaceted phenomenon and a major health issue among adolescents. A better understanding of self-injury comorbidities is crucial to improve our ability to assess, treat, and prevent NSSI. Purpose This study aimed at analyzing some of the psychobehavioral correlates of NSSI: psychological problems, alexithymia, impulsiveness, and sociorelational aspects. Patients and methods This was a case–control study. The clinical sample (n=33) included adolescents attending our unit for NSSI and other issues; the controls (n=79) were high-school students. Data were collected using six questionnaires: Youth Self-Report, Barratt’s Impulsiveness Scale, Toronto Alexithymia Scale, Children’s Depression Inventory, Symptom Checklist-90-R, and Child Behavior Checklist. Results Cases scored significantly higher in all questionnaires. Habitual self-injurers scored higher on impulsiveness and alexithymia. The gesture’s repetition seems relevant to the global clinical picture: habitual self-injurers appear more likely to seek help from the sociosanitary services. We found a difference between the self-injurers’ and their parents’ awareness of the disorder. Conclusion Habitual self-injurers show signs of having difficulty with assessing the consequences of their actions (nonplanning impulsiveness) and the inability to manage their feelings. Given the significantly higher scores found for cases than for controls on all the psychopathological scales, NSSI can be seen as a cross-category psychiatric disorder, supporting the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders decision to include it as a pathological entity in its own right. PMID:27672324

  13. Alexithymia and Self-Esteem in Patients with Ankylosing Spondylitis

    PubMed Central

    SOLMAZ, Mustafa; BİNBAY, Zerrin; CİDEM, Muharrem; SAĞIR, Selim; KARACAN, İlhan

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Ankylosing spondylitis (AS), which has an unknown etiology, inflammatory disorder, characterized by inflammation of the spinal joints and adjacent structures. It has a negatif effect on all aspects of a patients’s life: Physcally, psychologically and socially. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of AS on self-esteem and alexithymia. Method In this study, 50 patients from the department of physical therapy and rehabilitation with the diaognosis of AS who were under traetment and follow-up and 50 healty volunteers who matched for age and gender were taken. Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES), Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index (BASDAI) were performed to both patients and control group. Results Compared to the control group, the anxiety and depression scores were higher in the patient group and the alexithymic characteristics were significantly higher, self-esteem scores were significantly lower in the patient group (p<.05). Conclusion Like all the other inflammatory chronic diseases, depression and anxiety are commonly seen in AS patients. Alexithymai and self-esteem of these patients should be considered carefully. More studies are needed on this regard. PMID:28360653

  14. Longitudinal study of alexithymia and multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Chahraoui, Khadija; Duchene, Céline; Rollot, Fabien; Bonin, Bernard; Moreau, Thibault

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the course of alexithymia and its relation with anxiety and depression in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), over a period of 5 years. Sixty-two MS patients were examined at two timepoints, 5 years apart, and they answered questionnaires collecting socio-demographic, medical, and psychological data (depression, anxiety, alexithymia). Our data show that emotional disorders remain stable over time in patients with MS, particularly as regards alexithymia and anxiety. Conversely, the rate of depression decreased between the two evaluations, falling from 40% to 26%. The two dimensions of alexithymia (i.e., difficulty describing and difficulty identifying feelings) were correlated with anxiety and depression, whereas the third component of alexithymia (externally oriented thinking) was independent, and was the only component to change over time, with a significant fall observed at 5 years. Alexithymia was associated with increased severity of anxiety and attack relapses.

  15. The Toronto Empathy Questionnaire

    PubMed Central

    Spreng, R. Nathan; McKinnon, Margaret C.; Mar, Raymond A.; Levine, Brian

    2008-01-01

    In order to formulate a parsimonious tool to assess empathy, we used factor analysis on a combination of self-report measures to examine consensus and developed a brief self-report measure of this common factor. The Toronto Empathy Questionnaire (TEQ) represents empathy as a primarily emotional process. In three studies, the TEQ demonstrated strong convergent validity, correlating positively with behavioral measures of social decoding, self-report measures of empathy, and negatively with a measure of Autism symptomatology. Moreover, it exhibited good internal consistency and high test-retest reliability. The TEQ is a brief, reliable, and valid instrument for the assessment of empathy. PMID:19085285

  16. A brief 20-item dental/medical health literacy screen (REALMD-20)

    PubMed Central

    Gironda, Melanie; Der-Martirosian, Claudia; Messadi, Diana; Holtzman, Jennifer; Atchison, Kathryn

    2013-01-01

    Objectives Few health literacy instruments are available to clinicians to help understand the implications of patient difficulty understanding health information. Those that do exist are lengthy and would not be conducive to use in a busy clinical setting. Long-term dental and medical outcomes may improve if health care providers can identify individuals with low health literacy levels who may benefit from tailored communication, yet few instruments are available for clinical use. The purpose of this study is to introduce a brief 20-item screener for limited dental/medical health literacy among adult dental patients. Methods Two-hundred adult patients seeking treatment at a dental clinic in a large medical complex completed a health literacy screening instrument and survey. Steps in the development of the 20-item instrument are described. Comparison of the 20-item dental/medical instrument with other health literacy measures are calculated using mean health literacy scores, tests of reliability and readability, and correlation coefficients. Results Scores on the brief 20-item measure varied significantly by race, education level, language use, needing help with medical/health materials forms. Those with lower dental/medical health literacy, as measured by the REALMD-20 were less likely to receive regular follow-up care than those with higher literacy. Conclusions The REALMD-20 is a quick screening instrument that can be used by clinicians to detect limited dental/medical health literacy among adult patients seeking treatment in dental/medical clinic settings. PMID:23293880

  17. Alexithymia in patients with antisocial personality disorder in a military hospital setting.

    PubMed

    Sayar, K; Ebrinc, S; Ak, I

    2001-01-01

    We investigated the prevalence of alexithymic features and other psychometric correlates in patients diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder in a military hospital setting. Forty soldiers diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder in a general military hospital and 50 normal soldiers with no known medical or psychiatric disorder were assessed by sociodemographic data form, the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS)-26 items, the Beck Depression Scale, the Beck Hopelessness Scale, the Brief Symptom Inventory and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. Antisocial patients showed significantly higher rates of unemployment, lower educational and socioeconomic status, higher rates of self mutilation, previous suicide attempts, substance abuse, history of incarceration and broken family bonds. The patient group also displayed significantly higher scores on alexithymia, depression, hopelessness and general psychological distress measures. Alexithymia was not associated with other psychological measures but was associated with socioeconomic and educational status. The failure in the socialization process of these patients may pave the way for an inability to identify and communicate their feelings. To draw a more definitive conclusion on this issue, a study which recruits ASPD patients from the community and compares them with a sociodemographically matched patient control group is necessary.

  18. Alexithymia and personality in relation to social anxiety among university students.

    PubMed

    Dalbudak, Ercan; Evren, Cuneyt; Aldemir, Secil; Coskun, Kerem Senol; Yıldırım, Fatma Gul; Ugurlu, Hilal

    2013-09-30

    The aims of the present study were to investigate the relationship of social anxiety symptoms with alexithymia and personality dimensions in university students and to control the effects of depression and anxiety on this relationship. A total of 319 university students (85 males and 234 females) from two different universities in Ankara were investigated with the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS), the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) and the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI). We found that subscales of the LSAS (fear or anxiety and avoidance) were positively correlated with depression and alexithymia and "difficulty in identifying feelings" (DIF) and "difficulty in describing feelings" (DDF) subscales of the TAS-20. Harm avoidance (HA) showed positive correlations with subscales of the LSAS, whereas self-directedness (SD) showed negative correlations with these subscales. High TAS-20 DDFand HA and low SD predicted fear or anxiety LSAS subscale scores, whereas high TAS-20 DDF, HA and depression scores were predictors for LSAS avoidance subscale scores. Although our sample is not representative of the whole Turkish university student population, we conclude that both fear or anxiety and avoidance were mainly interrelated with DDF and HA, although the causal relationship is not clear.

  19. Alexithymia and personality dimensions in relation to depression and anxiety in male alcohol-dependent inpatients.

    PubMed

    Evren, Cuneyt; Evren, Bilge; Dalbudak, Ercan

    2009-01-01

    Objective. The aim of this study was to determine the relationship of alexithymia and temperament and character model of personality with depression and anxiety symptoms in detoxified male alcohol-dependent inpatients. Method. The subjects consisted of 176 male alcohol-dependent inpatients according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition. Patients were investigated with the Beck Depression Inventory, Beck Anxiety Inventory, State and Trait Anxiety Inventory, Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test (MAST), Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) and Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI). Results. MAST score and scores of all three factors of the TAS-20 significantly predicted depression scale and anxiety scales. Difficulty in identifying feelings and difficulty in describing feelings factors were particularly effective, relative to the externally orientated thinking factor of the TAS-20 for prediction depression and anxiety. The TCI dimensions emerged as distinct and conceptually meaningful predictors for the depression scale and anxiety scales. Conclusion. Depression and anxiety symptoms among detoxified male alcohol dependents are associated with alexithymia, a broad range of personality dimensions and higher severity of alcohol-related problems, which make these related factors highly relevant for clinical practice.

  20. Does alexithymia explain variation in cue-elicited craving reported by methamphetamine-dependent individuals?

    PubMed

    Saladin, Michael E; Santa Ana, Elizabeth J; LaRowe, Steven D; Simpson, Annie N; Tolliver, Bryan K; Price, Kimber L; McRae-Clark, Aimee L; Brady, Kathleen T

    2012-01-01

    Drug craving is an important motivational phenomenon among addicted individuals, and successful management of craving is essential to both the initiation and maintenance of abstinence. Although craving in response to drug cues is common in drug-dependent individuals, it is not universal. At the present time, it is not known why approximately 20-30% of all addicted persons fail to report appreciable craving in laboratory-based cue reactivity studies. This study examined the possibility that alexithymia, a personality attribute characterized by a difficulty identifying and describing emotions, may contribute to the impoverished cue-elicited craving experienced by some addicts. Specifically, we tested the hypothesis that alexithymia, as measured by the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS), would be inversely related to the magnitude of cue-elicited craving obtained in a cue reactivity protocol. Forty methamphetamine-dependent individuals completed the TAS and provided craving ratings for methamphetamine after presentation of methamphetamine-associated cues. Thirteen participants (32%) reported no methamphetamine cue-elicited craving. Contrary to expectation, TAS factor 1 (a measure of difficulty identifying feelings) scores were positively associated with cue-elicited craving. Thus, the results suggest that increasing difficulty-identifying feelings may be associated with higher cue-elicited craving. Clinical implications for this finding are discussed.

  1. Psychotherapeutic treatment of eating disorders improve dissociative experiences and impulse regulation but not alexithymia. A case series report.

    PubMed

    Caslini, Manuela; Rivolta, Laura; Zappa, Luigi Enrico; Carrà, Giuseppe; Clerici, Massimo

    2015-01-01

    Eating disorders (EDs) are complex conditions associated with disability and a high rate of mortality. Typical characteristics of these diseases are dissociation, alexithymia and impulse dysregulation, all strategies dealing with negative emotions and regulate negative affect and anxiety. Our study aimed to assess the effectiveness of intensive psychological treatment for EDs, with particular reference to the above mentioned clinical characteristics. Eight outpatients with eating disorders in psychotherapeutic treatment were evaluated in two stages after one year (T1 and T2), using the Eating Disorder Inventory II, the Toronto Alexithymia Scale 20, and the Dissociative Experiences Scale. Wilcoxon test showed significant reductions in DES score as well as in two subscales of the EDI-2, Impulse Regulation and Body Dissatisfaction (I-EDI2 and BD-EDI2), while alexithymia levels did not show any difference. We can confirm the effectiveness of psychotherapy in people with EDs as regards dissociative moments, impulsivity and body dissatisfaction. However, alexithymia remains unchanged, possibly because of its deep emotional nature.

  2. Exploring the interrelationship between alexithymia, defense style, emotional suppression, homicide-related posttraumatic stress disorder and psychiatric co-morbidity.

    PubMed

    Chung, Man Cheung; Di, Xiaohu; Wan, King Hung

    2016-09-30

    This study investigated the interrelationship between alexithymia, defense style, emotional suppression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following homicide and psychiatric co-morbidity. One hundred and fifty male homicide perpetrators and 156 male perpetrators of non-violent crime completed the Posttraumatic Stress Diagnostic Scale (except for non-violent perpetrators), the General Health Questionnaire-28, the Defense Styles Questionnaire, the Courtauld Emotional Control Scale and the Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20. The results showed that 44% of homicide perpetrators met the criteria for PTSD. No significant differences were found between groups in alexithymia, defense style and psychiatric co-morbidity. Homicide perpetrators suppressed depression significantly more than the non-violent group. PLS analyses showed that alexithymia was significantly correlated with defense style. Defense styles were significantly correlated with emotional suppression which, in turn, was associated with homicide-related PTSD and psychiatric co-morbidity. To conclude, perpetrators can experience PTSD reactions following the act of homicide. The severity of these reactions and other psychological problems were related to difficulty getting in touch with distressing emotions, the defenses they used to protect themselves psychologically and the way they suppressed their emotion. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

  3. [Comparative study of the relationship between alexithymia and affective dependence on 60 alcoholics and 57 control subjects].

    PubMed

    Otmani, O; Loas, G; Lecercle, C; Jouvent, R

    1999-01-01

    Several authors have shown that alexithymia characterizes patients suffering from substance abuses. Moreover emotional and perceptual dependencies have also been described in these disorders. The aim of this study is to test two hypotheses: First that the emotional components of alexithymia and dependency were linked in alcoholics and secondly that the cognitive components of these two dimensions were also linked in these subjects. Two groups were recruited: 60 inpatients filled out the DSM IV criteria for alcohol dependence and 57 healthy subjects were the controls. All the subjects completed the following rating scales: the twenty items Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), the Interpersonal Dependency Inventory (IDI), the Beck Depression Inventory, the Embedded Figures Test (EFT). Partial correlations (r Bravais Pearson), using BDI score as constant, were calculated. In normals the Feelings subscale of the TAS-20 correlated with the Lack of social self confidence subscale of the IDI (r = 0.43, p < 0.0018) and in alcoholics the Cognitive factor of the TAS-20 correlated with the Lack of social self confidence subscale (r = 0.41, p < 0.0018). Moreover in alcoholics, the cognitive factor of the TAS-20 correlated significantly with the EFT score (r = -0.35, p < 0.003). In alcoholics the cognitive component of alexithymia and the perceptual component of dependency were linked, independently of an associated depression. A particular cognitive style characterized by externality and field dependence could characterized dependent alcoholics.

  4. Reductions in Alexithymia and Emotion Dysregulation After Training Emotional Self-Awareness Following Traumatic Brain Injury: A Phase I Trial.

    PubMed

    Neumann, Dawn; Malec, James F; Hammond, Flora M

    To examine the acceptability and initial efficacy of an emotional self-awareness treatment at reducing alexithymia and emotion dysregulation in participants with traumatic brain injury (TBI). An outpatient rehabilitation hospital. Seventeen adults with moderate to severe TBI and alexithymia. Time postinjury ranged 1 to 33 years. Within subject design, with 3 assessment times: baseline, posttest, and 2-month follow-up. Eight lessons incorporated psychoeducational information and skill-building exercises teaching emotional vocabulary, labeling, and differentiating self-emotions; interoceptive awareness; and distinguishing emotions from thoughts, actions, and sensations. Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20 (TAS-20); Levels of Emotional Awareness Scale (LEAS); Trait Anxiety Inventory (TAI); Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9); State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory (STAXI); Difficulty With Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS); and Positive and Negative Affect Scale (PANAS). Thirteen participants completed the treatment. Repeated-measures analysis of variance revealed changes on the TAS-20 (P = .003), LEAS (P < .001), TAI (P = .014), STAXI (P = .015), DERS (P = .020), and positive affect (P < .005). Paired t tests indicated significant baseline to posttest improvements on these measures. Gains were maintained at follow-up for the TAS, LEAS, and positive affect. Treatment satisfaction was high. This is the first study published on treating alexithymia post-TBI. Positive changes were identified for emotional self-awareness and emotion regulation; some changes were maintained several months posttreatment. Findings justify advancing to the next investigational phase for this novel intervention.

  5. Alexithymia and emotional awareness in anorexia nervosa: time for a shift in the measurement of the concept?

    PubMed

    Parling, Thomas; Mortazavi, Modtjaba; Ghaderi, Ata

    2010-12-01

    The present study compared 35 patients with anorexia nervosa (AN) with an age matched control group using the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20; a self-report instrument) and the Levels of Emotional Awareness Scale (LEAS; a performance-based instrument). Depression and anxiety have been shown to account for elevated levels of alexithymia in AN, and an elevated level of perfectionism might affect self-reporting in general. The AN-group reported a higher level of alexithymia on the TAS-20 compared to the control group, a difference that disappeared after controlling for depression or anxiety (but not for perfectionism). The findings suggest that the AN-patients believe that they have difficulties in identifying and reporting emotions, but actually perform as well as the control group when confronted with the task of identifying and reporting their emotions according to LEAS. It might be time to rethink the measurement of alexithymia. Maybe, similar to assessment of personality disorders, it should not be assessed when patients are depressed, or it should be assessed through instruments and modalities that are not sensitive to the mood state of the patient. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Neuroanatomical profiles of alexithymia dimensions and subtypes.

    PubMed

    Goerlich-Dobre, Katharina Sophia; Votinov, Mikhail; Habel, Ute; Pripfl, Juergen; Lamm, Claus

    2015-10-01

    Alexithymia, a major risk factor for a range of psychiatric and neurological disorders, has been recognized to comprise two dimensions, a cognitive dimension (difficulties identifying, analyzing, and verbalizing feelings) and an affective one (difficulties emotionalizing and fantasizing). Based on these dimensions, the existence of four distinct alexithymia subtypes has been proposed, but never empirically tested. In this study, 125 participants were assigned to four groups corresponding to the proposed alexithymia subtypes: Type I (impairment on both dimensions), Type II (impairment on the cognitive, but not the affective dimension), Type III (impairment on the affective, but not the cognitive dimension), and Lexithymics (no impairment on either dimension). By means of voxel-based morphometry, associations of the alexithymia dimensions and subtypes with gray and white matter volumes were analyzed. Type I and Type II alexithymia were characterized by gray matter volume reductions in the left amygdala and the thalamus. The cognitive dimension was further linked to volume reductions in the right amygdala, left posterior insula, precuneus, caudate, hippocampus, and parahippocampus. Type III alexithymia was marked by volume reduction in the MCC only, and the affective dimension was further characterized by larger sgACC volume. Moreover, individuals with the intermediate alexithymia Types II and III showed gray matter volume reductions in distinct regions, and had larger corpus callosum volumes compared to Lexithymics. These results substantiate the notion of a differential impact of the cognitive and affective alexithymia dimensions on brain morphology and provide evidence for separable neuroanatomical representations of the different alexithymia subtypes. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. Alexithymia and its relationships with eating behavior, self esteem, and body esteem in college women.

    PubMed

    Sasai, Keiko; Tanaka, Kiwamu; Hishimoto, Akitoyo

    2011-03-10

    The aim of this study was to estimate prevalence rate of alexithymia and eating disorder (ED) as well as to explore the relationships between alexithymia and eating behavior, self esteem, and body esteem in non-clinical college women. A total of 313 Japanese college women were asked to make entries of age, height, and body weight, and to answer the full items in the Japanese version of the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), Eating Attitude Test (EAT-26), Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale (RSES), and Body Esteem Scale (BES). The frequency of alexithymics who scored 61 points or more of the TAS-20 was 28.7%, and the frequency of students with potential ED who scored 20 points or more of the EAT-26 was 8.7%. The prevalence of potential ED in the alexithymics (14.0%) was significantly higher than that in the non-alexithymics (6.5%). The mean values of the RSES and BES scores were significantly different between the alexithymic and non-alexithymic groups. The TAS-20 scores were unrelated to the age and body mass index, but were significantly correlated to the EAT-26 (total score (r = 0.12, p = 0.04), bulimia and food preoccupation (r = 0.14, p = 0.01)), the RSES (r = -0.44, p < 0.001), and BES (total score (r = -0.22, p < 0.001), appearance (r = -0.23, p < 0.001), and weight (r = -012, p = 0.04)). These results suggest that, in non-clinical college women, alexithymia is a common psychological characteristic that is strongly correlated with self esteem and body esteem and that may influence eating behavior.

  8. Stressful life events, social support, attachment security and alexithymia in vitiligo. A case-control study.

    PubMed

    Picardi, A; Pasquini, P; Cattaruzza, M S; Gaetano, P; Melchi, C F; Baliva, G; Camaioni, D; Tiago, A; Abeni, D; Biondi, M

    2003-01-01

    It has often been suggested that stress might trigger vitiligo. However, only one study supported this hypothesis, and no study explored the role of other personality or social factors. Out-patients experiencing a recent onset or exacerbation of vitiligo (n = 31) were compared with out-patients with skin conditions in which psychosomatic factors are commonly were regarded as negligible (n = 116). Stressful events during the last 12 months were assessed with Paykel's Interview for Recent Life Events. Attachment style, alexithymia and social support were assessed with the 'Experiences in Close Relationships' questionnaire, the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), and the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support, respectively. Cases and controls did not differ regarding the total number of events and the number of undesirable, uncontrollable or major events. Three or more uncontrollable events had occurred more frequently among cases than controls. Perceived social support was lower in cases than in controls. Cases scored higher than controls on anxious attachment, tended towards higher scores on avoidant attachment and were classified more often as insecure. Cases scored higher than controls on the TAS-20 and were classified more often as alexithymic or borderline alexithymic. The occurrence of many uncontrollable events, alexithymia and anxious attachment were associated with vitiligo also in multiple logistic regression analysis. These findings suggest that vulnerability to vitiligo is not increased by stressful events, except for many uncontrollable events. Alexithymia, insecure attachment and poor social support appear to increase susceptibility to vitiligo, possibly through deficits in emotion regulation or reduced ability to cope effectively with stress. Copyright 2003 S. Karger AG, Basel

  9. Autonomic Reactivity to Arousing Stimuli with Social and Non-social Relevance in Alexithymia.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Velázquez, Eduardo S; Honoré, Jacques; de Zorzi, Lucas; Ramos-Loyo, Julieta; Sequeira, Henrique

    2017-01-01

    Emotional difficulties in alexithymia and their social consequences have been linked to alterations in autonomic nervous system. However, most of previous studies did not take into account the distinction between the affective and the cognitive dimensions of the alexithymia, leading to inconsistent results. Aim: In this study, we compared the effects of both dimensions of alexithymia on the autonomic arousal to emotional and social visual stimulations. Methods: Skin conductance responses (SCRs) to items of the International Affective Pictures System characterized by emotional (unpleasant, neutral, and pleasant), social (with humans) or non-social (without humans) content were recorded in non-alexithymic (NA), affective (AA) and cognitive alexithymic (CA) participants, selected on the basis of the Toronto Alexithymia Scale and the Bermond-Vorst Alexithymia Questionnaire. All participants responded to questionnaires of empathy, social phobia, depression, and anxiety before the experiment and evaluated the arousal of the pictures after it. Results: Cognitive alexithymic group showed lower amplitudes of SCRs to pictures with social than without social relevance whereas the opposite pattern was observed for the NA group. Arousal emotional effects of the pictures on SCRs did not differ among groups. In addition, CA participants showed lower scores than NA in the Personal Taking sub-scale of the empathy questionnaire, while AA showed lower scores than NA in the fantasy sub-scale. The CA group showed higher social phobia, depression and anxiety scores, than the other two groups. Conclusion: This work has two original outcomes: first, affective alexithymics expressed lower empathic affective scores than other groups; second, alexithymia modulated the impact of the social relevance of the stimuli on the autonomic reactivity, this impact vanishing in affective alexithymics and reversing in cognitive alexithymics. Thus, though the groups could not be distinguished on the basis

  10. Autonomic Reactivity to Arousing Stimuli with Social and Non-social Relevance in Alexithymia

    PubMed Central

    Martínez-Velázquez, Eduardo S.; Honoré, Jacques; de Zorzi, Lucas; Ramos-Loyo, Julieta; Sequeira, Henrique

    2017-01-01

    Emotional difficulties in alexithymia and their social consequences have been linked to alterations in autonomic nervous system. However, most of previous studies did not take into account the distinction between the affective and the cognitive dimensions of the alexithymia, leading to inconsistent results. Aim: In this study, we compared the effects of both dimensions of alexithymia on the autonomic arousal to emotional and social visual stimulations. Methods: Skin conductance responses (SCRs) to items of the International Affective Pictures System characterized by emotional (unpleasant, neutral, and pleasant), social (with humans) or non-social (without humans) content were recorded in non-alexithymic (NA), affective (AA) and cognitive alexithymic (CA) participants, selected on the basis of the Toronto Alexithymia Scale and the Bermond-Vorst Alexithymia Questionnaire. All participants responded to questionnaires of empathy, social phobia, depression, and anxiety before the experiment and evaluated the arousal of the pictures after it. Results: Cognitive alexithymic group showed lower amplitudes of SCRs to pictures with social than without social relevance whereas the opposite pattern was observed for the NA group. Arousal emotional effects of the pictures on SCRs did not differ among groups. In addition, CA participants showed lower scores than NA in the Personal Taking sub-scale of the empathy questionnaire, while AA showed lower scores than NA in the fantasy sub-scale. The CA group showed higher social phobia, depression and anxiety scores, than the other two groups. Conclusion: This work has two original outcomes: first, affective alexithymics expressed lower empathic affective scores than other groups; second, alexithymia modulated the impact of the social relevance of the stimuli on the autonomic reactivity, this impact vanishing in affective alexithymics and reversing in cognitive alexithymics. Thus, though the groups could not be distinguished on the basis

  11. A Behavior Analytic Interpretation of Alexithymia

    PubMed Central

    Darrow, Sabrina M.; Follette, William C.

    2014-01-01

    Alexithymia is a term used to describe individuals who seem unable to experience or at least describe emotions. This paper offers a theoretical interpretation of alexithymia from a radical behaviorist perspective. While there have been attempts to explain the etiology of alexithymia, the current analysis is unique in that it provides direct treatment implications. The pragmatic analysis described focuses on the verbal behavior of individuals rather than looking “inside” for explanations. This is supported by a review of experimental research that has failed to find consistencies among alexithymic individuals’ physiological responding. Descriptions of the various discriminative and consequential stimulus conditions involved in the complex learning histories of individuals that could result in an alexithymic presentation are provided. This analysis helps situate the alexithymia construct in a broader behavior analytic understanding of emotions. Finally this paper outlines implications for assessment and treatment, which involve influencing discriminative and consequential interpersonal stimulus conditions to shape verbal behavior about emotions. PMID:25473602

  12. Alexithymia: a general deficit of interoception

    PubMed Central

    Cook, Richard; Bird, Geoffrey

    2016-01-01

    Alexithymia is a sub-clinical construct, traditionally characterized by difficulties identifying and describing one's own emotions. Despite the clear need for interoception (interpreting physical signals from the body) when identifying one's own emotions, little research has focused on the selectivity of this impairment. While it was originally assumed that the interoceptive deficit in alexithymia is specific to emotion, recent evidence suggests that alexithymia may also be associated with difficulties perceiving some non-affective interoceptive signals, such as one's heart rate. It is therefore possible that the impairment experienced by those with alexithymia is common to all aspects of interoception, such as interpreting signals of hunger, arousal, proprioception, tiredness and temperature. In order to determine whether alexithymia is associated with selectively impaired affective interoception, or general interoceptive impairment, we investigated the association between alexithymia and self-reported non-affective interoceptive ability, and the extent to which individuals perceive similarity between affective and non-affective states (both measured using questionnaires developed for the purpose of the current study), in both typical individuals (n = 105 (89 female), mean age = 27.5 years) and individuals reporting a diagnosis of a psychiatric condition (n = 103 (83 female), mean age = 31.3 years). Findings indicated that alexithymia was associated with poor non-affective interoception and increased perceived similarity between affective and non-affective states, in both the typical and clinical populations. We therefore suggest that rather than being specifically associated with affective impairment, alexithymia is better characterized by a general failure of interoception. PMID:27853532

  13. Longitudinal study of alexithymia and multiple sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Chahraoui, Khadija; Duchene, Céline; Rollot, Fabien; Bonin, Bernard; Moreau, Thibault

    2014-01-01

    Objective The aim of this study was to investigate the course of alexithymia and its relation with anxiety and depression in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), over a period of 5 years. Methods Sixty-two MS patients were examined at two timepoints, 5 years apart, and they answered questionnaires collecting socio-demographic, medical, and psychological data (depression, anxiety, alexithymia). Results Our data show that emotional disorders remain stable over time in patients with MS, particularly as regards alexithymia and anxiety. Conversely, the rate of depression decreased between the two evaluations, falling from 40% to 26%. The two dimensions of alexithymia (i.e., difficulty describing and difficulty identifying feelings) were correlated with anxiety and depression, whereas the third component of alexithymia (externally oriented thinking) was independent, and was the only component to change over time, with a significant fall observed at 5 years. Conclusion Alexithymia was associated with increased severity of anxiety and attack relapses. PMID:24653957

  14. [Characterization of the pain, sleep and alexithymia patterns of patients with fibromyalgia treated in a Brazilian tertiary center].

    PubMed

    Avila, Lazslo A; de Araujo Filho, Gerardo M; Guimarães, Estefano F U; Gonçalves, Lauro C S; Paschoalin, Paola N; Aleixo, Fabia B

    2014-01-01

    Fibromyalgia (FM) is a complex syndrome that is characterized by lasting and diffuse chronic musculoskeletal pain, derived from non-inflammatory causes and classically associated with the presence of specific tender points. However, studies have highlighted other important symptoms associated with a lower quality of life (QOL) in FM, such as sleep disturbances and alexithymia. This study aimed to investigate the pain, sleep and alexithymia patterns of FM patients treated in a Brazilian tertiary center. 20 patients with FM who were followed-up in the Rheumatology outpatient clinic of a Brazilian tertiary center (Faculdade de Medicina de São José do Rio Preto - FAMERP, São Paulo, Brazil) and 20 patients without FM from other outpatient services of the FAMERP completed a clinical and socio-demographic questionnaire, the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ), the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) and the SF-36 (WHOQOL). The patients with FM presented worse performances in all QOL dimensions of the SF-36 and higher scores on the PSQI (p=0.01), and the TAS-20 (p=0.02). Patients with FM also scored significantly higher in all specific domains of PSQI and TAS-20. The present data were in accordance with literature, disclosing a worse performance of patients with FM on pain impact, sleep complains and more presence of alexithymia. Studies have disclosed the presence of important and frequently underdiagnosed symptoms beyond pain complaints in FM, such as sleep complaints and alexithymia, and a better knowledge of such disturbances might improve FM patients' approach and treatment. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Editora Ltda. All rights reserved.

  15. Somatic symptoms evoked by exam stress in university students: the role of alexithymia, neuroticism, anxiety and depression.

    PubMed

    Zunhammer, Matthias; Eberle, Hanna; Eichhammer, Peter; Busch, Volker

    2013-01-01

    The etiology of somatization is incompletely understood, but could be elucidated by models of psychosocial stress. Academic exam stress has effectively been applied as a naturalistic stress model, however its effect on somatization symptoms according to ICD-10 and DSM-IV criteria has not been reported so far. Baseline associations between somatization and personality traits, such as alexithymia, have been studied exhaustively. Nevertheless, it is largely unknown if personality traits have an explanatory value for stress induced somatization. This longitudinal, quasi-experimental study assessed the effects of university exams on somatization - and the reversal of effects after an exam-free period. Repeated-observations were obtained within 150 students, measuring symptom intensity before, during and after an exam period, according to the Screening for Somatoform Symptoms 7-day (SOMS-7d). Additionally, self-reports on health status were used to differentiate between medically explained and medically unexplained symptoms. Alexithymia, neuroticism, trait-anxiety and baseline depression were surveyed using the Toronto-Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), the Big-Five Personality Interview (NEO-FFI), the State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) and Beck's Depression Inventory (BDI-II). These traits were competitively tested for their ability to explain somatization increases under exam stress. Somatization significantly increased across a wide range of symptoms under exam stress, while health reports pointed towards a reduction in acute infections and injuries. Neuroticism, alexithymia, trait anxiety and depression explained variance in somatization at baseline, but only neuroticism was associated with symptom increases under exam stress. Exam stress is an effective psychosocial stress model inducing somatization. A comprehensive quantitative description of bodily symptoms under exam stress is supplied. The results do not support the stress-alexithymia hypothesis, but favor

  16. Alexithymia in eating disorders: therapeutic implications.

    PubMed

    Pinna, Federica; Sanna, Lucia; Carpiniello, Bernardo

    2015-01-01

    A high percentage of individuals affected by eating disorders (ED) achieve incomplete recovery following treatment. In an attempt to improve treatment outcome, it is crucial that predictors of outcome are identified, and personalized care approaches established in line with new treatment targets, thus facilitating patient access to evidence-based treatments. Among the psychological factors proposed as predictors of outcome in ED, alexithymia is of outstanding interest. The objective of this paper is to undertake a systematic review of the literature relating to alexithymia, specifically in terms of the implications for treatment of ED. In particular, issues concerning the role of alexithymia as a predictor of outcome and as a factor to be taken into account in the choice of treatment will be addressed. The effect of treatments on alexithymia will also be considered. A search of all relevant literature published in English using PubMed, PsycINFO, and Scopus databases was carried out on the basis of the following keywords: alexithymia, anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, eating disorders, and treatment; no time limits were imposed. Despite the clinical relevance of alexithymia, the number of studies published on the above cited aspects is somewhat limited, and these studies are largely heterogeneous and feature significant methodological weaknesses. Overall, data currently available mostly correlate higher levels of alexithymia with a less favorable outcome in ED. Accordingly, alexithymia is seen as a relevant treatment target with the aim of achieving recovery of these patients. Treatments focusing on improving alexithymic traits, and specifically those targeting emotions, seem to show greater efficacy, although alexithymia levels often remain high even after specific treatment. Further investigations are needed to overcome the methodological limitations of previous studies, to understand the actual impact of alexithymia on ED outcome, and to allow more precise

  17. Alexithymia, not autism, predicts poor recognition of emotional facial expressions.

    PubMed

    Cook, Richard; Brewer, Rebecca; Shah, Punit; Bird, Geoffrey

    2013-05-01

    Despite considerable research into whether face perception is impaired in autistic individuals, clear answers have proved elusive. In the present study, we sought to determine whether co-occurring alexithymia (characterized by difficulties interpreting emotional states) may be responsible for face-perception deficits previously attributed to autism. Two experiments were conducted using psychophysical procedures to determine the relative contributions of alexithymia and autism to identity and expression recognition. Experiment 1 showed that alexithymia correlates strongly with the precision of expression attributions, whereas autism severity was unrelated to expression-recognition ability. Experiment 2 confirmed that alexithymia is not associated with impaired ability to detect expression variation; instead, results suggested that alexithymia is associated with difficulties interpreting intact sensory descriptions. Neither alexithymia nor autism was associated with biased or imprecise identity attributions. These findings accord with the hypothesis that the emotional symptoms of autism are in fact due to co-occurring alexithymia and that existing diagnostic criteria may need to be revised.

  18. Alexithymia decreases altruism in real social decisions.

    PubMed

    Feldmanhall, Oriel; Dalgleish, Tim; Mobbs, Dean

    2013-03-01

    Alexithymia, a sub-clinical personality construct associated with disturbances in affect regulation and social functioning, is known to be comorbid with a number of psychiatric conditions. We combined a distressing real-time altruism task with functional magnetic resonance imagining to explore the brain behaviour relationship between alexithymia and prosocial action. Here we show that individuals high on the alexithymia spectrum report less distress at seeing others in pain and behave less altruistically. This behavioural result is mirrored in the brain, where individuals who have difficulty recognizing and experiencing others' emotional distress have reduced neural activation within the anterior insula and temporoparietal junction, key regions in the experience of distress and perspective-taking. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Teaching to Teach in Toronto

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dang, Kien; Waddell, Andrea E.; Lofchy, Jodi

    2010-01-01

    Objective: The training objectives for postgraduate education in the United States and Canada both state that teaching skills should be formally developed during training. This article reviews the development of the Teaching-to-Teach program at the University of Toronto Department of Psychiatry, the current curriculum, evaluation, and future…

  20. Alexithymia and symbolic function in the obese.

    PubMed

    Legorreta, G; Bull, R H; Kiely, M C

    1988-01-01

    Based on recent literature in which obesity is considered a psychosomatic disease, the authors present results of a study attempting to identify the degree of alexithymia and symbolic function inhibition in two overweight groups (moderately and morbidly obese) and compare the results with a normal-weight control group. The sample was composed of 95 subjects divided into three groups. The results revealed that the two obese groups were generally more alexithymic and had a higher degree of symbolic function inhibition than normal-weight controls. Nevertheless, the two alexithymia measures used in this study disclosed inconsistent results. The data are discussed in terms of etiological, methodological and treatment implications.

  1. Contrasting metacognitive, social cognitive and alexithymia profiles in adults with borderline personality disorder, schizophrenia and substance use disorder.

    PubMed

    Lysaker, Paul H; George, Sunita; Chaudoin-Patzoldt, Kelly A; Pec, Ondrej; Bob, Petr; Leonhardt, Bethany L; Vohs, Jenifer L; James, Alison V; Wickett, Amanda; Buck, Kelly D; Dimaggio, Giancarlo

    2017-11-01

    Deficits in the ability to recognize and think about mental states are broadly understood to be a root cause of dysfunction in Borderline Personality Disorder (PD). This study compared the magnitude of those deficits relative to other forms of serious mental illness or psychiatric conditions. Assessments were performed using the metacognition assessment scale-abbreviated (MAS-A), emotion recognition using the Bell Lysaker Emotion Recognition Test and alexithymia using the Toronto Alexithymia Scale among adults with schizophrenia (n = 65), Borderline PD (n = 34) and Substance Use disorder without psychosis or significant Borderline traits (n = 32). ANCOVA controlling for age revealed the Borderline PD group had significantly greater levels of metacognitive capacity on the MAS-A than the schizophrenia group and significantly lower levels of metacognitive capacity than the Substance Use group. Multiple comparisons revealed the Borderline PD group had significantly higher self-reflectivity and awareness of the other's mind than the schizophrenia group but lesser mastery and decentration on the MAS-A than substance use group, after controlling for self-report of psychopathology and overall number of PD traits. The Borderline PD and Schizophrenia group had significantly higher levels of alexithymia than the substance use group. No differences were found for emotion recognition. Results suggest metacognitive functioning is differentially affected in different mental disorders. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  2. The Specificity of the Link Between Alexithymia, Interoception, and Imitation

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Alexithymia is a subclinical condition traditionally characterized by difficulties identifying and describing one’s own emotions. Recent formulations of alexithymia, however, suggest that the condition may result from a generalized impairment in the perception of all bodily signals (“interoception”). Interoceptive accuracy has been associated with a variety of deficits in social cognition, but recently with an improved ability to inhibit the automatic tendency to imitate the actions of others. The current study tested the consequences for social cognition of the hypothesized association between alexithymia and impaired interoception by examining the relationship between alexithymia and the ability to inhibit imitation. If alexithymia is best characterized as a general interoceptive impairment, then one would predict that alexithymia would have the same relationship with the ability to control imitation as does interoceptive accuracy. Forty-three healthy adults completed measures of alexithymia, imitation-inhibition, and as a control, inhibition of nonimitative spatial compatibility. Results revealed the predicted relationship, such that increasing alexithymia was associated with an improved ability to inhibit imitation, and that this relationship was specific to imitation-inhibition. These results support the characterization of alexithymia as a general interoceptive impairment and shed light on the social ability of alexithymic individuals—with implications for the multitude of psychiatric, neurological, and neurodevelopmental disorders associated with high rates of alexithymia. PMID:27786535

  3. Alexithymia and Affect Intensity of Fine Artists

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Botella, Marion; Zenasni, Franck; Lubart, Todd

    2015-01-01

    Research on creative artists has examined mainly their personality traits or cognitive abilities. However, it seems important to explore also their emotional traits to complete the profile. This study examines two emotional characteristics: alexithymia and affect intensity. Even if most research suggests that artists are less alexithymic and…

  4. Alexithymia and Affect Intensity of Fine Artists

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Botella, Marion; Zenasni, Franck; Lubart, Todd

    2015-01-01

    Research on creative artists has examined mainly their personality traits or cognitive abilities. However, it seems important to explore also their emotional traits to complete the profile. This study examines two emotional characteristics: alexithymia and affect intensity. Even if most research suggests that artists are less alexithymic and…

  5. The 20-item prosopagnosia index (PI20): a self-report instrument for identifying developmental prosopagnosia

    PubMed Central

    Shah, Punit; Gaule, Anne; Sowden, Sophie; Bird, Geoffrey; Cook, Richard

    2015-01-01

    Self-report plays a key role in the identification of developmental prosopagnosia (DP), providing complementary evidence to computer-based tests of face recognition ability, aiding interpretation of scores. However, the lack of standardized self-report instruments has contributed to heterogeneous reporting standards for self-report evidence in DP research. The lack of standardization prevents comparison across samples and limits investigation of the relationship between objective tests of face processing and self-report measures. To address these issues, this paper introduces the PI20; a 20-item self-report measure for quantifying prosopagnosic traits. The new instrument successfully distinguishes suspected prosopagnosics from typically developed adults. Strong correlations were also observed between PI20 scores and performance on objective tests of familiar and unfamiliar face recognition ability, confirming that people have the necessary insight into their own face recognition ability required by a self-report instrument. Importantly, PI20 scores did not correlate with recognition of non-face objects, indicating that the instrument measures face recognition, and not a general perceptual impairment. These results suggest that the PI20 can play a valuable role in identifying DP. A freely available self-report instrument will permit more effective description of self-report diagnostic evidence, thereby facilitating greater comparison of prosopagnosic samples, and more reliable classification. PMID:26543567

  6. Alexithymia and eating disorders: a critical review of the literature.

    PubMed

    Nowakowski, Matilda E; McFarlane, Traci; Cassin, Stephanie

    2013-01-01

    Alexithymia is characterized by difficulties identifying feelings and differentiating between feelings and bodily sensations, difficulties communicating feelings, and a concrete cognitive style focused on the external environment. Individuals with eating disorders have elevated levels of alexithymia, particularly difficulties identifying and describing their feelings. A number of theoretical models have suggested that individuals with eating disorders may find emotions unacceptable and/or frightening and may use their eating disorder symptoms (i.e., restricting food intake, bingeing, and/or purging) as a way to avoid or cope with their feelings. The current critical review synthesizes the literature on alexithymia and eating disorders and examines alexithymia levels across eating disorders (i.e., anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and eating disorder not otherwise specified), the role of alexithymia in binge eating disorder, and the influence of alexithymia on the development of eating disorders as well as treatment outcome. The clinical implications of the research conducted to date and directions for future research are discussed.

  7. Comparisons of childhood trauma, alexithymia, and defensive styles in patients with psychogenic non-epileptic seizures vs. epilepsy: Implications for the etiology of conversion disorder.

    PubMed

    Kaplan, Marcia J; Dwivedi, Alok K; Privitera, Michael D; Isaacs, Kelly; Hughes, Cynthia; Bowman, Michelle

    2013-08-01

    It has been theorized that conversion disorder is the result of emotion that cannot be experienced consciously as feeling states or put into words (i.e., alexithymia), but there is little confirming empirical evidence. We sought to characterize subjects with conversion disorder compared to subjects with a distinct medical illness, using the model of psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES) vs. epilepsy (ES), on measures of childhood traumatic experience, alexithymia and maturity of psychological defensive strategies. All subjects admitted to the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit of the University of Cincinnati Medical Center were offered self-report questionnaires (Childhood Trauma Questionnaire, Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20 and Response Evaluation Measure-71) at the outset of evaluation. Diagnosis of each subject was confirmed by video-EEG and we compared subjects with PNES to those with ES on these measures. 82 subjects had ES AND 96 had PNES. Those with PNES were significantly more likely to have experienced childhood trauma in all domains (p=.005 to p=.05), and were significantly more likely to have alexithymia (p=.0267). There was a significant difference in the capacity to identify feelings, and a trend towards significance in capacity to describe feelings. There were no differences in defensive styles between the two groups. PNES diagnosis was associated with female sex, higher alexithymia scores and higher rates of childhood trauma, but not with differences in defensive styles compared to ES. These findings add empirical evidence for theories regarding the cause of conversion disorder and may aid in the design of prospective treatment trials in patients with conversion disorder. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. The relationship between sensory processing patterns, alexithymia, traumatic childhood experiences, and quality of life among patients with unipolar and bipolar disorders.

    PubMed

    Serafini, Gianluca; Gonda, Xenia; Pompili, Maurizio; Rihmer, Zoltan; Amore, Mario; Engel-Yeger, Batya

    2016-12-01

    Several studies documented the involvement of sensory perception in emotional processes. The long-term consequences of traumatic experiences and alexithymia have been demonstrated as well. However, the role of extreme sensory processing patterns, traumatic childhood experiences, and alexithymia has not been thoroughly examined in major affective disorders. The present study aimed to: (1) compare unipolar/bipolar patients with regard to their sensory processing patterns, alexithymia, childhood traumatic experiences and quality of life; (2) examine the correlations between sensory processing patterns and childhood traumatic experiences; (3) investigate the relative contribution of diagnostic groups (unipolar/bipolar), sensory processing patterns, alexithymia, and childhood traumatic experiences in predicting quality of life. The sample included 336 participants, 197 with unipolar and 139 with bipolar disorder. All participants completed the Adolescent/Adult Sensory Profile (AASP), Toronto Alexithymia Scale, Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI)-II, and Short Form 12 Health Survey version 2 (SF-12). Bipolar patients showed significantly higher physical neglect, emotional abuse, and emotional neglect compared with unipolar patients. Both in unipolar and bipolar groups, lower registration of sensory input as well as hypersensitivity correlated with enhanced childhood trauma events. Reduced sensory sensitivity accounted for 11% of the variance in physical health composite score (PCS) of SF-12 whereas reduced depression accounted for 8% of the variance in mental health composite score (MCS). Furthermore, elevated MCS was predicted by depression, physical and emotional neglect. Sensory processing patterns and childhood traumatic experiences may specifically characterize individuals with major affective disorders and play a role in the prediction of their quality of life.

  9. Acquired alexithymia following damage to the anterior insula

    PubMed Central

    Hogeveen, J.; Bird, G.; Chau, A.; Krueger, F.; Grafman, J.

    2016-01-01

    Alexithymia is a subclinical condition characterized by impaired awareness of one’s emotional states, which has profound effects on mental health and social interaction. Despite the clinical significance of this condition, the neurocognitive impairment(s) that lead to alexithymia remain unclear. Recent theoretical models suggest that impaired anterior insula (AI) functioning might be involved in alexithymia, but conclusive evidence for this hypothesis is lacking. We measured alexithymia levels in a large sample of brain-injured patients (N=129) and non-brain-injured control participants (N=33), to determine whether alexithymia can be acquired after pronounced damage to the AI. Alexithymia levels were first analyzed as a function of group, with patients separated into four groups based on AI damage: patients with >15% damage to AI, patients with <15% damage to AI, patients with no damage to AI, and healthy controls. An ANOVA revealed that alexithymia levels varied across groups (p=0.009), with >15% AI damage causing higher alexithymia relative to all other groups (all p<0.01). Next, a multiple linear regression model was fit with the degree of damage to AI, the degree of damage to a related region (the anterior cingulate cortex, ACC), and the degree of damage to the whole brain as predictor variables, and alexithymia as the dependent variable. Critically, increased AI damage predicted increased alexithymia after controlling for the other two regressors (ACC damage; total lesion volume). Collectively, our results suggest that pronounced AI damage causes increased levels of alexithymia, providing critical evidence that this region supports emotional awareness. PMID:26801227

  10. Alexithymia determines the anxiety experienced in skydiving.

    PubMed

    Woodman, Tim; Huggins, Michelle; Le Scanff, Christine; Cazenave, Nicolas

    2009-07-01

    High-risk activities have typically been explored within a sensation seeking framework. They may, however, allow those with emotional difficulties to experience and regulate their emotions. Skydivers (n=87) completed anxiety and heart rate data four times on a single day before and after a skydive. A 2 (group: alexithymic; non alexithymic) x 4 (time) ANOVA with repeated measures on the second factor revealed a significant alexithymia x time interaction, F(2.27, 192.60)=45.48, p<.001, eta(2)=.35. Anxiety fluctuated significantly more for alexithymic skydivers than it did for their non alexithymic counterparts. This interaction was not mirrored by heart rate. The relationship between alexithymia and anxiety remained significant when accounting for sensation seeking. The results leave open interpretations that are based on anhedonia, which was not controlled for. Alexithymic individuals may find, in the high-risk domain, an environment that satisfies their emotion regulation needs.

  11. Emotional modulation of touch in alexithymia.

    PubMed

    Scarpazza, Cristina; di Pellegrino, Giuseppe; Làdavas, Elisabetta

    2014-06-01

    Alexithymia refers to difficulties in recognizing one's own emotions, but difficulties have also been found in the recognition of others' emotions, particularly when the task is not easy. Previous research has demonstrated that, in order to understand other peoples' feelings, observers remap the observed emotion onto their own sensory systems. The aim of the present study was to investigate the ability of high and low alexithymic subjects to remap the emotional expressions of others onto their own somatosensory systems using an indirect task. We used the emotional Visual Remapping of Touch (eVRT) paradigm, in which seeing a face being touched improves detection of near-threshold tactile stimulation concurrently delivered to one's own face. In eVRT, subjects performance is influenced by the emotional content of the stimuli, while they were required to distinguish between unilateral or bilateral tactile stimulation on their own cheeks. The results show that tactile perception was enhanced when viewing touch on a fearful face compared with viewing touch on other expressions in low but not in high alexithymic participants. A negative correlation between TAS-20 alexithymia subscale ("difficulty in identify feelings") and the magnitude of the eVRT effect was also found. Conversely, arousal and valence ratings of emotional faces did not vary as a function of the degree of alexithymia. The results provide evidence that alexithymia is associated with difficulties in remapping seen emotions, particularly fear, onto one's own sensory system. This impairment could be due to an inability to modulate somatosensory system activity according to the observed emotional expression.

  12. Mycoplasma genitalium in Toronto, Ont

    PubMed Central

    Gesink, Dionne; Racey, C. Sarai; Seah, Christine; Zittermann, Sandra; Mitterni, Leo; Juzkiw, Jerry; Jamieson, Heather; Greer, Jane; Singh, Sudesh; Jensen, Jørgen Skov; Allen, Vanessa

    2016-01-01

    Objective To estimate the prevalence of Mycoplasma genitalium in Toronto, Ont; detect mutations associated with macrolide and fluoroquinolone resistance; and describe treatment outcomes. Design Prospective, cross-sectional study. Setting A sexual health clinic in Toronto. Participants A consecutive sample of men and women attending the sexual health clinic between September 1, 2013, and December 20, 2013. Interventions Participants underwent testing for M genitalium, along with standard sexually transmitted infection screening. All samples that had positive results for M genitalium were tested for mutations associated with resistance to macrolides and fluoroquinolones. Mycoplasma genitalium treatment was based on resistance profile and verified with a test of cure. Main outcome measures Positive results for M genitalium and antibiotic resistance. Results A total of 1193 men and women participated in the study. Overall, 4.5% of the 884 men and 3.2% of the 309 women had positive test results for M genitalium. Asymptomatic infection was common (52.0%). Macrolide resistance–mediating mutations were found in 58.0% of the M genitalium infections. No treatment failure was observed for azithromycin-treated cases. Treatment failure was suspected for 16.7% of cases treated with moxifloxacin. Conclusion Mycoplasma genitalium is present in Canada, with a prevalence comparable to chlamydia and gonorrhea, and has high macrolide and fluoroquinolone resistance. PMID:27331225

  13. Toronto bicycle commuter safety rates.

    PubMed

    Aultman-Hall, L; Kaltenecker, M G

    1999-11-01

    This analysis uses data from a survey of Toronto commuter cyclists that collected information regarding accident history as well as regular commute route to work or school. By relating the route information of the 1196 respondents to facility attributes in a Geographic Information System (GIS), defensible estimates of travel exposure on roads, off-road paths and sidewalks were developed. The rate of collision on off-road paths and sidewalks was lower than for roads. The relative rates for falls and injuries suggest these events are least common on-road followed by off-road paths, and finally most common on sidewalks. The rate of major injuries, an injury that required medical attention, was greatest on sidewalks and the difference between paths and sidewalks was negligible. These rates suggest a need for detailed analysis of sidewalk and off-road path bicycle safety. The absolute event rates per bicycle kilometer were found to be between 26 and 68 times higher than similar rates for automobile travel, re-confirming the urgent bicycle safety crisis. Examination of rates for sub-groups of cyclists suggest that experience is an important factor in bicycle safety. The same survey conducted in Ottawa, Canada found event rates much lower than Toronto. This result may confirm urban form, traffic levels and attitude do affect bicycle safety. The analysis also demonstrates a successful method to quantify bicycle travel exposure information and should be considered for further use as complement to other existing techniques.

  14. Alexithymia in Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Szatmari, Peter; Georgiades, Stelios; Duku, Eric; Zwaigenbaum, Lonnie; Goldberg, Jeremy; Bennett, Terry

    2008-01-01

    Given the recent findings regarding the association between alexithymia and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and the accumulating evidence for the presence of the Broader Autism Phenotype (BAP) in relatives of individuals with ASD, we further explored the construct of alexithymia in parents of children with ASD as a potential part of the BAP. We…

  15. Latent Structure of the Alexithymia Construct: A Taxometric Investigation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Parker, James D. A.; Keefer, Kateryna V.; Taylor, Graeme J.; Bagby, R. Michael

    2008-01-01

    Despite a wealth of research on the validity of alexithymia and its association with a number of common medical and psychiatric disorders, the fundamental question of whether alexithymia is best conceptualized as a dimensional or categorical construct remains unresolved. In the current investigation, taxometric analysis is used to examine the…

  16. Latent Structure of the Alexithymia Construct: A Taxometric Investigation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Parker, James D. A.; Keefer, Kateryna V.; Taylor, Graeme J.; Bagby, R. Michael

    2008-01-01

    Despite a wealth of research on the validity of alexithymia and its association with a number of common medical and psychiatric disorders, the fundamental question of whether alexithymia is best conceptualized as a dimensional or categorical construct remains unresolved. In the current investigation, taxometric analysis is used to examine the…

  17. Creative Artistic Achievement Is Related to Lower Levels of Alexithymia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lennartsson, Anna-Karin; Horwitz, Eva Bojner; Theorell, Töres; Ullén, Fredrik

    2017-01-01

    Alexithymia is characterized by deficits in the ability to identify, differentiate, and describe emotions--abilities that are of importance for social interactions, well-being, and, consequently, also for health. The aim of this study was to investigate whether achievements in cultural activities are associated with alexithymia. Participants from…

  18. Creative Artistic Achievement Is Related to Lower Levels of Alexithymia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lennartsson, Anna-Karin; Horwitz, Eva Bojner; Theorell, Töres; Ullén, Fredrik

    2017-01-01

    Alexithymia is characterized by deficits in the ability to identify, differentiate, and describe emotions--abilities that are of importance for social interactions, well-being, and, consequently, also for health. The aim of this study was to investigate whether achievements in cultural activities are associated with alexithymia. Participants from…

  19. Empathic deficits and alexithymia in trauma-related impulsive aggression.

    PubMed

    Teten, Andra L; Miller, Lisa A; Bailey, Sara D; Dunn, Nancy Jo; Kent, Thomas A

    2008-01-01

    Our long term interest is to develop a developmental model of impulsive aggression based on a confluence of social, psychological and biological features. This approach incorporates neurobiological research, which has identified language processing deficits as a unique characteristic of impulsive aggressors and extends it to include emotional deficits. As an initial test of this hypothesis, we examined whether empathy and alexithymia were associated with impulsive aggression. Regressions were performed to explore the associations among impaired empathy, alexithymia, impulsive aggression, verbal and physical general aggression. Among impulsive aggressive veterans (n=38) recruited from a VA trauma clinic, alexithymia predicted impulsive aggression and empathic deficits predicted verbal aggression. Neither emotional awareness deficit predicted general physical aggression in this middle-aged sample. Results suggested that empathic deficits were associated with general verbal aggression, but alexithymia was uniquely associated with impulsive aggression. Consideration of alexithymia in impulsive aggression has implications for its etiology, prevention and treatment.

  20. The Brazilian version of the 20-item rapid estimate of adult literacy in medicine and dentistry

    PubMed Central

    Cruvinel, Agnes Fátima P.; Méndez, Daniela Alejandra C.; Oliveira, Juliana G.; Gutierres, Eliézer; Lotto, Matheus; Machado, Maria Aparecida A.M.; Oliveira, Thaís M.

    2017-01-01

    Background The misunderstanding of specific vocabulary may hamper the patient-health provider communication. The 20-item Rapid Estimate Adult Literacy in Medicine and Dentistry (REALMD-20) was constructed to screen patients by their ability in reading medical/dental terminologies in a simple and rapid way. This study aimed to perform the cross-cultural adaptation and validation of this instrument for its application in Brazilian dental patients. Methods The cross-cultural adaptation was performed through conceptual equivalence, verbatim translation, semantic, item and operational equivalence, and back-translation. After that, 200 participants responded the adapted version of the REALMD-20, the Brazilian version of the Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Dentistry (BREALD-30), ten questions of the Brazilian National Functional Literacy Index (BNFLI), and a questionnaire with socio-demographic and oral health-related questions. Statistical analysis was conducted to assess the reliability and validity of the REALMD-20 (P < 0.05). Results The sample was composed predominantly by women (55.5%) and white/brown (76%) individuals, with an average age of 39.02 years old (±15.28). The average REALMD-20 score was 17.48 (±2.59, range 8–20). It displayed a good internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha = 0.789) and test-retest reliability (ICC = 0.73; 95% CI [0.66 − 0.79]). In the exploratory factor analysis, six factors were extracted according to Kaiser’s criterion. The factor I (eigenvalue = 4.53) comprised four terms— “Jaundice”, “Amalgam”, “Periodontitis” and “Abscess”—accounted for 25.18% of total variance, while the factor II (eigenvalue = 1.88) comprised other four terms—“Gingivitis”, “Instruction”, “Osteoporosis” and “Constipation”—accounted for 10.46% of total variance. The first four factors accounted for 52.1% of total variance. The REALMD-20 was positively correlated with the BREALD-30 (Rs = 0.73, P < 0

  1. Teaching to Teach in Toronto.

    PubMed

    Dang, Kien; Waddell, Andrea E; Lofchy, Jodi

    2010-01-01

    The training objectives for postgraduate education in the United States and Canada both state that teaching skills should be formally developed during training. This article reviews the development of the Teaching-to-Teach program at the University of Toronto Department of Psychiatry, the current curriculum, evaluation, and future directions of the program. The authors highlight some of the challenges encountered and discuss ideas for implementation of similar programs in diverse training settings. A Teaching-to-Teach curriculum was developed with separate tracks for junior and senior residents. Topics covered include one-to-one teaching, the one-minute clinical preceptor model, challenging teaching scenarios, and providing effective feedback. In 2007, 100% of residents who responded to an evaluation questionnaire agreed or strongly agreed that the topics covered were relevant, and in 2008, 92% of respondents agreed that topics were relevant. In 2007, all respondents agreed or strongly agreed that they felt more prepared to teach. In 2008, 85% of respondents felt more prepared to teach. In 2007, all respondents felt that the amount of teaching was good or too little, but in 2008, 46% of respondents felt there was too much teaching. The large size of the University of Toronto psychiatry program may make this curriculum difficult to generalize to smaller training sites. The use of online modules, collaboration between programs, or individual teaching electives may be other ways of implementing a teaching to teach program. Overall, our curriculum was well-received by trainees and they felt better prepared to take on the role of teacher after participating.

  2. The Relationship Between Gender, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder from Past Trauma, Alexithymia and Psychiatric Co-morbidity in Chinese Adolescents: A Moderated Mediational Analysis.

    PubMed

    Chen, Zhuo Sheng; Chung, Man Cheung

    2016-12-01

    This study focused on a group of Chinese adolescents and examined whether the degree of alexithymia would mediate the effect of PTSD from past trauma onto psychiatric co-morbidities and whether gender differences would moderate the mediational effects of alexithymia. Three hundred and twenty-six adolescents were recruited from two schools and completed the Posttraumatic Stress Diagnostic Scale, General Health Questionnaire-28 and Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20. The results showed that 54 % had no trauma in their lives; 10, 21 and 15 % met the criteria for full, partial and no-PTSD respectively. After adjusting the number of traumatic events, difficulty identifying feelings mediated the path between PTSD from past trauma and psychiatric co-morbidity. Gender moderated the mediational effect of difficulty identifying feelings. To conclude, adolescents can develop PTSD symptoms and psychiatric co-morbidity following exposure to a traumatic event. For both males and females, difficulty getting in touch with feelings can influence the impact of PTSD onto psychiatric co-morbidity.

  3. Childhood Trauma and Alexithymia in Patients with Conversion Disorder.

    PubMed

    Farooq, Anum; Yousaf, Aasma

    2016-07-01

    To determine the relationship between childhood trauma (physical, sexual, emotional abuse and neglect) and alexithymia in patients with conversion disorder, and to identify it as a predictor of alexithymia in conversion disorder. An analytical study. Multiple public sector hospitals in Lahore, from September 2012 to July 2013. Eighty women with conversion disorder were recruited on the basis of DSM IV-TR diagnostic criteria checklist to screen conversion disorder. Childhood abuse interview to measure childhood trauma and Bermond Vorst Alexithymia Questionnaire, DSM-IV TR Dianostic Criteria Checklist, and Childhood Abuse Interview to assess alexithymia were used, respectively. The mean age of the sample was 18 ±2.2 years. Thirty-six cases had a history of childhood trauma, physical abuse was the most reported trauma (f = 19, 23.8%) in their childhood. Patients with conversion disorder has a significant association with alexithymia (p < 0.05). Multiple regression analysis showed that childhood sexual abuse could predict alexithymia (F= 7.05, p < 0.05). Among the alexithymia domain, childhood physical abuse significantly predicted the difficulty in verbalizing emotions among the abused patients (F= 6.40, p < 0.05). The study highlighted childhood abuse and emotional pent up as an etiological factor of conversion disorder. Strategies should be devised to reduce this disorder among women in Pakistani society.

  4. Alexithymia in children with cancer and their siblings.

    PubMed

    Mishra, Veena Shukla; Maudgal, Shubha; Theunissen, Stephanie C P M; Rieffe, Carolien

    2012-04-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the levels of alexithymia in children with cancer, in siblings of children with cancer, and in healthy controls. In order to compare the groups the Alexithymia Questionnaire for Children was used. The study group consisted of 97 children with cancer, 95 siblings, and 151 healthy controls. The highest level of alexithymia was reported by children diagnosed with cancer, followed by their siblings. Healthy controls reported the lowest level of alexithymia. No gender differences were observed. The intensity of cancer was a significant predictor of the alexithymia score, with patients with the most severe cancers reporting the highest levels of alexithymia. No differences were found between the patients with moderately severe and least severe cancers. Not only children with cancer, but also their siblings show significantly more alexithymia than their healthy counterparts. Professionals should aim at preventing or reducing the psychological problems in both patients and their siblings. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Alexithymia and emotional distress in patients with central serous chorioretinopathy.

    PubMed

    Conrad, Rupert; Weber, Nina Friederike; Lehnert, Matthias; Holz, Frank Gerhard; Liedtke, Reinhard; Eter, Nicole

    2007-01-01

    The authors studied 31 consecutive patients newly diagnosed with central serous chorioretinopathy (CSC) as compared with 31 age- and gender-matched control subjects, assessing emotional distress (ED), nine psychopathological symptoms, critical life events, and alexithymia. Results showed no difference in the number of critical life events; however CSC patients showed elevated ED and elevated scores on seven psychopathological symptoms, including hostility. Controlling for ED, CSC patients showed elevated alexithymia sum scores. Alexithymia was correlated with hostility. Our findings point to personality-based difficulties in emotional regulation associated with hostility in CSC.

  6. Alexithymia, Suicide Ideation, C-Reactive Protein, and Serum Lipid Levels Among Outpatients with Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

    PubMed

    De Berardis, Domenico; Serroni, Nicola; Campanella, Daniela; Marini, Stefano; Rapini, Gabriella; Valchera, Alessandro; Iasevoli, Felice; Mazza, Monica; Fornaro, Michele; Perna, Giampaolo; Di Iorio, Giuseppe; Martinotti, Giovanni; Di Giannantonio, Massimo

    2017-01-02

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationships between alexithymia, suicide ideation, C-Reactive Protein (CRP), and serum lipid levels in adult outpatients with a DSM-IV diagnosis of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Seventy consecutive patients with GAD were recruited and evaluated. Measures were the Hamilton Anxiety Scale, the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), the Scale of Suicide Ideation (SSI), and the Montgomery Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS). All patients were assessed for: CRP, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), total cholesterol (TC), triglyceridaemia (TG), and very-low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (VLDL-C). TC/HDL-C and LDL-C/HDL-C ratios were also evaluated. Alexithymic patients showed higher scores on almost all rating scales and altered serum CRP and lipid levels vs. non-alexithymics. In the hierarchical regression model, the presence of higher MADRS scores together with higher scores at the Difficulty in Identifying Feelings dimension of TAS-20 were associated with higher rates of suicide ideation. Although alexithymic subjects with GAD may show a CRP and cholesterol dysregulation, this latter seems independent on increased suicide ideation, rather to Difficulty in Identifying Feelings, and subthreshold depressive symptoms. Study limitations and future research implications are discussed.

  7. Graduate House, University of Toronto, Ontario.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stephens, Suzanne

    2002-01-01

    Illustrates how the University of Toronto combined the modernist architectural typologies of perimeter block and the skip- stop plan to create a dormitory that served as a gateway to its campus. Photos and a floor plan are included. (GR)

  8. Toronto: The Evolution of an Urban Landscape.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Spelt, Jacob

    1984-01-01

    In the course of history, the Toronto, Canada, landscape has acquired many interesting and attractive features. The history of its urban renewal projects, suburban expansion, inner city change, residential preservation and stabilization, and central city development is examined. (RM)

  9. Toronto: The Evolution of an Urban Landscape.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Spelt, Jacob

    1984-01-01

    In the course of history, the Toronto, Canada, landscape has acquired many interesting and attractive features. The history of its urban renewal projects, suburban expansion, inner city change, residential preservation and stabilization, and central city development is examined. (RM)

  10. Graduate House, University of Toronto, Ontario.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stephens, Suzanne

    2002-01-01

    Illustrates how the University of Toronto combined the modernist architectural typologies of perimeter block and the skip- stop plan to create a dormitory that served as a gateway to its campus. Photos and a floor plan are included. (GR)

  11. Affect School for chronic benign pain patients showed improved alexithymia assessments with TAS-20

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Alexithymia is a disturbance associated with psychosomatic disorders, pain syndromes, and a variety of psychiatric disorders. The Affect School (AS) based on Tomkins Affect Theory is a therapy focusing on innate affects and their physiological expressions, feelings, emotions and scripts. In this pilot study we tried the AS-intervention method in patients with chronic benign pain. Methods The AS-intervention, with 8 weekly group sessions and 10 individual sessions, was offered to 59 patients with chronic non-malignant pain at a pain rehabilitation clinic in Sweden 2004-2005. Pre and post intervention assessments were done with the Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale (HAD), the Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20 (TAS-20), the Visual Analogue Scale for pain assessment (VAS-pain), the European Quality of Life health barometer (EQoL) and the Stress and Crisis Inventory-93 (SCI-93). After the group sessions we used Bergdahl's Questionnaire for assessing changes in interpersonal relations, general well-being and evaluation of AS. Results The AS intervention was completed by 54 out of 59 (92%) patients. Significant reductions in total TAS-20 post-test scores (p = 0.0006) as well as TAS-20 DIF and DDF factors (Difficulties Identifying Feelings, and Difficulties Describing Feelings) were seen (p = 0.0001, and p = 0.0008) while the EOT factor (Externally Oriented Thinking) did not change. Improvements of HAD-depression scores (p = 0.04), EQoL (p = 0.02) and self-assessed changes in relations to others (p < 0.001) were also seen. After Bonferroni Correction for Multiple Analyses the TAS-20 test score reduction was still significant as well as Bergdahl's test after group sessions. The HAD, EQoL, SCI-93, and VAS-pain scores were not significantly changed. The AS-intervention was ranked high by the participants. Conclusions This pilot study involving 59 patients with chronic benign pain indicates that the alexithymia DIF and DDF, as well as depression, social relations and

  12. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Migraine Patients: Migraine, Trauma and Alexithymia

    PubMed Central

    KARŞIKAYA, Süreyya; KAVAKCI, Önder; KUĞU, Nesim; GÜLER, Ayşegül Selcen

    2013-01-01

    Introduction In recent studies, it has been suggested that there is a relationship between migraine headaches and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The PTSD has not been diagnosed by a clinician in these studies; the evaluation has been carried out by the screening scales. Besides, it has also been asserted that there was relationship of alexithymia with migraine and other chronic painful disorders. In this study, our aim was to investigate the prevalence of clinically-diagnosed PTSD and alexithymic features among migraine patients. Methods Sixty consecutive migraine patients sent from neurology clinic and 60 healthy controls having similar features constituted the sample of this study. SCID-I/CV PTSD module and the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS) was administered to the sample. The subjects also filled in the socio-demographic data form and the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS). The level of pain perceived by the migraine patients was evaluated using a Visual Analog Scale (VAS). Result 17 subjects (28%) in the migraine group and 5 individuals (8.3%) in the control group were diagnosed with PTSD. Hence, PTSD was found to be statistically significantly higher in the migraine group. 25 persons in the migraine group (41.6%) and 12 in the control group (20%) scored above the TAS cutoff score in terms of alexithymic features. Alexithymia was found to be statistically significantly higher in the migraine group). In the migraine group, VAS scores of the ones with PTSD were statistically significantly higher compared to that in ones without PTSD. 94% of the persons diagnosed with PTSD in the migraine group reported that their migraine headaches started after a traumatic experience. In the migraine group, no statistically significant correlation was detected between CAPS and VAS scores in subjects with PTSD. Conclusion In migraine patients, PTSD and alexithymic features have been found higher than in the healthy controls. Further studies are needed to search

  13. The Relationships between Early Trauma, Dissociation, and Alexithymia in Alcohol Addiction.

    PubMed

    Craparo, Giuseppe; Ardino, Vittoria; Gori, Alessio; Caretti, Vincenzo

    2014-07-01

    Addiction is often considered a dissociative behavior that is related to alexithymia and developmental trauma. The study aims were to explore the relationships between early trauma, alexithymia, and dissociation. A total of 117 (males=60; females=57) alcohol-addicted individuals and 117 healthy individuals (males=60; females=57) were administered a series of self-report questionnaires that assess traumatic experiences, alexithymia, and pathological dissociation. Correlation analyses indicated significant correlations between alexithymia, dissociation, and trauma and a significant difference between the target and control groups, with higher alexithymia and dissociation scores in the target group. These findings suggest that trauma, alexithymia, and dissociation are predictors of alcohol addiction.

  14. The association of experience of violence and somatization, depression, and alexithymia: a sample of women with medically unexplained symptoms in Turkey.

    PubMed

    Anuk, Dilek; Bahadır, Güler

    2017-07-27

    The aim of the study was to examine the relationship between the levels of somatization, depression as well as alexithymia, and MUS in women going through violence experience in three contexts (childhood, adulthood, and both childhood and adulthood). The study was performed on 180 patients attending the Internal Medicine Department of Istanbul University Medical Faculty. The data of women with MUS (n = 50) were compared those of women with acute physical conditions (n = 46) and chronic physical conditions (n = 84). Semi-structured Interview Form, Childhood Abuse and Neglect Inventory, Brief Symptom Inventory, Beck Depression Inventory, and the Toronto Alexithymia Scale were administered. The levels of somatization and depression were found to be higher in women who were exposed to emotional abuse (EA) and physical abuse (PA) in adulthood in the MUS group compared with those of the women exposed to EA and PA in adulthood in the other groups. The levels of somatization, depression, and alexithymia in the MUS group exposed to childhood emotional abuse (CEA) were also higher than those in the controls exposed to CEA. The levels of somatization and alexithymia in the MUS group who were exposed to childhood physical abuse (CPA) were higher than those in the controls exposed to CPA. The levels of somatization and depression in the MUS group who were exposed to violence both in childhood and in adulthood were higher than those in the controls who experienced violence both in childhood and in adulthood. Most women exposed to domestic violence present to health care institutions with various physical and psychological symptoms in Turkey. So, it is important that health caregivers also ask questions about experiences of violence and psychological symptoms in women presenting with medically unexplained symptoms.

  15. Cognitive Alexithymia Is Associated with the Degree of Risk for Psychosis

    PubMed Central

    van der Velde, Jorien; Swart, Marte; van Rijn, Sophie; van der Meer, Lisette; Wunderink, Lex; Wiersma, Durk; Krabbendam, Lydia; Bruggeman, Richard; Aleman, André

    2015-01-01

    Alexithymia is a personality construct denoting emotion processing problems. It has been suggested to encompass two dimensions: a cognitive and affective dimension. The cognitive dimension is characterized by difficulties in identifying, verbalizing and analyzing emotions, while the affective dimension reflects the level of emotional arousal and imagination. Alexithymia has been previously proposed as a risk factor for developing psychosis. More specifically, the two alexithymia dimensions might be differentially related to the vulnerability for psychosis. Therefore, we examined the two dimensions of alexithymia, measured with the BVAQ in 94 siblings of patients with schizophrenia, 52 subjects at ultra-high risk (UHR) for developing psychosis, 38 patients with schizophrenia and 109 healthy controls. The results revealed that siblings and patients had higher levels of cognitive alexithymia compared to controls. In addition, subjects at UHR for psychosis had even higher levels of cognitive alexithymia compared to the siblings. The levels of affective alexithymia in siblings and patients were equal to controls. However, UHR individuals had significantly lower levels of affective alexithymia (i.e. higher levels of emotional arousal and fantasizing) compared to controls. Alexithymia was further related to subclinical levels of negative and depressive symptoms. These findings indicate that alexithymia varies parametrically with the degree of risk for psychosis. More specifically, a type-II alexithymia pattern, with high levels of cognitive alexithymia and normal or low levels of affective alexithymia, might be a vulnerability factor for psychosis. PMID:26030357

  16. Alexithymia and eating disorders: a critical review of the literature

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Alexithymia is characterized by difficulties identifying feelings and differentiating between feelings and bodily sensations, difficulties communicating feelings, and a concrete cognitive style focused on the external environment. Individuals with eating disorders have elevated levels of alexithymia, particularly difficulties identifying and describing their feelings. A number of theoretical models have suggested that individuals with eating disorders may find emotions unacceptable and/or frightening and may use their eating disorder symptoms (i.e., restricting food intake, bingeing, and/or purging) as a way to avoid or cope with their feelings. The current critical review synthesizes the literature on alexithymia and eating disorders and examines alexithymia levels across eating disorders (i.e., anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and eating disorder not otherwise specified), the role of alexithymia in binge eating disorder, and the influence of alexithymia on the development of eating disorders as well as treatment outcome. The clinical implications of the research conducted to date and directions for future research are discussed. PMID:24999402

  17. Are alexithymia and schizoid personality disorder synonymous diagnoses?

    PubMed

    Coolidge, Frederick L; Estey, Alisa J; Segal, Daniel L; Marle, Peter D

    2013-02-01

    Relationships among alexithymia, personality disorders, and higher-order psychopathological and interpersonal dimensions were examined in 199 college students and a close relative of each. Alexithymia, the difficulty to express and identify emotions, was measured by the Observer Alexithymia Scale (OAS; [Haviland, M. G., Warren, W. L., & Riggs, M. L. (2000). An observer scale to measure alexithymia. Psychosomatics, 41, 385-392]), which was completed by each student's relative. Each student completed three self-report measures: the Coolidge Axis II Inventory (CATI; [Coolidge, F. L. (2000). Coolidge Axis II Inventory: Manual. Colorado Springs, CO: Author.), the Five Dimensional Personality Test (5DPT; [van Kampen, D. (2009). Personality and psychopathology: A theory-based revision of Eysenck's PEN model. Clinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health, 5, 9-21]), and the Horney-Coolidge Tridimensional Inventory (HCTI; [Coolidge, F. L. (1998). Horney-Coolidge Tridimensional Inventory: Manual. Colorado Springs, CO: Author]). Results indicated that higher levels of alexithymia are associated with personality disorders and their traits, such as schizoid, avoidant, and paranoid. With regard to the issue of the similarity and difference between alexithymia and schizoid personality disorder, there was sufficient evidence across all of the measures to suggest that they are not synonymous entities. Finally, alexithymic traits were associated with concurrent depressive traits even in a non-clinical sample. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. [Affectivity and alexithymia: two dimensions explicative of the relationship between anxiety and depressive symptoms].

    PubMed

    Bonnet, A; Bréjard, V; Pasquier, A; Pedinielli, J-L

    2012-06-01

    The main objective of this study was to support the existence of emotional dimensions common to anxiety and depressive symptomatology, and confirm the common elements of emotional vulnerability, characterized by negative affectivity and alexithymia. The second objective of this study was the identification of characteristics specific to each disorder. We made three assumptions: there is a significant relationship between anxiety and depressive symptoms, exists on community processes between these two entities, objectified by the sub dimensions of negative affectivity and the difficulty in identifying emotions certain dimensions are specific to each disorder. The study participants were students from 1st to 4th year of the University of Provence. The sample consisted of 317 subjects (77% female and 23% male; mean age=20, 61 ± 1.55 years), who gave written informed consent and completed questionnaires collectively. We administered a protocol to the subjects consisting of three self-assessment scales to assess emotional dimensions and anxiety and depressive symptomatology. The dimensions of affectivity were assessed by the EPN-31. It consists of 31 items grouped into three factors: positive emotions, negative emotions and feelings of surprise. The emotional functioning was assessed by the scale of the Twenty-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20). It allows an overall assessment of the level of alexithymia, as well as three dimensions as represented by specific sub scales: difficulty identifying emotions (DIE), difficulty differentiating emotions (DDE), and externally oriented thinking (EOT). This scale is most used in the assessment of alexithymia. The anxiety and depressive symptoms were assessed by the subscale of anxiety and depression of the SCL90-R. This scale is widely used in screening for psychiatric symptoms, and has been validated internationally. we performed descriptive analysis, correlational analysis (Bravais-Pearson's correlation) and hierarchical

  19. Culture and alexithymia: mean levels, correlates, and the role of parental socialization of emotions.

    PubMed

    Le, Huynh-Nhu; Berenbaum, Howard; Raghavan, Chitra

    2002-12-01

    Two studies examined the relationship between culture and alexithymia. In Study 1, mean levels and correlates of alexithymia were examined in 3 cultures: European American (EA), Asian American (AA), and Malaysian college students. Both Asian groups had higher alexithymia levels than the EA group. Somatization was more strongly associated with alexithymia in the Asian groups than in the EA group. Mood and life satisfaction were associated with alexithymia in similar ways across groups. In Study 2, the relations among culture, gender, retrospective reports of parental socialization of emotions, and alexithymia were examined among EA and AA college students. Cultural and gender differences were found in alexithymia and emotion socialization levels. Most important, parental emotion socialization mediated the relations among culture, gender, and alexithymia.

  20. Psychological Factors, Including Alexithymia, in the Prediction of Cardiovascular Risk in HIV Infected Patients: Results of a Cohort Study

    PubMed Central

    Sozio, Federica; Mazzott, Elena; Ursini, Tamara; Polill, Ennio; Di Stefano, Paola; Tontodonati, Monica; Verrocchio, Maria C.; Fulcheri, Mario; Calella, Giulio; Santilli, Francesca; Manzoli, Lamberto

    2013-01-01

    Background Psychological factors are known predictors of cardiovascular disease in many clinical settings, but data are lacking for HIV infection. We carried out a prospective cohort study to evaluate potential psychological predictors of preclinical and clinical vascular disease in HIV patients. Methodology/Principal Findings HIV patients were consecutively enrolled. Demographics, viral and immune parameters and traditional cardiovascular predictors were considered; Intima-Media Thickness (c-IMT, continuous measure) and Carotid Plaques (CPs, focal thickening ≥1.5 mm) were investigated by B-mode ultrasonography; depressive symptoms by the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II), Type D personality (Distressed Personality or Type D) by the DS14, alexithymia by the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20). Vascular outcomes included transient ischemic attacks or stroke, acute coronary syndrome, myocardial or other organ infarction. We enrolled 232 HIV subjects, 73.9% males, aged 44.5±9.9 y, 38.2% with AIDS diagnosis, 18.3% untreated. Mean Nadir CD4 T-cell counts were 237.5±186.2/mmc. Of them, 224 (96.5%) attended IMT measurements; 201 (86.6%) attended both IMT assessment and psychological profiling. Mean follow-up was 782±308 days. Fifty-nine patients (29.4%) had CPs at baseline. Nineteen patients (9.5%) had ≥1 vascular event; 12 (6.0%) died due to such events (n = 4) or any cause. At baseline cross-sectional multivariate analysis, increasing age, total cholesterol, current smoking and Alexithymia score≥50 were significantly associated with both increased cIMT (linear regression) and CPs (logistic regression). At follow-up analysis, log-rank tests and Cox’s regression revealed that only older age (p = 0.001), current smoking (p = 0.019) and alexithymia score≥50 (p = 0.013) were independently associated with vascular events. Conclusions/Significance In HIV-infected subjects, the Alexithymic trait emerges as a strong predictor of increased IMT

  1. Psychological factors, including alexithymia, in the prediction of cardiovascular risk in HIV infected patients: results of a cohort study.

    PubMed

    Parruti, Giustino; Vadini, Francesco; Sozio, Federica; Mazzott, Elena; Ursini, Tamara; Polill, Ennio; Di Stefano, Paola; Tontodonati, Monica; Verrocchio, Maria C; Fulcheri, Mario; Calella, Giulio; Santilli, Francesca; Manzoli, Lamberto

    2013-01-01

    Psychological factors are known predictors of cardiovascular disease in many clinical settings, but data are lacking for HIV infection. We carried out a prospective cohort study to evaluate potential psychological predictors of preclinical and clinical vascular disease in HIV patients. HIV patients were consecutively enrolled. Demographics, viral and immune parameters and traditional cardiovascular predictors were considered; Intima-Media Thickness (c-IMT, continuous measure) and Carotid Plaques (CPs, focal thickening ≥1.5 mm) were investigated by B-mode ultrasonography; depressive symptoms by the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II), Type D personality (Distressed Personality or Type D) by the DS14, alexithymia by the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20). Vascular outcomes included transient ischemic attacks or stroke, acute coronary syndrome, myocardial or other organ infarction. We enrolled 232 HIV subjects, 73.9% males, aged 44.5±9.9 y, 38.2% with AIDS diagnosis, 18.3% untreated. Mean Nadir CD4 T-cell counts were 237.5±186.2/mmc. Of them, 224 (96.5%) attended IMT measurements; 201 (86.6%) attended both IMT assessment and psychological profiling. Mean follow-up was 782±308 days. Fifty-nine patients (29.4%) had CPs at baseline. Nineteen patients (9.5%) had ≥1 vascular event; 12 (6.0%) died due to such events (n = 4) or any cause. At baseline cross-sectional multivariate analysis, increasing age, total cholesterol, current smoking and Alexithymia score≥50 were significantly associated with both increased cIMT (linear regression) and CPs (logistic regression). At follow-up analysis, log-rank tests and Cox's regression revealed that only older age (p = 0.001), current smoking (p = 0.019) and alexithymia score≥50 (p = 0.013) were independently associated with vascular events. In HIV-infected subjects, the Alexithymic trait emerges as a strong predictor of increased IMT, presence of CPs and vascular events. Such results are preliminary and require confirmation

  2. Alexithymia and automatic processing of emotional stimuli: a systematic review.

    PubMed

    Donges, Uta-Susan; Suslow, Thomas

    2017-04-01

    Alexithymia is a personality trait characterized by difficulties in recognizing and verbalizing emotions and the utilization of a cognitive style that is oriented toward external events, rather than intrapsychic experiences. Alexithymia is considered a vulnerability factor influencing onset and course of many psychiatric disorders. Even though emotions are, in general, elicited involuntarily and emerge without conscious effort, it is surprising that little attention in etiological considerations concerning alexithymia has been given to deficits in automatic emotion processing and their neurobiological bases. In this article, results from studies using behavioral or neurobiological research methods were systematically reviewed in which automatic processing of external emotional information was investigated as a function of alexithymia in healthy individuals. Twenty-two studies were identified through a literature search of Psycinfo, PubMed, and Web of Science databases from 1990 to 2016. The review reveals deficits in the automatic processing of emotional stimuli in alexithymia at a behavioral and neurobiological level. The vast majority of the reviewed studies examined visual processing. The alexithymia facets externally oriented thinking and difficulties identifying feelings were found to be related to impairments in the automatic processing of threat-related facial expressions. Alexithymic individuals manifest low reactivity to barely visible negative emotional stimuli in brain regions responsible for appraisal, encoding, and affective response, e.g. amygdala, occipitotemporal areas, and insula. Against this background, it appears plausible to assume that deficits in automatic emotion processing could be factors contributing to alexithymic personality characteristics. Directions for future research on alexithymia and automatic emotion perception are suggested.

  3. Development and Validation of a Novel Generic Health-related Quality of Life Instrument With 20 Items (HINT-20)

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    Objectives Few attempts have been made to develop a generic health-related quality of life (HRQoL) instrument and to examine its validity and reliability in Korea. We aimed to do this in our present study. Methods After a literature review of existing generic HRQoL instruments, a focus group discussion, in-depth interviews, and expert consultations, we selected 30 tentative items for a new HRQoL measure. These items were evaluated by assessing their ceiling effects, difficulty, and redundancy in the first survey. To validate the HRQoL instrument that was developed, known-groups validity and convergent/discriminant validity were evaluated and its test-retest reliability was examined in the second survey. Results Of the 30 items originally assessed for the HRQoL instrument, four were excluded due to high ceiling effects and six were removed due to redundancy. We ultimately developed a HRQoL instrument with a reduced number of 20 items, known as the Health-related Quality of Life Instrument with 20 items (HINT-20), incorporating physical, mental, social, and positive health dimensions. The results of the HINT-20 for known-groups validity were poorer in women, the elderly, and those with a low income. For convergent/discriminant validity, the correlation coefficients of items (except vitality) in the physical health dimension with the physical component summary of the Short Form 36 version 2 (SF-36v2) were generally higher than the correlations of those items with the mental component summary of the SF-36v2, and vice versa. Regarding test-retest reliability, the intraclass correlation coefficient of the total HINT-20 score was 0.813 (p<0.001). Conclusions A novel generic HRQoL instrument, the HINT-20, was developed for the Korean general population and showed acceptable validity and reliability. PMID:28173686

  4. Alexithymia, emotion dysregulation, impulsivity and aggression: A multiple mediation model.

    PubMed

    Velotti, Patrizia; Garofalo, Carlo; Petrocchi, Chiara; Cavallo, Francesca; Popolo, Raffaele; Dimaggio, Giancarlo

    2016-03-30

    There is a need to better understand the antecedent of aggressive behaviors in order to tailor treatments and reduce the associated damage to the others and the self. Possible mechanisms underlying aggression are poor emotional awareness and emotion dysregulation, as well as impulsivity. Here, we examined the relationships among alexithymia, emotion dysregulation, impulsivity and aggression, comparing a mixed psychiatric sample (N=257) and a community sample (N=617). The clinical sample reported greater levels of alexithymia, emotion dysregulation, trait impulsivity and aggression, than the community sample. Furthermore, in the community sample, emotion dysregulation and impulsivity mediated the relationship (i.e., accounted for the shared variance) between alexithymia and aggression. In the clinical sample, only emotion dysregulation explained the alexithymia-aggression link. In particular, specific dimensions of the emotion dysregulation (i.e., Negative Urgency) and impulsivity constructs (i.e., cognitive and motor impulsivity) played a unique role in explaining these associations. Finally, controlling for depressive symptoms reduced some of the findings involving impulsivity to nonsignificant results. Overall, our findings add to the extant literature attesting to the relevance of alexithymia and emotion dysregulation for understanding aggression, and providing concrete recommendation for the treatment and prevention of aggressive tendencies.

  5. The psychophysiological mechanisms of alexithymia in autism spectrum disorder.

    PubMed

    Gaigg, Sebastian B; Cornell, Anna Sf; Bird, Geoffrey

    2016-11-02

    Accumulating evidence indicates that co-occurring alexithymia underlies several facets of the social-emotional difficulties common in individuals with autism spectrum disorder. The mechanisms involved, however, remain poorly understood because measuring alexithymia relies heavily on self-report. To address this issue, carefully matched groups of individuals with autism spectrum disorder and comparison participants rated 70 emotion-inducing pictures on subjectively experienced arousal while skin conductance responses were monitored objectively. The results demonstrated reliable correlations between these subjective and objective measures, and in both groups, around 25% of individual differences in this correlation (i.e. in emotion-relevant interoception) were accounted for by self-reported alexithymia. In the context of the wider literature, this suggests that alexithymia involves a disruption in how physiological arousal modulates the subjective experience of feelings in those with and without a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. Since mindfulness-based therapies foster greater awareness of thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations, the findings also have implications for how the symptoms and consequences of alexithymia (e.g. anxiety) might be ameliorated.

  6. University of Toronto: Marketing from Scratch

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mun, Almira

    2008-01-01

    Established in 1827, the University of Toronto is regarded as one of Canada's leading academic and research institutions. It has the highest number of students (both undergraduate and graduate), the most faculty members, and the widest range of courses among Canadian universities. It has often been referred to as the "Harvard of the…

  7. Greening the Toronto District School Board.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Root, Emily

    2002-01-01

    The Toronto District School Board (Ontario) established a department of environmental education to lighten the school board's impact on the environment and to increase ecological literacy among students. School programs have been developed in the areas of eco-literacy, energy conservation, waste management, and school yard greening. One program…

  8. Greening the Toronto District School Board.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Root, Emily

    2002-01-01

    The Toronto District School Board (Ontario) established a department of environmental education to lighten the school board's impact on the environment and to increase ecological literacy among students. School programs have been developed in the areas of eco-literacy, energy conservation, waste management, and school yard greening. One program…

  9. Alexithymia as a prognostic risk factor for health problems: a brief review of epidemiological studies.

    PubMed

    Kojima, Masayo

    2012-12-17

    The number of articles on alexithymia has been steadily increasing since the word "alexithymia" was coined in the 1970s to denote a common characteristic that is observed among classic psychosomatic patients in whom therapy was unsuccessful. Alexithymia, a disorder of affect regulation, has been suggested to be broadly associated with various mental and physical health problems. However, most available evidence is based on anecdotal reports or cross-sectional observations. To clarify the predictive value of alexithymia for health problems, a systematic review of prospective studies was conducted. A search of the PubMed database identified 1,507 articles on "alexithymia" that were published by July 31, 2011. Among them, only 7 studies examined the developmental risks of alexithymia for health problems among nonclinical populations and 38 studies examined the prognostic value of alexithymia among clinical populations. Approximately half of the studies reported statistically significant adverse effects, while 5 studies demonstrated favorable effects of alexithymia on health outcomes; four of them were associated with surgical interventions and two involved cancer patients. The studies that showed insignificant results tended to have a small sample size. In conclusion, epidemiological evidence regarding alexithymia as a prognostic risk factor for health problems remains un-established. Even though alexithymia is considered to be an unfavorable characteristic for disease control and health promotion overall, some beneficial aspects are suggested. More prospective studies with sufficient sample sizes and follow-up period, especially those involving life course analyses, are needed to confirm the contribution of alexithymia to health problems.

  10. The Assessment of Alexithymia in Medical Settings: Implications for Understanding and Treating Health Problems

    PubMed Central

    Lumley, Mark A.; Neely, Lynn C.; Burger, Amanda J.

    2010-01-01

    The construct of alexithymia encompasses the characteristics of difficulty identifying feelings, difficulty describing feelings, externally oriented thinking, and a limited imaginal capacity. These characteristics are thought to reflect deficits in the cognitive processing and regulation of emotions and to contribute to the onset or maintenance of several medical and psychiatric disorders. This article reviews recent methods for assessing alexithymia and examines how assessing alexithymia can inform clinical practice. Alexithymia is associated with heightened physiological arousal, the tendency to notice and report physical symptoms, and unhealthy compulsive behaviors. Alexithymic patients may respond poorly to psychological treatments, although perhaps not to cognitive-behavioral techniques, and it is unclear whether alexithymia can be improved through treatment. Interpretive problems regarding alexithymia include its overlap with other traits, whether it is secondary to illness or trauma, the possibility of subtypes, and low correlations among multiple measures. Nonetheless, we encourage the assessment of alexithymia in applied settings. PMID:18001224

  11. The relationship between two types of impaired emotion processing: repressive coping and alexithymia

    PubMed Central

    Myers, Lynn B.; Derakshan, Nazanin

    2015-01-01

    The constructs of repressive coping and alexithymia are both related to impaired emotion processing, yet individuals with a repressive coping style (repressors) score lower than controls on standard self-report measures of alexithymia. A large body of evidence indicates that repressors avoid negative affect. Therefore, the current study examined the relationship between repressive coping and alexithymia by using independently-rated interviews with the aim of bypassing repressors’ tendency of avoiding negative affect. Results showed that repressors scored high on alexithymia, similar to anxious individuals on the independently-rated interview, but scored low on alexithymia on a questionnaire measure. Our findings confirm a link between alexithymia and repressive coping and stress the need for non-standard measures in exploring the nature of the relationship between repressive coping and alexithymia. PMID:26136706

  12. Impaired emotion recognition is linked to alexithymia in heroin addicts

    PubMed Central

    Craparo, Giuseppe; Gori, Alessio; Dell’Aera, Stefano; Costanzo, Giulia; Fasciano, Silvia; Tomasello, Antonia

    2016-01-01

    Several investigations document altered emotion processing in opiate addiction. Nevertheless, the origin of this phenomenon remains unclear. Here we examined the role of alexithymia in the ability (i.e., number of errors—accuracy and reaction times—RTs) of thirty-one heroin addicts and thirty-one healthy controls to detect several affective expressions. Results show generally lower accuracy and higher RTs in the recognition of facial expressions of emotions for patients, compared to controls. The hierarchical multivariate regression analysis shows that alexithymia might be responsible of the between groups difference with respect to the RTs in emotion detection. Overall, we provide new insights in the clinical interpretation of affective deficits in heroin addicts suggesting a role of alexithymia in their ability to recognize emotions. PMID:27069803

  13. Robust associations between the 20-item prosopagnosia index and the Cambridge Face Memory Test in the general population.

    PubMed

    Gray, Katie L H; Bird, Geoffrey; Cook, Richard

    2017-03-01

    Developmental prosopagnosia (DP) is a neurodevelopmental condition, characterized by lifelong face recognition deficits. Leading research groups diagnose the condition using complementary computer-based tasks and self-report measures. In an attempt to standardize the reporting of self-report evidence, we recently developed the 20-item prosopagnosia index (PI20), a short questionnaire measure of prosopagnosic traits suitable for screening adult samples for DP. Strong correlations between scores on the PI20 and performance on the Cambridge Face Memory Test (CFMT) appeared to confirm that individuals possess sufficient insight into their face recognition ability to complete a self-report measure of prosopagnosic traits. However, the extent to which people have insight into their face recognition abilities remains contentious. A lingering concern is that feedback from formal testing, received prior to administration of the PI20, may have augmented the self-insight of some respondents in the original validation study. To determine whether the significant correlation with the CFMT was an artefact of previously delivered feedback, we sought to replicate the validation study in individuals with no history of formal testing. We report highly significant correlations in two independent samples drawn from the general population, confirming: (i) that a significant relationship exists between PI20 scores and performance on the CFMT, and (ii) that this is not dependent on the inclusion of individuals who have previously received feedback. These findings support the view that people have sufficient insight into their face recognition abilities to complete a self-report measure of prosopagnosic traits.

  14. Subclinical alexithymia modulates early audio-visual perceptive and attentional event-related potentials

    PubMed Central

    Delle-Vigne, Dyna; Kornreich, Charles; Verbanck, Paul; Campanella, Salvatore

    2014-01-01

    Introduction: Previous studies have highlighted the advantage of using audio–visual oddball tasks (instead of unimodal ones) in order to electrophysiologically index subclinical behavioral differences. Since alexithymia is highly prevalent in the general population, we investigated whether the use of various bimodal tasks could elicit emotional effects in low- vs. high-alexithymic scorers. Methods: Fifty students (33 females and 17 males) were split into groups based on low and high scores on the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20). During event-related potential (ERP) recordings, they were exposed to three kinds of audio–visual oddball tasks: neutral-AVN—(geometrical forms and bips), animal-AVA—(dog and cock with their respective shouts), or emotional-AVE—(faces and voices) stimuli. In each condition, participants were asked to quickly detect deviant events occurring amongst a train of repeated and frequent matching stimuli (e.g., push a button when a sad face–voice pair appeared amongst a train of neutral face–voice pairs). P100, N100, and P300 components were analyzed: P100 refers to visual perceptive and attentional processing, N100 to auditory ones, and the P300 relates to response-related stages, involving memory processes. Results: High-alexithymic scorers presented a particular pattern of results when processing the emotional stimulations, reflected in early ERP components by increased P100 and N100 amplitudes in the emotional oddball tasks [P100: F(2, 48) = 20,319, p < 0.001; N100: F(2, 96) = 8,807, p = 0.001] as compared to the animal or neutral ones. Indeed, regarding the P100, subjects exhibited a higher amplitude in the AVE condition (8.717 μV), which was significantly different from that observed during the AVN condition (4.382 μV, p < 0.001). For the N100, the highest amplitude was found in the AVE condition (−4.035 μV) and the lowest was observed in the AVN condition (−2.687 μV, p = 0.003). However, no effect was found on the

  15. The association between alexithymia and posttraumatic stress symptoms following multiple exposures to traumatic events in North Korean refugees.

    PubMed

    Park, Juhyun; Jun, Jin Yong; Lee, Yu Jin; Kim, Soohyun; Lee, So-Hee; Yoo, So Young; Kim, Seog Ju

    2015-01-01

    The present study aimed to investigate the effect of the interaction between the number of traumas experienced and alexithymia, on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. The sample comprised 199 North Korean refugees. Participants completed the Trauma Exposure Check List for North Korean Refugees, Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R), Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20 (TAS-20), and Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression Scale (CES-D). TAS-20 scores were positively correlated with IES-R scores (r=0.21, p<0.01), after controlling for gender, age, and CES-D scores. The number of traumas experienced was also positively correlated with IES-R scores (r=0.32, p<0.001), but not with TAS-20 scores, after controlling for gender, age, and CES-D scores. A hierarchical multiple regression analysis revealed a significant interaction between the number of traumas experienced and TAS-20 scores, for IES-R scores (t=2.10, p<0.05). Moderation analysis further revealed that TAS-20 scores moderate the relationship between the number of traumas experienced and IES-R scores (t=2.90, p<0.01). For refugees with higher TAS-20 scores, those who had experienced more traumas had higher IES-R scores. However, within refugees with lower TAS-20 scores, IES-R scores were not significantly different for those who had experienced a higher number of traumas compared with those who had experienced a lower, or average, number of traumas. The results of the current study suggest that, as individuals experience more traumatic events, clearly identifying and expressing emotions become more crucial for reducing PTSD symptoms. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Alexithymia and low cooperativeness are associated with suicide attempts in male military personnel with adjustment disorder: a case-control study.

    PubMed

    Na, Kyoung-Sae; Oh, Sei-Joong; Jung, Han-Yong; Irene Lee, Soyoung; Kim, Yong-Ku; Han, Changsu; Ko, Young-Hoon; Paik, Jong-Woo; Kim, Shin-Gyeom

    2013-02-28

    Subpopulations of patients with adjustment disorder are at increased risk for suicide. The current study investigated whether personality traits, including alexithymia, temperament, and character, are associated with an increased risk of suicide in individuals with adjustment disorder. Age- and sex-matched patients meeting the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM-IV) criteria for adjustment disorder with (n=92) and without (n=92) a history of suicide attempts were recruited for the present study. Ninety-two healthy individuals who did not meet diagnostic criteria for Axis I or II diagnoses were used as controls. The Toronto alexithymia scale-20 (TAS-20) and the temperament and character inventory (TCI) were used to assess personality traits. Significantly higher total and subscale scores on the TAS-20, including on the difficulty-identifying-feelings (DIF) and difficulty-describing-feelings (DDF) subscales, and lower scores on the TCI cooperativeness subscale were noted in adjustment-disorder patients with previous suicide attempts. In the multivariate regression analysis, high DDF and DIF and low cooperativeness increased the risk of suicide attempts in adjustment-disorder patients. A subsequent path analysis revealed that high DDF had a direct effect on suicide attempts, whereas high DIF had an indirect effect on suicide attempts via low cooperativeness.

  17. IODINE NUTRITION DURING PREGNANCY IN TORONTO, CANADA

    PubMed Central

    Katz, Pamela M.; Leung, Angela M.; Braverman, Lewis E.; Pearce, Elizabeth N.; Tomlinson, George; He, Xuemei; Vertes, Jaclyn; Okun, Nan; Walfish, Paul G.; Feig, Denice S.

    2014-01-01

    Objective To evaluate the status of iodine nutrition among pregnant women presenting for routine antenatal care in Toronto, Canada, as determined by the median urine iodine concentration (UIC) of this population. Methods A cross-sectional, observational study was conducted involving 142 pregnant women recruited from four low-risk antenatal outpatient clinics in Toronto, Canada. Subjects completed a questionnaire and provided a spot urine sample for the measurement of iodine concentration. Results Mean maternal age was 33.8 ± 4.3 years. Mean gestational age was 29.3 ± 7.8 weeks. The median UIC was 221 μg/L (interquartile range, 142 to 397 μg/L). Six women (4.2%) had urine iodine levels <50 μg/L, and 36 women (25.4%) had levels between 50 and 150 μg/L. Conclusion This cohort of primarily Caucasian, well-educated, and relatively affluent pregnant women in Toronto, Canada, are iodine sufficient, perhaps due to universal salt iodization and/or other dietary and lifestyle factors. PMID:23186967

  18. Iodine nutrition during pregnancy in Toronto, Canada.

    PubMed

    Katz, Pamela M; Leung, Angela M; Braverman, Lewis E; Pearce, Elizabeth N; Tomlinson, George; He, Xuemei; Vertes, Jaclyn; Okun, Nan; Walfish, Paul G; Feig, Denice S

    2013-01-01

    To evaluate the status of iodine nutrition among pregnant women presenting for routine antenatal care in Toronto, Canada, as determined by the median urine iodine concentration (UIC) of this population. A cross-sectional, observational study was conducted involving 142 pregnant women recruited from four low-risk antenatal outpatient clinics in Toronto, Canada. Subjects completed a questionnaire and provided a spot urine sample for the measurement of iodine concentration. Mean maternal age was 33.8 ± 4.3 years. Mean gestational age was 29.3 ± 7.8 weeks. The median UIC was 221 μg/L (interquartile range, 142 to 397 μg/L). Six women (4.2%) had urine iodine levels <50 μg/L, and 36 women (25.4%) had levels between 50 and 150 μg/L. This cohort of primarily Caucasian, well-educated, and relatively affluent pregnant women in Toronto, Canada, are iodine sufficient, perhaps due to universal salt iodization and/or other dietary and lifestyle factors.

  19. Robust associations between the 20-item prosopagnosia index and the Cambridge Face Memory Test in the general population

    PubMed Central

    Bird, Geoffrey

    2017-01-01

    Developmental prosopagnosia (DP) is a neurodevelopmental condition, characterized by lifelong face recognition deficits. Leading research groups diagnose the condition using complementary computer-based tasks and self-report measures. In an attempt to standardize the reporting of self-report evidence, we recently developed the 20-item prosopagnosia index (PI20), a short questionnaire measure of prosopagnosic traits suitable for screening adult samples for DP. Strong correlations between scores on the PI20 and performance on the Cambridge Face Memory Test (CFMT) appeared to confirm that individuals possess sufficient insight into their face recognition ability to complete a self-report measure of prosopagnosic traits. However, the extent to which people have insight into their face recognition abilities remains contentious. A lingering concern is that feedback from formal testing, received prior to administration of the PI20, may have augmented the self-insight of some respondents in the original validation study. To determine whether the significant correlation with the CFMT was an artefact of previously delivered feedback, we sought to replicate the validation study in individuals with no history of formal testing. We report highly significant correlations in two independent samples drawn from the general population, confirming: (i) that a significant relationship exists between PI20 scores and performance on the CFMT, and (ii) that this is not dependent on the inclusion of individuals who have previously received feedback. These findings support the view that people have sufficient insight into their face recognition abilities to complete a self-report measure of prosopagnosic traits. PMID:28405380

  20. Language functioning, mental health and alexithymia in incarcerated young offenders.

    PubMed

    Snow, Pamela C; Woodward, Mary; Mathis, Monique; Powell, Martine B

    2016-02-01

    Previous studies describe high rates of language impairment in young offenders; however, important correlates such as mental health status and alexithymia have received little attention. This study describes a cross-sectional study of the language, emotion recognition and mental health of 100 young people completing custodial sentences in New South Wales (Australia). The sample comprised 70 young people from non-indigenous backgrounds (n = 60 male) and 30 from indigenous backgrounds (n = 25 male). The mean age of the sample was 17.1 years. It was hypothesized that, in addition to elevated rates of language impairment, alexithymia would be over-represented in this group. It was further predicted that impoverished language skills would contribute to alexithymia scores. Only a quarter of the sample overall achieved Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals (CELF-4) Core Language Scores in the expected range; rates of language impairment were higher in indigenous males than in non-indigenous males and in the females. Alexithymia was present in 59% of the sample, but appeared to be associated with poor mental health, rather than with language impairment. Interventions for young offenders (e.g. psychological counselling, restorative justice conferencing) should be framed around these difficulties. Validated language measures for use with young indigenous offenders are needed.

  1. Expressive Incoherence and Alexithymia in Autism Spectrum Disorder

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Costa, Andreia P.; Steffgen, Georges; Samson, Andrea C.

    2017-01-01

    Expressive incoherence can be implicated in socio-emotional communicative problems in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The present study examined expressive incoherence in 37 children with ASD and 41 typically developing (TD) children aged 3-13 years old during a frustration task. The role of alexithymia in expressive incoherence was also assessed.…

  2. Relationships between Alexithymia and Machiavellian Personality Beliefs among University Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sheikhi, Siamak; Issazadegan, Ali; Norozy, Merseda; Saboory, Ehsan

    2017-01-01

    The present study considered the relationships between alexithymia and Machiavellian personality beliefs among university students. Two hundred and thirteen students (95 women and 118 men) studying Master's degrees in psychology, education, law, political sciences, and social sciences at the University of Tehran were randomly chosen using…

  3. Emotion recognition deficits in eating disorders are explained by co-occurring alexithymia

    PubMed Central

    Brewer, Rebecca; Cook, Richard; Cardi, Valentina; Treasure, Janet; Bird, Geoffrey

    2015-01-01

    Previous research has yielded inconsistent findings regarding the ability of individuals with eating disorders (EDs) to recognize facial emotion, making the clinical features of this population hard to determine. This study tested the hypothesis that where observed, emotion recognition deficits exhibited by patients with EDs are due to alexithymia, a co-occurring condition also associated with emotion recognition difficulties. Ability to recognize facial emotion was investigated in a sample of individuals with EDs and varying degrees of co-occurring alexithymia, and an alexithymia-matched control group. Alexithymia, but not ED symptomology, was predictive of individuals' emotion recognition ability, inferred from tolerance to high-frequency visual noise. This relationship was specific to emotion recognition, as neither alexithymia nor ED symptomology was associated with ability to recognize facial identity. These findings suggest that emotion recognition difficulties exhibited by patients with ED are attributable to alexithymia, and may not be a feature of EDs per se. PMID:26064585

  4. The Relationships between Early Trauma, Dissociation, and Alexithymia in Alcohol Addiction

    PubMed Central

    Ardino, Vittoria; Gori, Alessio; Caretti, Vincenzo

    2014-01-01

    Objective Addiction is often considered a dissociative behavior that is related to alexithymia and developmental trauma. The study aims were to explore the relationships between early trauma, alexithymia, and dissociation. Methods A total of 117 (males=60; females=57) alcohol-addicted individuals and 117 healthy individuals (males=60; females=57) were administered a series of self-report questionnaires that assess traumatic experiences, alexithymia, and pathological dissociation. Results Correlation analyses indicated significant correlations between alexithymia, dissociation, and trauma and a significant difference between the target and control groups, with higher alexithymia and dissociation scores in the target group. Conclusion These findings suggest that trauma, alexithymia, and dissociation are predictors of alcohol addiction. PMID:25110508

  5. Depression partially mediates the relationship between alexithymia and somatization in a sample of healthy children

    PubMed Central

    Allen, Laura B.; Lu, Qian; Tsao, Jennie C. I.; Hayes, Loran P.; Zeltzer, Lonnie K.

    2011-01-01

    A link between alexithymia and somatization has been widely established, yet little is known about different factors that may influence this relationship. Evidence supporting the idea of psychopathology as a mediator has been presented but not widely tested, particularly in children. The present study examined depressive symptoms as a mediator of alexithymia and somatization in a sample of healthy children in order to better understand the alexithymia-somatization link from a developmental perspective. Results indicated that depression significantly partially mediated this relationship, at least for two facets of alexithymia (difficulty identifying and describing feelings). Possible mechanisms, implications, and directions for future research are discussed. PMID:21464112

  6. Training in Toronto's "New Economy"=La formation dans la "nouvelle" economie de Toronto.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Community Perspectives Series, 2002

    2002-01-01

    This Community Perspectives Series document includes statements about the new economy in Toronto made by four participants in a March 2001 forum. The new economy was defined by the moderator as "an economy that emphasizes knowledge and technical processes put to the production of goods and other outputs so that an individual's knowledge is…

  7. Alexithymia in Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Its Relationship to Internalising Difficulties, Sensory Modulation and Social Cognition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Milosavljevic, Bosiljka; Carter Leno, Virginia; Simonoff, Emily; Baird, Gillian; Pickles, Andrew; Jones, Catherine R.; Erskine, Catherine; Charman, Tony; Happé, Francesca

    2016-01-01

    Alexithymia is a personality trait frequently found in adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and has been linked to impairments in emotion recognition and empathy. The presentation of alexithymia within ASD at younger ages remains unexplored, and was examined in the present study. Alexithymia rates were significantly elevated in ASD (55%;…

  8. Alexithymia in Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Its Relationship to Internalising Difficulties, Sensory Modulation and Social Cognition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Milosavljevic, Bosiljka; Carter Leno, Virginia; Simonoff, Emily; Baird, Gillian; Pickles, Andrew; Jones, Catherine R.; Erskine, Catherine; Charman, Tony; Happé, Francesca

    2016-01-01

    Alexithymia is a personality trait frequently found in adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and has been linked to impairments in emotion recognition and empathy. The presentation of alexithymia within ASD at younger ages remains unexplored, and was examined in the present study. Alexithymia rates were significantly elevated in ASD (55%;…

  9. Graffiti Art: A Contemporary Study of Toronto Artists.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bowen, Tracey E.

    1999-01-01

    Examines six graffiti artists in Toronto (Canada) who had formal art education at either the senior secondary or postsecondary level through tape-recorded interviews. Focuses on who they are, their views of the graffiti community in Toronto, the relationship between their artwork and education, and whom they each perceive as their audience. (CMK)

  10. Graffiti Art: A Contemporary Study of Toronto Artists.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bowen, Tracey E.

    1999-01-01

    Examines six graffiti artists in Toronto (Canada) who had formal art education at either the senior secondary or postsecondary level through tape-recorded interviews. Focuses on who they are, their views of the graffiti community in Toronto, the relationship between their artwork and education, and whom they each perceive as their audience. (CMK)

  11. Legal issues surrounding privately funded research cause furore in Toronto

    PubMed Central

    Shuchman, M

    1998-01-01

    Toronto physician Miriam Shuchman has spent the last 4 months tracking the research issues surrounding a controversial clinical trial conducted in Toronto. Much of the information appearing in this article was gathered while she was preparing a segment for the CBC Radio program Quirks and Quarks. Earlier, she had reported on similar issues in the US for the Annals of Internal Medicine. PMID:9834727

  12. Alexithymic characteristics in responses to the Synthetic House-Tree-Person (HTP) Drawing Test.

    PubMed

    Fukunishi, I; Mikami, N; Kikuchi, M

    1997-12-01

    This study examined the association of certain complex personality traits assessed by the Synthetic House-Tree-Person Drawing Test and alexithymic characteristics assessed by the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale for a sample of 589 Japanese college students. Alexithymic students who scored over 61 points on the Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20 exhibited two characteristics relative to the test: poor relationships between figures and additional written explanations. These two characteristics projected on the Synthetic House-Tree-Person Drawing Test may be related to alexithymic characteristics and related factors.

  13. Dialysis utilization in the Toronto region from 1981 to 1992. Toronto Region Dialysis Committee.

    PubMed Central

    Mendelssohn, D C; Chery, A

    1994-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To analyse trends in the demand for and supply of dialysis in the Toronto region and to determine whether planned dialysis expansion will be sufficient to provide for the projected growth of the dialysis population. DESIGN: Descriptive analysis of data reported to the Toronto Region Dialysis Registry between 1981 and 1992, compared with provincial and national equivalents. SETTING: All secondary and tertiary care dialysis programs in the Toronto region participating in the registry. PATIENTS: All 504 existing patients enrolled in dialysis programs in 1981 and all 3794 new patients entering programs from 1982 to 1992. Patients with acute renal failure were excluded. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Demand for dialysis: dialysis population at year end, age distribution, crude mortality rate and transplant rate. Supply of resources: distribution of modality (hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis), number of patients treated per hemodialysis station, number of hemodialysis stations per million population and hemodialysis utilization index (actual/budgeted treatments). RESULTS: During the study period the number of dialysis patients in the Toronto region went from 504 to 1422, for an increase of 182.1%. The average rate of growth was 9.8% per year. Of the total increment of 918 patients from 1981 to 1992, 390 (42.5%) were 65 years of age or more; none the less, the average annual crude mortality rate remained relatively constant, at 13.8% to 17.3%. The transplantation rate declined from a peak of 20.2% in 1982 to 7.8% in 1992. During the study period the Toronto region had much higher numbers of dialysis patients, and hemodialysis patients, per hemodialysis station than the rest of Ontario or Canada. The region's hemodialysis utilization index was 101% in 1991 and 102% in 1992; the index in individual hospitals varied from 98% to 124% (85% was considered optimal). CONCLUSIONS: The growth of the dialysis population in the Toronto region has caused a critical shortage of

  14. Mixed emotions: the contribution of alexithymia to the emotional symptoms of autism.

    PubMed

    Bird, G; Cook, R

    2013-07-23

    It is widely accepted that autism is associated with disordered emotion processing and, in particular, with deficits of emotional reciprocity such as impaired emotion recognition and reduced empathy. However, a close examination of the literature reveals wide heterogeneity within the autistic population with respect to emotional competence. Here we argue that, where observed, emotional impairments are due to alexithymia-a condition that frequently co-occurs with autism-rather than a feature of autism per se. Alexithymia is a condition characterized by a reduced ability to identify and describe one's own emotion, but which results in reduced empathy and an impaired ability to recognize the emotions of others. We briefly review studies of emotion processing in alexithymia, and in autism, before describing a recent series of studies directly testing this 'alexithymia hypothesis'. If found to be correct, the alexithymia hypothesis has wide-reaching implications for the study of autism, and how we might best support subgroups of autistic individuals with, and without, accompanying alexithymia. Finally, we note the presence of elevated rates of alexithymia, and inconsistent reports of emotional impairments, in eating disorders, schizophrenia, substance abuse, Parkinson's Disease, multiple sclerosis and anxiety disorders. We speculate that examining the contribution of alexithymia to the emotional symptoms of these disorders may bear fruit in the same way that it is starting to do in autism.

  15. Relationships between alexithymia, affect recognition, and empathy after traumatic brain injury.

    PubMed

    Neumann, Dawn; Zupan, Barbra; Malec, James F; Hammond, Flora

    2014-01-01

    To determine (1) alexithymia, affect recognition, and empathy differences in participants with and without traumatic brain injury (TBI); (2) the amount of affect recognition variance explained by alexithymia; and (3) the amount of empathy variance explained by alexithymia and affect recognition. Sixty adults with moderate-to-severe TBI; 60 age and gender-matched controls. Participants were evaluated for alexithymia (difficulty identifying feelings, difficulty describing feelings, and externally-oriented thinking); facial and vocal affect recognition; and affective and cognitive empathy (empathic concern and perspective-taking, respectively). Participants with TBI had significantly higher alexithymia; poorer facial and vocal affect recognition; and lower empathy scores. For TBI participants, facial and vocal affect recognition variances were significantly explained by alexithymia (12% and 8%, respectively); however, the majority of the variances were accounted for by externally-oriented thinking alone. Affect recognition and alexithymia significantly accounted for 16.5% of cognitive empathy. Again, the majority of the variance was primarily explained by externally-oriented thinking. Affect recognition and alexithymia did not explain affective empathy. Results suggest that people who have a tendency to avoid thinking about emotions (externally-oriented thinking) are more likely to have problems recognizing others' emotions and assuming others' points of view. Clinical implications are discussed.

  16. Abnormalities in Automatic Processing of Illness-Related Stimuli in Self-Rated Alexithymia

    PubMed Central

    Brandt, Laura; Pintzinger, Nina M.; Tran, Ulrich S.

    2015-01-01

    Aim To investigate abnormalities in automatic information processing related to self- and observer-rated alexithymia, especially with regard to somatization, controlling for confounding variables such as depression and affect. Sample 89 healthy subjects (60% female), aged 19–71 years (M = 32.1). 58 subjects were additionally rated by an observer. Measures Alexithymia (self-rating: TAS-20, observer rating: OAS); automatic information processing (priming task including verbal [illness-related, negative, positive, neutral] and facial [negative, positive, neutral] stimuli); somatoform symptoms (SOMS-7T); confounders: depression (BDI), affect (PANAS). Results Higher self-reported alexithymia scores were associated with lower reaction times for negative (r = .19, p < .10) and positive (r = .26, p < .05) verbal primes when the target was illness-related. Self-reported alexithymia was correlated with number (r = .42, p < .01) and intensity of current somatoform symptoms (r = .36, p < .01), but unrelated to observer-rated alexithymia (r = .11, p = .42). Discussion Results indicate a faster allocation of attentional resources away from task-irrelevant information towards illness-related stimuli in alexithymia. Considering the close relationship between alexithymia and somatization, these findings are compatible with the theoretical view that alexithymics focus strongly on bodily sensations of emotional arousal. A single observer rating (OAS) does not seem to be an adequate alexithymia-measure in community samples. PMID:26090893

  17. Delinquency in Male Adolescents: The Role of Alexithymia and Family Structure

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zimmermann, Gregoire

    2006-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the linkages between alexithymia and delinquency in male adolescents (age ranging from 14 to 18 years), and to investigate whether alexithymia was a good discriminatory factor for juvenile delinquency. Thirty-six offender adolescents and 46 non-offender control adolescents participated in the study and…

  18. Dissociable morphometric profiles of the affective and cognitive dimensions of alexithymia.

    PubMed

    van der Velde, Jorien; van Tol, Marie-José; Goerlich-Dobre, Katharina Sophia; Gromann, Paula M; Swart, Marte; de Haan, Lieuwe; Wiersma, Durk; Bruggeman, Richard; Krabbendam, Lydia; Aleman, André

    2014-05-01

    Alexithymia ("no words for feelings") is a psychological construct that can be divided in a cognitive and affective dimension. The cognitive dimension reflects the ability to identify, verbalize and analyze feelings, whereas the affective dimension reflects the degree to which individuals get aroused by emotional stimuli and their ability to fantasize. These two alexithymia dimensions may differentially put individuals at risk to develop psychopathology. However, their neural correlates have rarely been investigated. The aim of the current study was to investigate whether the cognitive and affective alexithymia dimension are associated with unique anatomical profiles. Structural MRI scans of 57 participants (29 males; mean age: 34) were processed using a voxel-based morphometry (VBM) - Diffeomorphic Anatomical Registration Through Exponentiated Lie algebra (DARTEL) approach. Multiple regression analyses were performed to examine the common and specific associations between gray and white matter volume and alexithymia subdimensions. The results revealed that the cognitive dimension was related to lower dorsal anterior cingulate volume. In contrast, the affective alexithymia was associated with lower gray matter volume in the medial orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and lower white matter volume in the superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF) near the angular gyrus. No relationship between corpus callosum volume and alexithymia was observed. These results are consistent with the idea that there are two separable neural systems underlying alexithymia. This finding might encourage future research into the link between specific alexithymia subtypes and the development of psychopathology.

  19. Delinquency in Male Adolescents: The Role of Alexithymia and Family Structure

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zimmermann, Gregoire

    2006-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the linkages between alexithymia and delinquency in male adolescents (age ranging from 14 to 18 years), and to investigate whether alexithymia was a good discriminatory factor for juvenile delinquency. Thirty-six offender adolescents and 46 non-offender control adolescents participated in the study and…

  20. Analysis of functional variants reveals new candidate genes associated with alexithymia.

    PubMed

    Mezzavilla, Massimo; Ulivi, Sheila; Bianca, Martina La; Carlino, Davide; Gasparini, Paolo; Robino, Antonietta

    2015-06-30

    In this study we explored the possible association between 36,915 functional variants and alexithymia, a personality trait characterized by the inability to identify and describe emotions and feelings. From our analysis, variants in the genes ABCB4, TP53AIP1, ARHGAP32 and TMEM88B were identified linked to the alexithymia phenotype.

  1. Astronomy Public Tour Program at the University of Toronto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barkhouse, W. A.; Burns, C. R.

    2000-12-01

    In January of 1998, the Department of Astronomy at the University of Toronto, implemented an astronomy public tour program at its downtown campus in the city of Toronto, Canada. This program was initiated, organized, and run by the volunteer effort of the departmental graduate students. The purpose of this program is to help educate the general public about astronomy and to share our excitement and enthusiasm. We also wanted to present the opportunity for observing celestial objects with the departmental 8-inch refracting telescope. This program has been highly successful and serves as one of the main public outreach programs at the University of Toronto.

  2. Validity and measurement precision of the PROMIS physical function item bank and a content validity-driven 20-item short form in rheumatoid arthritis compared with traditional measures.

    PubMed

    Oude Voshaar, Martijn A H; Ten Klooster, Peter M; Glas, Cees A W; Vonkeman, Harald E; Taal, Erik; Krishnan, Eswar; Bernelot Moens, Hein J; Boers, Maarten; Terwee, Caroline B; van Riel, Piet L C M; van de Laar, Mart A F J

    2015-12-01

    To evaluate the content validity and measurement properties of the Patient-Reported Outcome Measurement Information System (PROMIS) physical function item bank and a 20-item short form in patients with RA in comparison with the HAQ disability index (HAQ-DI) and 36-item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36) physical functioning scale (PF-10). The content validity of the instruments was evaluated by linking their items to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) core set for RA. The measures were administered to 690 RA patients enrolled in the Dutch Rheumatoid Arthritis Monitoring registry. Measurement precision was evaluated using item response theory methods and construct validity was evaluated by correlating physical function scores with other clinical and patient-reported outcome measures. All 207 health concepts identified in the physical function measures referred to activities that are featured in the ICF. Twenty-three of 26 ICF RA core set domains are featured in the full PROMIS physical function item bank compared with 13 and 8 for the HAQ-DI and PF-10, respectively. As hypothesized, all three physical function instruments were highly intercorrelated (r 0.74-0.84), moderately correlated with disease activity measures (r 0.44-0.63) and weakly correlated with age (rs 0.07-0.14). Item response theory-based analysis revealed that a 20-item PROMIS physical function short form covered a wider range of physical function levels than the HAQ-DI or PF-10. The PROMIS physical function item bank demonstrated excellent measurement properties in RA. A content-driven 20-item short form may be a useful tool for assessing physical function in RA. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society for Rheumatology. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  3. Alexithymia and the processing of emotional facial expressions (EFEs): systematic review, unanswered questions and further perspectives.

    PubMed

    Grynberg, Delphine; Chang, Betty; Corneille, Olivier; Maurage, Pierre; Vermeulen, Nicolas; Berthoz, Sylvie; Luminet, Olivier

    2012-01-01

    Alexithymia is characterized by difficulties in identifying, differentiating and describing feelings. A high prevalence of alexithymia has often been observed in clinical disorders characterized by low social functioning. This review aims to assess the association between alexithymia and the ability to decode emotional facial expressions (EFEs) within clinical and healthy populations. More precisely, this review has four main objectives: (1) to assess if alexithymia is a better predictor of the ability to decode EFEs than the diagnosis of clinical disorder; (2) to assess the influence of comorbid factors (depression and anxiety disorder) on the ability to decode EFE; (3) to investigate if deficits in decoding EFEs are specific to some levels of processing or task types; (4) to investigate if the deficits are specific to particular EFEs. Twenty four studies (behavioural and neuroimaging) were identified through a computerized literature search of Psycinfo, PubMed, and Web of Science databases from 1990 to 2010. Data on methodology, clinical characteristics, and possible confounds were analyzed. The review revealed that: (1) alexithymia is associated with deficits in labelling EFEs among clinical disorders, (2) the level of depression and anxiety partially account for the decoding deficits, (3) alexithymia is associated with reduced perceptual abilities, and is likely to be associated with impaired semantic representations of emotional concepts, and (4) alexithymia is associated with neither specific EFEs nor a specific valence. These studies are discussed with respect to processes involved in the recognition of EFEs. Future directions for research on emotion perception are also discussed.

  4. Mixed emotions: the contribution of alexithymia to the emotional symptoms of autism

    PubMed Central

    Bird, G; Cook, R

    2013-01-01

    It is widely accepted that autism is associated with disordered emotion processing and, in particular, with deficits of emotional reciprocity such as impaired emotion recognition and reduced empathy. However, a close examination of the literature reveals wide heterogeneity within the autistic population with respect to emotional competence. Here we argue that, where observed, emotional impairments are due to alexithymia—a condition that frequently co-occurs with autism—rather than a feature of autism per se. Alexithymia is a condition characterized by a reduced ability to identify and describe one's own emotion, but which results in reduced empathy and an impaired ability to recognize the emotions of others. We briefly review studies of emotion processing in alexithymia, and in autism, before describing a recent series of studies directly testing this ‘alexithymia hypothesis'. If found to be correct, the alexithymia hypothesis has wide-reaching implications for the study of autism, and how we might best support subgroups of autistic individuals with, and without, accompanying alexithymia. Finally, we note the presence of elevated rates of alexithymia, and inconsistent reports of emotional impairments, in eating disorders, schizophrenia, substance abuse, Parkinson's Disease, multiple sclerosis and anxiety disorders. We speculate that examining the contribution of alexithymia to the emotional symptoms of these disorders may bear fruit in the same way that it is starting to do in autism. PMID:23880881

  5. Hearing feelings: affective categorization of music and speech in alexithymia, an ERP study.

    PubMed

    Goerlich, Katharina Sophia; Witteman, Jurriaan; Aleman, André; Martens, Sander

    2011-05-09

    Alexithymia, a condition characterized by deficits in interpreting and regulating feelings, is a risk factor for a variety of psychiatric conditions. Little is known about how alexithymia influences the processing of emotions in music and speech. Appreciation of such emotional qualities in auditory material is fundamental to human experience and has profound consequences for functioning in daily life. We investigated the neural signature of such emotional processing in alexithymia by means of event-related potentials. Affective music and speech prosody were presented as targets following affectively congruent or incongruent visual word primes in two conditions. In two further conditions, affective music and speech prosody served as primes and visually presented words with affective connotations were presented as targets. Thirty-two participants (16 male) judged the affective valence of the targets. We tested the influence of alexithymia on cross-modal affective priming and on N400 amplitudes, indicative of individual sensitivity to an affective mismatch between words, prosody, and music. Our results indicate that the affective priming effect for prosody targets tended to be reduced with increasing scores on alexithymia, while no behavioral differences were observed for music and word targets. At the electrophysiological level, alexithymia was associated with significantly smaller N400 amplitudes in response to affectively incongruent music and speech targets, but not to incongruent word targets. Our results suggest a reduced sensitivity for the emotional qualities of speech and music in alexithymia during affective categorization. This deficit becomes evident primarily in situations in which a verbalization of emotional information is required.

  6. Understanding the role of personality and alexithymia in food preferences and PROP taste perception.

    PubMed

    Robino, Antonietta; Mezzavilla, Massimo; Pirastu, Nicola; La Bianca, Martina; Gasparini, Paolo; Carlino, Davide; Tepper, Beverly J

    2016-04-01

    Taste perception and food preferences are influenced by a variety of factors, including personality characteristics. The aims of this study were to examine the role of personality characteristics, such as alexithymia (a personality construct characterized by inability to identify, describe, and work with one's own feelings), in: 1) taste responses to the bitter genetic taste-marker PROP and 2) food liking. We studied 649 healthy subjects residing in six genetically-isolated villages of Northeast Italy. Data on PROP taste responsiveness, food liking, personality characteristics and TAS2R28 genotypes were collected. Results showed that PROP non-tasters had higher alexithymia scores than PROP tasters. Moreover, the presence of alexithymia in heterozygous individuals for the rs1726886 polymorphism of the TAS2R38 gene was associated with a reduction in the perceived intensity of PROP. Finally, higher alexithymia scores were associated with liking of alcohol, sweets and fats/meats whereas lower alexithymia scores were related to liking of vegetables, condiments and strong cheeses, Measures of temperament, character, anxiety and depression were also related to food liking. Our findings suggest that: 1) alexithymia, in addition to the TAS2R38 polymorphism, may play a role in responsiveness to the aversive and bitter taste of PROP; and 2) alexithymia, in combination with other personality traits, may provide important insights for better understanding food liking. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Childhood adversities as risk factors for alexithymia and other aspects of affect dysregulation in adulthood.

    PubMed

    Kooiman, Cornelis G; van Rees Vellinga, Sonja; Spinhoven, Philip; Draijer, Nel; Trijsburg, Rutger W; Rooijmans, Harry G M

    2004-01-01

    Affect regulation is assumed to be a biologically based function that can become disrupted by inadequate parenting and by traumatic experiences. We studied the relation between the perceived parental parenting style, and sexual and physical abuse, with alexithymia, dissociation, anxiety and depression. In a cross-sectional study psychiatric outpatients were administered a structured interview on childhood physical and sexual abuse and they completed a number of questionnaires about the parenting styles of their parents, and about alexithymia, dissociation and mood pathology. Maternal and paternal parenting styles were moderately correlated with alexithymia and depression. The paternal parenting style was also correlated with dissociation. Optimal parenting of one of the parents had a buffering effect on the degree of alexithymia, but not on the severity of other forms of affect dysregulation. The effect of sexual or physical abuse did not add to that of parental parenting style in terms of predicting affect dysregulation. However, a positively perceived maternal parenting style was found to have a buffering effect in terms of the degree of alexithymia, if sexual abuse had also taken place. Perceived parenting does appear to be of some significance in the development of alexithymia. Optimal parenting of one of the parents may protect against the development of alexithymia when the parenting of the other parent is perceived as non-optimal. However, it is likely that other factors besides parental care and sexual or physical abuse play an important role in the development of an adequate affect regulation. Copyright 2004 S. Karger AG, Basel

  8. Alexithymia and anxiety sensitivity in patients with non-cardiac chest pain.

    PubMed

    White, Kamila S; McDonnell, Cassandra J; Gervino, Ernest V

    2011-12-01

    The aim of this study was to examine independent and combined influences of alexithymia and anxiety sensitivity on chest pain and life interference in patients with non-cardiac chest pain (NCCP). Theories of NCCP posit a central role for emotion in the experience of chest pain, however, studies have not examined how alexithymia characterized by a difficulty identifying or verbalizing emotions, may influence this relationship. This study examined 231 patients (56% females, M age=50 years) with chest pain seeking cardiac evaluation, who showed no abnormalities during exercise tolerance testing. Forty percent (40%) scored at or above the moderate range of alexithymia. Whereas health care utilization was associated with elevated alexithymia among men, health care utilization was associated with elevated anxiety sensitivity among women. Hierarchical regression analyses revealed that alexithymia and anxiety sensitivity were both uniquely and independently associated with pain severity and life interference due to pain. Alexithymia-pain links were stronger for men compared to women. Secondary analyses conducted with a subsample suggest that alexithymia may be increasingly stable over time (i.e., 18-month follow-up). Findings are largely congruent with theoretical models of NCCP showing that personality and emotional factors are important in this medically unexplained syndrome.

  9. SITE DEMONSTRATION OF THE TORONTO HARBOUR COMMISSIONERS SOIL RECYCLING PROJECT

    EPA Science Inventory

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in cooperation with the Toronto Harbour Commissioners (THC), conducted a Superfund InnovativeTechnology Evaluation (SITE) demonstration of the THC Soil Recycle Treatment Train. The treatment train consists of three technologies op...

  10. SITE DEMONSTRATION OF THE TORONTO HARBOUR COMMISSIONERS SOIL RECYCLING PROJECT

    EPA Science Inventory

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in cooperation with the Toronto Harbour Commissioners (THC), conducted a Superfund InnovativeTechnology Evaluation (SITE) demonstration of the THC Soil Recycle Treatment Train. The treatment train consists of three technologies op...

  11. Child maltreatment, alexithymia, and problematic internet use in young adulthood.

    PubMed

    Yates, Tuppett M; Gregor, Margo A; Haviland, Mark G

    2012-04-01

    The goals of this study were to (a) examine the phenomenology and developmental correlates of problematic Internet use (PIU) in a large and diverse college student sample; (b) evaluate a developmental process model of PIU in which the expected association between child maltreatment and PIU would be explained by alexithymia; and (c) explore these relations as a function of gender and race. PIU was assessed in a sample of 1,470 college students (62.9 percent female, 37.1 percent male; M(age)=19.13 years [SD=1.49]; 46.1 percent Asian, 28.2 percent Hispanic, 16.3 percent White, 5.9 percent Black, and 3.5 percent Multiracial/Other) who participated in a larger study of young adult adaptation, which included measures of child maltreatment, alexithymia, self-concept, social support, and psychopathology. Males and Asian students endorsed higher levels of PIU than females and other ethnoracial groups, respectively. PIU was related to contemporaneous maladaptation in the form of decreased self-concept, lower social support, and increased psychopathology across groups. Experiences of child maltreatment were related to increased PIU, and mediation analyses showed that this relation was partially explained by alexithymia. These relations were comparable across males and females and between Asian and non-Asian respondents. The analyses provide evidence for the significant role of child maltreatment and the cognitive-affective deficits it precipitates in understanding pathways toward PIU in young adulthood. Our findings suggest that maltreated youth are at disproportionate risk for PIU, and their capacities to regulate and process emotion are important targets for prevention and therapeutic intervention.

  12. The relationship of suicide attempt history with childhood abuse and neglect, alexithymia and temperament and character dimensions of personality in substance dependents.

    PubMed

    Evren, Cuneyt; Evren, Bilge

    2006-01-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of suicide in Turkish male substance dependents, and to investigate the relationship of suicide attempt history with childhood abuse and neglect, alexithymia, and temperament and character dimensions of personality. Participants were 154 consecutively admitted male substance dependents. Patients were investigated with the Childhood Abuse and Neglect Questionnaire, Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) and Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI). Among substance-dependent patients, 28.6% was considered a group with suicide attempt history (SAH). Current age was lower and rate of being single was higher in the group with SAH. There were no significant differences between groups in terms of employment, educational status and duration of education. Rates of physical, emotional abuse and neglect, self-mutilation and being alexithymic were higher and ages at first substance use and regular substance use were lower in the group with SAH. Mean scores of "difficulty in identifying feelings" (DIF) and "difficulty in describing feelings" (DDF) subscale EOT of the TAS-20 were higher in the SAH group. Among temperament and character dimensions of the TCI, only "Self-directedness" and "Cooperativeness" were lower in SAH and there were no significant differences between groups in terms of other subscales. Age and Self-directedness score of TCI were determinants for suicide attempt. In particular, young drug users with low Self-directedness scores could be the target population in order to prevent suicidal behavior. This study also suggests that in substance-dependent patients, in the background of all suicidal behavior, childhood abuse and neglect must be evaluated.

  13. DRDC Toronto Technical Stream Integrated Capabilities and Vision

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-09-01

    organisationnelle et de la Philosophie du partenariat professionnel de Recherche et développement pour la défense Canada – Toronto, le Réseau technique (RT...mise en œuvre du Programme d’harmonisation organisationnelle (PHO) et de la Philosophie du partenariat professionnel (PPP) de Recherche et...variable management of performance and limited developmental opportunities. Organizationally, DRDC Toronto was impacted, as the diverse and highly

  14. Skydiving as emotion regulation: the rise and fall of anxiety is moderated by alexithymia.

    PubMed

    Woodman, Tim; Cazenave, Nicolas; Le Scanff, Christine

    2008-06-01

    We investigated alexithymia and the fluctuation of anxiety in skydiving women. Alexithymia significantly moderated the pre- to postjump fluctuation of state anxiety such that only alexithymic skydivers' anxiety diminished as a consequence of performing a skydive. This suggests that skydiving is an effective means of emotion regulation for alexithymic women. However, the significant rise in anxiety shortly after landing suggests that any emotional benefits are short-lived. No anxiety fluctuations emerged for nonalexithymic skydivers. The Alexithymia x Time interaction remained significant when controlling for age, experience, and trait anxiety. Results are discussed in terms of the potential dependence on risk-taking activities for alexithymic women.

  15. Alexithymia and personality traits of patients with inflammatory bowel disease

    PubMed Central

    La Barbera, D.; Bonanno, B.; Rumeo, M. V.; Alabastro, V.; Frenda, M.; Massihnia, E.; Morgante, M. C.; Sideli, L.; Craxì, A.; Cappello, M.; Tumminello, M.; Miccichè, S.; Nastri, L.

    2017-01-01

    Psychological factors, specific lifestyles and environmental stressors may influence etiopathogenesis and evolution of chronic diseases. We investigate the association between Chronic Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD) and psychological dimensions such as personality traits, defence mechanisms, and Alexithymia, i.e. deficits of emotional awareness with inability to give a name to emotional states. We analyzed a survey of 100 patients with IBD and a control group of 66 healthy individuals. The survey involved filling out clinical and anamnestic forms and administering five psychological tests. These were then analyzed by using a network representation of the system by considering it as a bipartite network in which elements of one set are the 166 individuals, while the elements of the other set are the outcome of the survey. We then run an unsupervised community detection algorithm providing a partition of the 166 participants into clusters. That allowed us to determine a statistically significant association between psychological factors and IBD. We find clusters of patients characterized by high neuroticism, alexithymia, impulsivity and severe physical conditions and being of female gender. We therefore hypothesize that in a population of alexithymic patients, females are inclined to develop psychosomatic diseases like IBD while males might eventually develop behavioral disorders. PMID:28150800

  16. Reduced anticipation of negative emotional events in alexithymia

    PubMed Central

    Starita, Francesca; Làdavas, Elisabetta; di Pellegrino, Giuseppe

    2016-01-01

    Alexithymia is characterized by difficulties in different domains of emotion processing, especially in relation to negative emotions. Nevertheless, its causal mechanisms remain elusive. Reduced anticipation of negative emotional events might be one such mechanism because it enables the individual to prepare to respond effectively to coming events. To test this, changes in skin conductance response (SCR) were recorded during classical fear conditioning in sixty participants with high (HA), medium (MA) and low (LA) levels of alexithymia. Two coloured squares were presented, one was reinforced with a mild electrical stimulation (CS+) while the other was never reinforced (CS−). Critically, despite all groups showing higher SCR to CS+ compared to CS−, SCR to CS+ was lower and extinguished earlier in HA compared to MA and LA. These differences appeared to be attributable neither to differences in the intensity of stimulation received, nor to SCR to the stimulation itself. Groups showed comparable SCR to CS− as well. Therefore, HA exhibited decreased anticipation of the occurrence of a negative emotional event. Disruption of this mechanism may then compromise effective emotion recognition, emotional response and response regulation, which characterise HA, and represent a unifying causal mechanism underlying the difficulties in emotion processing of this group. PMID:27278856

  17. Alexithymia and Suicide Risk in Psychiatric Disorders: A Mini-Review.

    PubMed

    De Berardis, Domenico; Fornaro, Michele; Orsolini, Laura; Valchera, Alessandro; Carano, Alessandro; Vellante, Federica; Perna, Giampaolo; Serafini, Gianluca; Gonda, Xenia; Pompili, Maurizio; Martinotti, Giovanni; Di Giannantonio, Massimo

    2017-01-01

    It is well known that alexithymic individuals may show significantly higher levels of anxiety, depression, and psychological suffering than non-alexithymics. There is an increasing evidence that alexithymia may be considered a risk factor for suicide, even simply increasing the risk of development of depressive symptoms or per se. Therefore, the purpose of this narrative mini-review was to elucidate a possible relationship between alexithymia and suicide risk. The majority of reviewed studies pointed out a relationship between alexithymia and an increased suicide risk. In several studies, this relationship was mediated by depressive symptoms. In conclusion, the importance of alexithymia screening in everyday clinical practice and the evaluation of clinical correlates of alexithymic traits should be integral parts of all disease management programs and, especially, of suicide prevention plans and interventions. However, limitations of studies are discussed and must be considered.

  18. Borderline Personality Disorder Symptoms in College Students: The Complex Interplay between Alexithymia, Emotional Dysregulation and Rumination.

    PubMed

    Meaney, Rebecca; Hasking, Penelope; Reupert, Andrea

    2016-01-01

    Both Emotional Cascade Theory and Linehan's Biosocial Theory suggest dysregulated behaviors associated with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) emerge, in part, because of cycles of rumination, poor emotional recognition and poor emotion regulation. In this study we examined relationships between rumination, alexithymia, and emotion regulation in predicting dysregulated behaviors associated with BPD (e.g. self-harm, substance use, aggression), and explored both indirect and moderating effects among these variables. The sample comprised 2261 college students who completed self-report measures of the aforementioned constructs. BPD symptoms, stress, family psychological illness, and alexithymia exerted direct effects on behaviors. Symptoms had an indirect effect on behaviors through rumination, alexithymia and emotional dysregulation. In addition, the relationship between symptoms and dysregulated behaviors was conditional on level of rumination and alexithymia. Implications for early identification and treatment of BPD and related behaviors in college settings are discussed.

  19. The Impact of Autism Spectrum Disorder and Alexithymia on Judgments of Moral Acceptability

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    One’s own emotional response toward a hypothetical action can influence judgments of its moral acceptability. Some individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) exhibit atypical emotional processing, and moral judgments. Research suggests, however, that emotional deficits in ASD are due to co-occurring alexithymia, meaning atypical moral judgments in ASD may be due to alexithymia also. Individuals with and without ASD (matched for alexithymia) judged the moral acceptability of emotion-evoking statements and identified the emotion evoked. Moral acceptability judgments were predicted by alexithymia. Crucially, however, this relationship held only for individuals without ASD. While ASD diagnostic status did not directly predict either judgment, those with ASD did not base their moral acceptability judgments on emotional information. Findings are consistent with evidence demonstrating that decision-making is less subject to emotional biases in those with ASD. PMID:26375827

  20. Alexithymia and psychopathy: comparison and application of California Q-set Prototypes.

    PubMed

    Haviland, Mark G; Sonne, Janet L; Kowert, Paul A

    2004-06-01

    Although alexithymia and psychopathy have long been linked, the relationship between the two constructs remains unclear. In this study, we used the California Q-set Alexithymia Prototype (CAQ-AP; Haviland & Reise, 1996) and Psychopathy Prototype (CAQ-PP; Reise & Oliver, 1994) to clarify the relationship between the two constructs and evaluate both in a sample of contemporary and historical political leaders (N = 42). Our data show that both individuals with prototypic alexithymia and psychopathy lack empathy and insight and are not introspective. The prototypic person with alexithymia, however, is anxious, overcontrolled, submissive, boring, ethically consistent, and socially conforming, whereas the prototypic individual with psychopathy is anxiety-free, undercontrolled, dominant, charming, deceitful, and nonconforming. Characteristics of both were relatively common among the 13 controversial and notorious leaders and relatively uncommon among the 29 generally respected leaders in the sample. The CAQ-AP and the CAQ-PP appear to be useful for evaluating alexithymic and psychopathic features in public figures.

  1. Borderline Personality Disorder Symptoms in College Students: The Complex Interplay between Alexithymia, Emotional Dysregulation and Rumination

    PubMed Central

    Reupert, Andrea

    2016-01-01

    Both Emotional Cascade Theory and Linehan’s Biosocial Theory suggest dysregulated behaviors associated with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) emerge, in part, because of cycles of rumination, poor emotional recognition and poor emotion regulation. In this study we examined relationships between rumination, alexithymia, and emotion regulation in predicting dysregulated behaviors associated with BPD (e.g. self-harm, substance use, aggression), and explored both indirect and moderating effects among these variables. The sample comprised 2261 college students who completed self-report measures of the aforementioned constructs. BPD symptoms, stress, family psychological illness, and alexithymia exerted direct effects on behaviors. Symptoms had an indirect effect on behaviors through rumination, alexithymia and emotional dysregulation. In addition, the relationship between symptoms and dysregulated behaviors was conditional on level of rumination and alexithymia. Implications for early identification and treatment of BPD and related behaviors in college settings are discussed. PMID:27348858

  2. The impact of autism spectrum disorder and alexithymia on judgments of moral acceptability.

    PubMed

    Brewer, Rebecca; Marsh, Abigail A; Catmur, Caroline; Cardinale, Elise M; Stoycos, Sarah; Cook, Richard; Bird, Geoffrey

    2015-08-01

    One's own emotional response toward a hypothetical action can influence judgments of its moral acceptability. Some individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) exhibit atypical emotional processing, and moral judgments. Research suggests, however, that emotional deficits in ASD are due to co-occurring alexithymia, meaning atypical moral judgments in ASD may be due to alexithymia also. Individuals with and without ASD (matched for alexithymia) judged the moral acceptability of emotion-evoking statements and identified the emotion evoked. Moral acceptability judgments were predicted by alexithymia. Crucially, however, this relationship held only for individuals without ASD. While ASD diagnostic status did not directly predict either judgment, those with ASD did not base their moral acceptability judgments on emotional information. Findings are consistent with evidence demonstrating that decision-making is less subject to emotional biases in those with ASD.

  3. Common and distinct impacts of autistic traits and alexithymia on social reward.

    PubMed

    Foulkes, Lucy; Bird, Geoffrey; Gökçen, Elif; McCrory, Eamon; Viding, Essi

    2015-01-01

    According to the social motivation hypothesis of autism, individuals with high levels of autistic traits experience reduced levels of reward from social interactions. However, empirical evidence to date has been mixed, with some studies reporting lower levels of social reward in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and others finding no difference when compared to typically developing controls. Alexithymia, a subclinical condition associated with the reduced ability to identify and describe one's own emotions, has been found to account for other affective difficulties observed inconsistently in individuals with ASD. The current study used a nonclinical sample (N = 472) to explore the associations between autistic traits and the value of six types of social reward, as measured by the Social Reward Questionnaire. In addition, we measured alexithymia to assess if this accounted for associations between autistic traits and social reward. There were three main findings. Firstly, higher levels of autistic traits were associated with significantly less enjoyment of admiration and sociability, and adding alexithymia to these models did not account for any additional variance. Secondly, both autistic traits and alexithymia were uniquely associated with reduced levels of enjoyment of prosocial interactions and sexual relationships. Thirdly, autistic traits were associated with higher levels of enjoyment of passivity and negative social potency, but these associations were no longer significant once alexithymia was taken into account, suggesting that co-occurring alexithymia accounted for these apparent associations. Overall, the current findings provide a novel and more nuanced picture of the relationship between autistic traits and social reward.

  4. Metabolic mapping reveals sex-dependent involvement of default mode and salience network in alexithymia

    PubMed Central

    Colic, L.; Demenescu, L. R.; Li, M.; Kaufmann, J.; Krause, A. L.; Metzger, C.

    2016-01-01

    Alexithymia, a personality construct marked by difficulties in processing one’s emotions, has been linked to the altered activity in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). Although longitudinal studies reported sex differences in alexithymia, what mediates them is not known. To investigate sex-specific associations of alexithymia and neuronal markers, we mapped metabolites in four brain regions involved differentially in emotion processing using a point-resolved spectroscopy MRS sequence in 3 Tesla. Both sexes showed negative correlations between alexithymia and N-acetylaspartate (NAA) in pregenual ACC (pgACC). Women showed a robust negative correlation of the joint measure of glutamate and glutamine (Glx) to NAA in posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), whereas men showed a weak positive association of Glx to NAA in dorsal ACC (dACC). Our results suggest that lowered neuronal integrity in pgACC, a region of the default mode network (DMN), might primarily account for the general difficulties in emotional processing in alexithymia. Association of alexithymia in women extends to another region in the DMN-PCC, while in men a region in the salience network (SN) was involved. These observations could be representative of sex specific regulation strategies that include diminished internal evaluation of feelings in women and cognitive emotion suppression in men. PMID:26341904

  5. Disease control in patients with asthma is associated with alexithymia but not with depression or anxiety.

    PubMed

    Amore, Mario; Antonucci, Camilla; Bettini, Elena; Boracchia, Luca; Innamorati, Marco; Montali, Arianna; Parisoli, Chiara; Pisi, Roberta; Ramponi, Sara; Chetta, Alfredo

    2013-01-01

    This observational cohort study investigated the relationship between alexithymia, coping strategies, anxiety, depression, pulmonary function, and disease control in bronchial asthma (BA) patients who attended a tertiary care center between December 2010 and November 2011. Participants (N = 117) were administered self-report scales measuring anxiety, depression, alexithymia, and coping strategies. Pulmonary function expressed as forced expiratory volume in the first second (FEV1), forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory flow rate over the middle 50% of the FVC (FEF25-75) as% predicted and FEV1/FVC as%, fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) in ppb and the Asthma Control Test (ACT) were recorded. A hierarchical cluster analysis revealed two clusters of patients with different FEV1 values (p < .001) and alexithymia scores (p < .001). The cluster with lower FEV1 and higher alexithymia used more maladaptive coping strategies (p < .05), and had lower ACT scores (p < .05). Alexithymia was significantly associated with the severity of depression and anxiety symptoms (p < .001 for each comparison). In BA patients, alexithymia was associated with worse pulmonary function and disease control and a more frequent use of maladaptive coping strategies. These results support a multidimensional approach to asthmatic patients, including psychoeducational and behavioral interventions aimed at reducing maladaptive coping strategies.

  6. The relation between experiential avoidance, alexithymia and emotion regulation in inpatient adolescents.

    PubMed

    Venta, Amanda; Hart, John; Sharp, Carla

    2013-07-01

    Recently, efforts have been made to better understand constructs that are associated with difficulties in emotion regulation in hopes of identifying underlying mechanisms that may be valuable targets for intervention. Against this background, the present study had two aims. Firstly, we wanted to explore the relation between emotion regulation, experiential avoidance and alexithymia by determining whether adolescents with elevated scores on a measure of alexithymia would report deficits in emotion regulation and experiential avoidance. Secondly, we sought to evaluate the role of experiential avoidance as a mediator in the relation between alexithymia and emotion regulation. The sample (N = 64) consisted of adolescents recruited from an inpatient facility of which approximately 30% were classified as having alexithymia. The results of this study indicate that adolescents with alexithymia report deficits in emotion regulation and elevated experiential avoidance. Experiential avoidance mediated the relation between alexithymia and emotion regulation, indicating that while the inability to effectively use language to identify and describe emotional states is strongly correlated with difficulties in regulating one's emotions, this relation is mediated by the unwillingness to tolerate aversive private experiences. Limitations and strengths of the present study are also noted.

  7. Optimizing trauma-informed intervention for intimate partner violence in veterans: The role of alexithymia.

    PubMed

    Berke, Danielle S; Macdonald, Alexandra; Poole, Gina M; Portnoy, Galina A; McSheffrey, Savannah; Creech, Suzannah K; Taft, Casey T

    2017-10-01

    Recent research supports the efficacy of Strength at Home-Men's Program (SAH-M), a trauma-informed group intervention designed to reduce use of intimate partner violence (IPV) in veterans (Taft, Macdonald, Creech, Monson, & Murphy, 2016). However, change-processes facilitating the effectiveness of SAH-M have yet to be specified. Alexithymia, a deficit in the cognitive processing of emotional experience characterized by difficulty identifying and distinguishing between feelings, difficulty describing feelings, and use of an externally oriented thinking style, has been shown to predict PTSD severity and impulsive aggression; however, no studies have investigated the relationship between alexithymia and IPV. As such, the current study examined the role of improvements in alexithymia as a potential facilitator of treatment efficacy among 135 male veterans/service members, in a randomized control trial SAH-M. After an initial assessment including measures of IPV and alexithymia, participants were randomized to an Enhanced Treatment as Usual (ETAU) condition or SAH-M. Participants were assessed three and six months after baseline. Results demonstrated a statistically significant association between alexithymia and use of psychological IPV at baseline. Moreover, participants in the SAH-M condition self-reported significantly greater reductions in alexithymia over time relative to ETAU participants. Findings suggest that a trauma-informed intervention may optimize outcomes, helping men who use IPV both limit their use of violence and improve deficits in emotion processing. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  8. The Sound of Feelings: Electrophysiological Responses to Emotional Speech in Alexithymia

    PubMed Central

    Goerlich, Katharina Sophia; Aleman, André; Martens, Sander

    2012-01-01

    Background Alexithymia is a personality trait characterized by difficulties in the cognitive processing of emotions (cognitive dimension) and in the experience of emotions (affective dimension). Previous research focused mainly on visual emotional processing in the cognitive alexithymia dimension. We investigated the impact of both alexithymia dimensions on electrophysiological responses to emotional speech in 60 female subjects. Methodology During unattended processing, subjects watched a movie while an emotional prosody oddball paradigm was presented in the background. During attended processing, subjects detected deviants in emotional prosody. The cognitive alexithymia dimension was associated with a left-hemisphere bias during early stages of unattended emotional speech processing, and with generally reduced amplitudes of the late P3 component during attended processing. In contrast, the affective dimension did not modulate unattended emotional prosody perception, but was associated with reduced P3 amplitudes during attended processing particularly to emotional prosody spoken in high intensity. Conclusions Our results provide evidence for a dissociable impact of the two alexithymia dimensions on electrophysiological responses during the attended and unattended processing of emotional prosody. The observed electrophysiological modulations are indicative of a reduced sensitivity to the emotional qualities of speech, which may be a contributing factor to problems in interpersonal communication associated with alexithymia. PMID:22615853

  9. Relationships among alexithymia, therapeutic alliance, and psychotherapy outcome in major depressive disorder.

    PubMed

    Quilty, Lena C; Taylor, Graeme J; McBride, Carolina; Bagby, R Michael

    2017-08-01

    Previous studies have found that alexithymia predicts process and outcome of psychodynamic psychotherapy across a range of psychiatric disorders. There is preliminary evidence that alexithymia may exert its effects on outcome through the therapist. Other studies have found that alexithymia does not influence outcome of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). The aim of the current study was to investigate the capacity of alexithymia to predict therapist- and patient-rated therapeutic alliance and response to CBT and interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) for major depressive disorder. A total of 75 adults with major depressive disorder were randomized to receive weekly sessions of manualized individual CBT or IPT for a period of 16 weeks. Pre-treatment alexithymia exhibited a positive direct effect on depression change, and a negative indirect effect on depression change via patient-rated alliance at week 13. There was no mediating role of therapist-rated alliance. Although these findings are preliminary, they suggest that pre-treatment alexithymia has meaningful links to psychotherapy process and outcome, and that nuanced analyses incorporating intervening variables are necessary to elucidate the nature of these links. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Default Mode Network alterations in alexithymia: an EEG power spectra and connectivity study

    PubMed Central

    Imperatori, Claudio; Della Marca, Giacomo; Brunetti, Riccardo; Carbone, Giuseppe Alessio; Massullo, Chiara; Valenti, Enrico Maria; Amoroso, Noemi; Maestoso, Giulia; Contardi, Anna; Farina, Benedetto

    2016-01-01

    Recent neuroimaging studies have shown that alexithymia is characterized by functional alterations in different brain areas [e.g., posterior cingulate cortex (PCC)], during emotional/social tasks. However, only few data are available about alexithymic cortical networking features during resting state (RS). We have investigated the modifications of electroencephalographic (EEG) power spectra and EEG functional connectivity in the default mode network (DMN) in subjects with alexithymia. Eighteen subjects with alexithymia and eighteen subjects without alexithymia matched for age and gender were enrolled. EEG was recorded during 5 min of RS. EEG analyses were conducted by means of the exact Low Resolution Electric Tomography software (eLORETA). Compared to controls, alexithymic subjects showed a decrease of alpha power in the right PCC. In the connectivity analysis, compared to controls, alexithymic subjects showed a decrease of alpha connectivity between: (i) right anterior cingulate cortex and right PCC, (ii) right frontal lobe and right PCC, and (iii) right parietal lobe and right temporal lobe. Finally, mediation models showed that the association between alexithymia and EEG connectivity values was directed and was not mediated by psychopathology severity. Taken together, our results could reflect the neurophysiological substrate of some core features of alexithymia, such as the impairment in emotional awareness. PMID:27845326

  11. A California Q-set alexithymia prototype and its relationship to ego-control and ego-resiliency.

    PubMed

    Haviland, M G; Reise, S P

    1996-12-01

    The primary purposes of the present study were to use the Q-sort method to develop a measure of alexithymia and to locate the construct within a two-dimensional (ego-control and ego-resiliency) model of personality. Thirteen professional judges described the characteristics of the alexithymic personality with the 100-item California Q-set. Scores from the sorts were aggregated to form the Alexithymia Prototype, which had a Spearman-Brown reliability of 0.99. Alexithymic people were described as having difficulties experiencing and expressing emotion, lacking imagination, and being literal, socially conforming, and utilitarian; they lack insight, are humorless, and experience meaninglessness; and anxiety and tension find outlet in bodily symptoms. This description is consistent, for the most part, with modern formulations of the alexithymia construct. In the language of the two-dimensional personality model, alexithymic individuals appear to be overcontrolling and lacking ego-resiliency (i.e., constricted, anxious, rigid, and withdrawn). We, therefore, compared the Alexithymia Prototype with two independently developed prototypes, Overcontrol and Ego-Resiliency. The Q-correlations between alexithymia and overcontrol and between alexithymia and ego-resiliency were 0.45 and -0.70, respectively. Although item analyses confirmed moderate overlap between alexithymia and overcontrol and considerable overlap between alexithymia and lacking ego-resiliency (ego-brittle), item differences suggest that alexithymia, indeed, is a unique personality construct.

  12. Atypical trait inferences from facial cues in alexithymia.

    PubMed

    Brewer, Rebecca; Collins, Fredrika; Cook, Richard; Bird, Geoffrey

    2015-10-01

    It is often difficult to distinguish strangers' permanent facial shapes from their transient facial expressions, for example, whether they are scowling or have narrow-set eyes. Overinterpretation of ambiguous cues may contribute to the rapid character judgments we make about others. Someone with narrow eyes might be judged untrustworthy, because of strong associations between facial anger and threat. To test this hypothesis, we investigated the trait judgments made by individuals with severe alexithymia, associated with impaired recognition of facial emotion. Consistent with the hypothesis, alexithymic participants demonstrated reduced interrater consistency when judging the character traits of unfamiliar faces, and the presence of subtle emotions. Nevertheless, where alexithymics perceived, or misperceived, emotion cues, the character traits inferred thereafter were broadly typical. The finding that individuals with developmental deficits of emotion recognition exhibit atypical attribution of character traits, confirms the hypothesis that emotion-recognition mechanisms play a causal role in character judgments. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  13. Atypical Trait Inferences From Facial Cues in Alexithymia

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    It is often difficult to distinguish strangers’ permanent facial shapes from their transient facial expressions, for example, whether they are scowling or have narrow-set eyes. Overinterpretation of ambiguous cues may contribute to the rapid character judgments we make about others. Someone with narrow eyes might be judged untrustworthy, because of strong associations between facial anger and threat. To test this hypothesis, we investigated the trait judgments made by individuals with severe alexithymia, associated with impaired recognition of facial emotion. Consistent with the hypothesis, alexithymic participants demonstrated reduced interrater consistency when judging the character traits of unfamiliar faces, and the presence of subtle emotions. Nevertheless, where alexithymics perceived, or misperceived, emotion cues, the character traits inferred thereafter were broadly typical. The finding that individuals with developmental deficits of emotion recognition exhibit atypical attribution of character traits, confirms the hypothesis that emotion-recognition mechanisms play a causal role in character judgments. PMID:25867918

  14. Describe Your Feelings: Body Illusion Related to Alexithymia in Adolescence

    PubMed Central

    Georgiou, Eleana; Mai, Sandra; Pollatos, Olga

    2016-01-01

    Objective: Having access to bodily signals is known to be crucial for differentiating the self from others and coping with negative feelings. The interplay between bodily and emotional processes develops in adolescence, where vulnerability is high, as negative affect states often occur, that could hamper the integration of bodily input into the self. Aim of the present study in healthy adolescents was to examine, whether a disturbed emotional awareness, described by the alexithymic construct, could trigger a higher malleability in the sense of body-ownership. Methods: Fifty-four healthy adolescents aged between 12 to 17 years participated in this study. The Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) and the Screening psychischer Störungen im Jugendalter were used to assess emotional distress and conduct problems. Alexithymia was assessed by the TAS-20. The rubber hand illusion was implemented for examining the malleability of body-ownership. Results: A higher body illusion was found to be connected with “difficulties in describing feelings”. Moreover, a higher degree of self-reported conduct and emotional problems as assessed by the SDQ were associated with a more pronounced body illusion. Further findings revealed an association between emotional distress and the emotional alexithymia subscales “difficulties in identifying feelings” and “difficulties in describing feelings”. Conclusion: Our findings emphasize a close link between the sense of body-ownership and emotional awareness as assessed by emotional facets of the alexithymic trait. We suggest that in adolescents with higher malleability of body-ownership, a vicious circle might occur where affect and integration of different proprioceptive signals regarding the body become more entangled. PMID:27840618

  15. TECHNOLOGY EVALUATION REPORT: TORONTO HARBOUR COMMISSIONERS (THC) SOIL RECYCLE TREATMENT TRAIN. Project Summary

    EPA Science Inventory

    A demonstration of the Toronto Harbour Commissioners' (THC) Soil Recycle Treatment Train was performed under the Superfund Innovative Technology Evaluation (SITE) Program at a pilot plant facility in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Soil Recycle Treatment Train, which consists of s...

  16. TECHNOLOGY EVALUATION REPORT: TORONTO HARBOUR COMMISSIONERS (THC) SOIL RECYCLE TREATMENT TRAIN. Project Summary

    EPA Science Inventory

    A demonstration of the Toronto Harbour Commissioners' (THC) Soil Recycle Treatment Train was performed under the Superfund Innovative Technology Evaluation (SITE) Program at a pilot plant facility in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Soil Recycle Treatment Train, which consists of s...

  17. Hearing Feelings: Affective Categorization of Music and Speech in Alexithymia, an ERP Study

    PubMed Central

    Goerlich, Katharina Sophia; Witteman, Jurriaan; Aleman, André; Martens, Sander

    2011-01-01

    Background Alexithymia, a condition characterized by deficits in interpreting and regulating feelings, is a risk factor for a variety of psychiatric conditions. Little is known about how alexithymia influences the processing of emotions in music and speech. Appreciation of such emotional qualities in auditory material is fundamental to human experience and has profound consequences for functioning in daily life. We investigated the neural signature of such emotional processing in alexithymia by means of event-related potentials. Methodology Affective music and speech prosody were presented as targets following affectively congruent or incongruent visual word primes in two conditions. In two further conditions, affective music and speech prosody served as primes and visually presented words with affective connotations were presented as targets. Thirty-two participants (16 male) judged the affective valence of the targets. We tested the influence of alexithymia on cross-modal affective priming and on N400 amplitudes, indicative of individual sensitivity to an affective mismatch between words, prosody, and music. Our results indicate that the affective priming effect for prosody targets tended to be reduced with increasing scores on alexithymia, while no behavioral differences were observed for music and word targets. At the electrophysiological level, alexithymia was associated with significantly smaller N400 amplitudes in response to affectively incongruent music and speech targets, but not to incongruent word targets. Conclusions Our results suggest a reduced sensitivity for the emotional qualities of speech and music in alexithymia during affective categorization. This deficit becomes evident primarily in situations in which a verbalization of emotional information is required. PMID:21573026

  18. Gold award: providing psychiatric care and consultation in remote Indian villages--Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario.

    PubMed

    1978-10-01

    Faculty of the University of Toronto department of psychiatry take several trips a year to remote Indian villages in northwestern Ontario to deliver care to the Cree and Ojibway people and to provide consultation and training to the service delivery providers in the area. The program is part of a larger medical program operated by the university and financed by the Canadian government. Psychiatrists face numerous cultural and language obstacles in addition to harsh weather conditions and limited means of communication in the vast Sioux Lookout zone. When they are back in Toronto, they keep in touch via two-way radio with professional staff in the zone for ongoing consultations.

  19. Alexithymia, Dissociation, and Social Desirability: Investigating Individual Differences in the Narrative Content of False Allegations of Trauma

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Peace, Kristine A.; Bouvier, Kristen A.

    2008-01-01

    This study examined the potential influence of alexithymia, dissociation, and social desirability on the narrative features associated with truthful and fabricated traumatic events. Participants (N = 291) wrote narratives describing both genuine and fabricated traumas and completed scales measuring individual differences. Alexithymia was…

  20. The role of alexithymia and gastrointestinal-specific anxiety as predictors of treatment outcome in irritable bowel syndrome.

    PubMed

    Porcelli, Piero; De Carne, Massimo; Leandro, Gioacchino

    2017-02-01

    In a previous investigation irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) was associated more to alexithymia than gastrointestinal-specific anxiety (GSA). In this study their independent contribution in predicting treatment outcome was longitudinally investigated. Consecutive 150 IBS patients were evaluated for IBS symptoms, alexithymia, GSA, and psychological distress with validated scales after as-usual treatment for 6-12months. The primary treatment outcome was improvement measured with the IBS-Severity Scoring System that showed 111 patients who improved and 39 who did not improve. Improvement was associated to both alexithymia (d=1.27) and GSA (d=4.63) but only alexithymia showed overtime stability by hierarchical regression, controlled for co-variables. A series of logistic and linear regressions showed that baseline alexithymia, but not GSA, independently predicted both post-treatment improvement status (Cox & Snell R(2)=0.15; overall classification rate=74%) and symptom change (23% of explained variance). Although alexithymia and GSA were closely related IBS symptoms, only alexithymia was found to be a stable trait and a stronger predictor of treatment outcome than GSA. Since no treatment was established to be definitely effective for IBS, clinicians might improve treatment outcome by identifying patients with high alexithymia, attempting to improve their coping skills, emotional regulation, and affective awareness. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Alexithymia, Dissociation, and Social Desirability: Investigating Individual Differences in the Narrative Content of False Allegations of Trauma

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Peace, Kristine A.; Bouvier, Kristen A.

    2008-01-01

    This study examined the potential influence of alexithymia, dissociation, and social desirability on the narrative features associated with truthful and fabricated traumatic events. Participants (N = 291) wrote narratives describing both genuine and fabricated traumas and completed scales measuring individual differences. Alexithymia was…

  2. West Indians in Toronto. Implications for Helping Professionals.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Christiansen, Juliette M.; And Others

    A product of the three-year West Indian Project of the Family Service Association in Toronto, this book seeks to share with helping professionals insights into Caribbean cultures and some significant issues that impede or facilitate working with West Indians. The first chapter outlines the historical development of the Caribbean, focusing on the…

  3. Was WHO SARS-related travel advisory for Toronto ethical?

    PubMed

    Paquin, Leo J

    2007-01-01

    Freedom of movement is undoubtedly a fundamental international right. However, circumstances may arise where that right must be curtailed. Was the 2003 SARS outbreak in Toronto one such circumstance? Guénaël R.M. Rodier thinks WHO's decision to impose a SARS-related travel advisory was justifiable, even reasonable, though it caused a loss of over $1.1 billion in the Greater Toronto Area. That travel to an infected area was the most common epidemiological link with SARS infections supports Rodier's position. However, as suggested in the Naylor report, issuing a travel advisory does not keep infected individuals from leaving Toronto and such individuals account for 5 of 6 cases where SARS was spread from Canada. That alone would discount Rodier's argument and the WHO decision on purely logistical grounds. But there is an ethical question as well. Was the travel advisory implemented fairly? This question is best judged using Nancy E. Kass's framework for public health. From that framework, two points are placed in immediate relief. First, the Toronto authorities were not given an opportunity to state their case to WHO before the travel advisory was implemented. Second, the framework requires that burdens be distributed fairly and the travel advisory did not do that, or even attempt to do so.

  4. University of Toronto Instructors' Experiences with Developing MOOCs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Najafi, Hedieh; Rolheiser, Carol; Harrison, Laurie; Håklev, Stian

    2015-01-01

    We interviewed eight University of Toronto (U of T) instructors who have offered MOOCs on Coursera or EdX between 2012 and 2014 to understand their motivation for MOOC instruction, their experience developing and teaching MOOCs, and their perceptions of the implications of MOOC instruction on their teaching and research practices. Through…

  5. Not Just a Place To Live: Building Community in Toronto.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Walker, Pam; O'Connor, Susan

    This case study describes the recent development of two housing co-ops "Courtyard" and "CHORD," in Toronto (Ontario, Canada) that are inclusive of people with disabilities, that is, the co-ops were developed by people with disabilities, their families, and friends. Focus is on components utilized in the planning and development…

  6. White Fear: Analyzing Public Objection to Toronto's Africentric School

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Levine-Rasky, Cynthia

    2014-01-01

    In September 2009, the Toronto District School Board opened a publicly funded Africentric alternative school that today serves a population of about 135 students. While the founding of the eponymous school was the result of successful advocacy on the part of African-Canadian communities in the city, it was met with controversy. Readily observed in…

  7. History of Cardiovascular Surgery at Toronto General Hospital.

    PubMed

    Lee, Myunghyun M; Alvarez, Juglans; Rao, Vivek

    2016-01-01

    The Division of Cardiovascular Surgery at Toronto General Hospital has enjoyed an enviable history of academic achievement and clinical success. The foundations of this success are innovation, creativity and excellence in patient care, which continue to influence the current members of the division. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Refugee Students in Toronto Schools: An Exploratory Study. No. 211.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yau, Maria

    An exploratory study of the refugees in the Toronto (Ontario, Canada) public school system examined: (1) their situation, including their numbers and distributions, countries of origin, demographic characteristics, and challenges and needs at school; (2) how teachers and other school staff deal with the situation, and the kinds of difficulties…

  9. Women in Astronomy at the University of Toronto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clement, Christine M.

    2006-06-01

    In 1962, there were six astronomy faculty at the University of Toronto. This included two women and four men. A decade later, the number of faculty had doubled, but the number of women decreased. I will discuss these demographics. In particular, I will mention the effect of the Second World War.

  10. Toronto's First U.S.-Canadian ECE Conference-1891.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hewes, Dorothy W.

    Early childhood professional organizations in Canada and the United States have evolved since leaders of the Kindergarten Department of the National Educational Association (NEA) met in Toronto in 1891. This meeting led to the creation of the International Kindergarten Union (IKU), now known as the Association for Childhood Education International…

  11. White Fear: Analyzing Public Objection to Toronto's Africentric School

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Levine-Rasky, Cynthia

    2014-01-01

    In September 2009, the Toronto District School Board opened a publicly funded Africentric alternative school that today serves a population of about 135 students. While the founding of the eponymous school was the result of successful advocacy on the part of African-Canadian communities in the city, it was met with controversy. Readily observed in…

  12. Highlights of the University of Toronto Urology Update 2014

    PubMed Central

    Herschorn, Sender

    2015-01-01

    At the University of Toronto Urology Update 2014, a faculty of Canadian and American experts presented a series of lectures covering a range of topics in the field of urology. Areas of focus included prostate cancer (PCa), functional urology, erectile dysfunction (ED), and surgical topics (e.g., percutaneous nephrolithotomy [PCNL]). PMID:25784963

  13. Locating the Toronto Transmit Subway Tunnel below Queens Park in downtown Toronto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iqbal, U.; Bank, C.

    2009-05-01

    The principle objective of this project was to trace the location and depth of the Toronto Transit Commission subway tunnel running below Queen's Park between Museum Station and the Legislature. A Proton Precession Magnetometer equipped with a GPS system was used to obtain 3,200 data points of total field strength along with their precise location. The resulting map shows a clear magnetic high running North South. The anomaly has a value of 10,000 nT on the North Side of the Park and weakens to 7,000 nT on the South side. We attribute this change to an increase in the depth of the tunnel. We compared our results to synthetic data for a tunnel modelled as a two-dimensional body with a distorted octagonal cross-section about 10 m wide and 3 m thick. Our field data is consistent with a model for a tunnel that is 8m deep in the North, and increases to a depth of 10 m in the South. For ongoing analysis we would want to test whether our data can resolve two subway tunnels running parallel to each other.

  14. Childhood Maltreatment and Sexual Risk Taking: The Mediating Role of Alexithymia.

    PubMed

    Hahn, Austin M; Simons, Raluca M; Simons, Jeffrey S

    2016-01-01

    Childhood maltreatment is a significant predictor of sexual risk taking. The nature of this relationship is not fully understood; however, emotion dysregulation may play an important role. We tested the role of difficulty identifying and describing feelings (i.e., alexithymia) on the relationship between childhood maltreatment and sexual risk taking. Specifically, we hypothesized two mechanisms, one in which alexithymia is related to sexual risk taking via negative urgency and alcohol use and a second one in which alexithymia is related to sexual risk taking via neediness. The participants for this study were 425 sexually active college undergraduates (303 females, 122 males) between the ages of 18 and 25 years. The results of a structural equation model indicated that alexithymia accounted for a significant part of the relationship between child maltreatment and sexual risk behavior. Moreover, the relationship between alexithymia and sexual risk taking was fully accounted for by two separate paths. First, negative urgency and subsequent alcohol use partially mediated the relationship, and the second effect was accounted for by needy interpersonal style. Adverse experiences during childhood can impair emotional functioning and contribute to behavioral and interpersonal dysregulation.

  15. An Examination of the Topology and Measurement of the Alexithymia Construct Using Network Analysis.

    PubMed

    Watters, Carolyn A; Taylor, Graeme J; Quilty, Lena C; Bagby, R Michael

    2016-01-01

    There is some ongoing controversy surrounding the definition and measurement of the alexithymia construct. Whereas most researchers describe 4 components comprising the construct (difficulty identifying feelings, difficulty describing feelings, restricted fantasizing, and externally oriented thinking), some include a 5th component, which is defined as "reduced experiencing of emotional feelings." This study examined the topology and measurement of alexithymia using the method of network analysis with data from a heterogeneous multilanguage sample (N = 1,696) that had completed the Bermond-Vorst Alexithymia Questionnaire (BVAQ; Vorst & Bermond, 2001 ). The BVAQ includes an Emotionalizing subscale for assessing the purported 5th component; we compared the network analyses conducted both with and without the Emotionalizing items. The results revealed strong associations between Emotionalizing and Analyzing (externally oriented thinking) items, but Emotionalizing items had almost as many negative as positive connections with items assessing the other components of the construct. A comparison of communities identified by modularity analyses of the 2 networks failed to support emotionalizing as a distinct component of the construct. In addition, network metrics revealed that Fantasizing items were particularly weak within both networks, suggesting that reduced fantasizing might be a peripheral component of the alexithymia construct. Implications for the measurement and treatment of alexithymia are discussed.

  16. Accounting for the associations between child maltreatment and internalizing problems: The role of alexithymia.

    PubMed

    Brown, Shaquanna; Fite, Paula J; Stone, Katie; Bortolato, Marco

    2016-02-01

    Internalizing difficulties are one of the most widely documented consequences of child maltreatment. However, there is a need for studies delineating the factors that account for this association. Despite research showing that alexithymia is associated with both child maltreatment and internalizing problems, the role of alexithymia in the link between child maltreatment and internalizing problems has not received much attention in the literature. The current study evaluated whether a history of child maltreatment was associated with symptoms of depression, anxiety, and loneliness in emerging adulthood, and whether alexithymia partially accounted for these associations. Participants included 339 emerging adults ranging between 18 and 25 years of age (M=19.00, SD=1.26, 51.3% male). Exposure to child maltreatment (i.e., physical abuse, physical neglect, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and emotional neglect) was positively associated with depression, anxiety, and loneliness symptoms. Tests of indirect effects suggested that associations between emotional neglect and symptoms of depression, anxiety, and loneliness were partially explained by alexithymia. However, alexithymia did not account for any other associations between the remaining four maltreatment types and internalizing problems. Findings highlight the need for further evaluation of the factors that might account for associations between child maltreatment and internalizing difficulties. Future directions and implications for interventions are reviewed.

  17. Alexithymia and marital quality: the mediating roles of loneliness and intimate communication.

    PubMed

    Frye-Cox, Nick E; Hesse, Colin R

    2013-04-01

    This study examined the mediating roles of loneliness and intimate communication in the association between alexithymia and marital quality. Guided by a personality-behavioral approach to loneliness and affection exchange theory (AET), two actor-partner interdependence models (APIMs) were examined to test the associations among the variables. Path models (N = 155 couples) indicated that, for both spouses, loneliness and intimate communication fully mediated the association between alexithymia and marital quality. More specifically, higher alexithymia was associated with greater loneliness, which predicted lower intimate communication, which was related to lower marital quality. Multiple specific indirect effects were also significant, suggesting that the association between alexithymia and marital quality may be explained through divergent intrapersonal and interpersonal pathways. Although the magnitude of the intrapersonal associations was similar for both spouses, the results revealed gender differences in spousal interpersonal associations. For husbands, consistent differences were found between intrapersonal and interpersonal associations. Conversely, for wives, no significant differences were found between intrapersonal and interpersonal associations, suggesting that their marital quality was most strongly predicted by their own and their spouse's alexithymia, loneliness, and perceptions of intimate communication. Theoretical implications and future directions for research are also discussed.

  18. Do alexithymic individuals avoid their feelings? Experiential avoidance mediates the association between alexithymia, psychosomatic, and depressive symptoms in a community and a clinical sample.

    PubMed

    Panayiotou, Georgia; Leonidou, Chrysanthi; Constantinou, Elena; Hart, John; Rinehart, Kimberly L; Sy, Jennifer T; Björgvinsson, Thröstur

    2015-01-01

    Alexithymia is defined as the trait associated with difficulty in identifying and describing feelings as well as poor fantasy and imagery. While alexithymia is related to psychopathology in general, it has been associated with increased reporting of medically unexplained symptoms and depression in particular. This study attempts to assess the extent to which alexithymia represents a learned, avoidant coping strategy against unwanted emotions. In this way the study aims to identify a potential mechanism that may elucidate the relationship between alexithymia and psychological symptoms. Alexithymia is examined in two different samples, students from two universities in Cyprus and intensive outpatients/residents in an American anxiety disorder treatment program. We examine whether alexithymia predicts psychosomatic and depressive symptoms respectively through the mediating role of experiential avoidance, a coping mechanism believed to be reinforced because of the immediate relief it provides. Experiential avoidance was found to correlate strongly with alexithymia, especially its difficulty in identifying feelings factor, while the mediation hypothesis was supported in all models tested. Furthermore, results from the clinical sample suggest that clinical improvement in depression was associated with a decrease in alexithymia, especially difficulty in identifying feelings, mediated by decreased experiential avoidance. Alexithymia, and more specifically its difficulty in identifying feelings aspect, may be a learned behavior used to avoid unwanted emotions. This avoidant behavior may form the link between alexithymia and psychopathology. Implications for alexithymia theory and treatment are discussed. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Toronto Heart Attack Collaborative: an administrative model that facilitated a successful city-wide integration initiative.

    PubMed

    Young, Justin; McLellan, Barry; Escaf, Marnie; Dzavik, Vladimir; Michaud, Susan; Newton, Janet; Newman, Erone

    2014-01-01

    This article provides a description of the administrative model that enabled a city-wide integration effort between Greater Toronto Area hospitals and Toronto Emergency Medical Services in the care of patients within the city of Toronto with ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). This administrative structure, known as the Toronto Heart Attack Collaborative (THAC), enabled universal 24/7 access to primary percutaneous coronary intervention within Toronto, improving patient efficacy and outcomes. The lessons and administrative enablers from this experience may be useful for regions that are embarking on multi-centre integration efforts. This article presents a five-year perspective on the THAC integration effort.

  20. Structural relationships among attachment insecurity, alexithymia, and body esteem in women with eating disorders.

    PubMed

    Keating, Leah; Tasca, Giorgio A; Hill, Robert

    2013-08-01

    Patients with eating disorders tend to experience low levels of body esteem. To assess the psychosocial processes that may predict low body esteem in these individuals, we assessed the structural interrelations among attachment anxiety, attachment avoidance, alexithymia, and body esteem in a cross-sectional sample of patients with eating disorders. We tested a model in which alexithymia mediates the relationship between attachment insecurity and body esteem. Participants were 300 women with anorexia nervosa (n = 109), bulimia nervosa (n = 130), and eating disorders not otherwise specified (n = 61) who completed pretreatment self-report questionnaires at intake for a day hospital treatment program. We found a direct and negative relationship between attachment anxiety and body esteem. Additionally, attachment avoidance had an indirect negative relationship to body esteem through alexithymia. These results indicate that therapists may attend to attachment insecurity and affective regulation strategies when addressing body image issues in patients with eating disorders. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Alexithymia and the labeling of facial emotions: response slowing and increased motor and somatosensory processing

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Alexithymia is a personality trait that is characterized by difficulties in identifying and describing feelings. Previous studies have shown that alexithymia is related to problems in recognizing others’ emotional facial expressions when these are presented with temporal constraints. These problems can be less severe when the expressions are visible for a relatively long time. Because the neural correlates of these recognition deficits are still relatively unexplored, we investigated the labeling of facial emotions and brain responses to facial emotions as a function of alexithymia. Results Forty-eight healthy participants had to label the emotional expression (angry, fearful, happy, or neutral) of faces presented for 1 or 3 seconds in a forced-choice format while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging. The participants’ level of alexithymia was assessed using self-report and interview. In light of the previous findings, we focused our analysis on the alexithymia component of difficulties in describing feelings. Difficulties describing feelings, as assessed by the interview, were associated with increased reaction times for negative (i.e., angry and fearful) faces, but not with labeling accuracy. Moreover, individuals with higher alexithymia showed increased brain activation in the somatosensory cortex and supplementary motor area (SMA) in response to angry and fearful faces. These cortical areas are known to be involved in the simulation of the bodily (motor and somatosensory) components of facial emotions. Conclusion The present data indicate that alexithymic individuals may use information related to bodily actions rather than affective states to understand the facial expressions of other persons. PMID:24629094

  2. Common and Distinct Impacts of Autistic Traits and Alexithymia on Social Reward

    PubMed Central

    Foulkes, Lucy; Bird, Geoffrey; Gökçen, Elif; McCrory, Eamon; Viding, Essi

    2015-01-01

    According to the social motivation hypothesis of autism, individuals with high levels of autistic traits experience reduced levels of reward from social interactions. However, empirical evidence to date has been mixed, with some studies reporting lower levels of social reward in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and others finding no difference when compared to typically developing controls. Alexithymia, a subclinical condition associated with the reduced ability to identify and describe one’s own emotions, has been found to account for other affective difficulties observed inconsistently in individuals with ASD. The current study used a nonclinical sample (N = 472) to explore the associations between autistic traits and the value of six types of social reward, as measured by the Social Reward Questionnaire. In addition, we measured alexithymia to assess if this accounted for associations between autistic traits and social reward. There were three main findings. Firstly, higher levels of autistic traits were associated with significantly less enjoyment of admiration and sociability, and adding alexithymia to these models did not account for any additional variance. Secondly, both autistic traits and alexithymia were uniquely associated with reduced levels of enjoyment of prosocial interactions and sexual relationships. Thirdly, autistic traits were associated with higher levels of enjoyment of passivity and negative social potency, but these associations were no longer significant once alexithymia was taken into account, suggesting that co-occurring alexithymia accounted for these apparent associations. Overall, the current findings provide a novel and more nuanced picture of the relationship between autistic traits and social reward. PMID:25853670

  3. Relational health, alexithymia, and psychological distress in college women: testing a mediator model.

    PubMed

    Liang, Belle; West, Jennifer

    2011-04-01

    Relational health refers to interpersonal interactions that are growth-fostering or mutually empathic and empowering. Poor relational health increases an individual's risk for developing psychological distress. Alexithymia is the inability to recognize and express one's own internal emotional experience. In this study, the associations of relational health, psychological distress, and alexithymia were examined by surveying 197 female undergraduate psychology students. Support was found for the hypothesis that alexithymic symptoms mediate the direct effect of poor relational health on psychological distress. The importance of assessing relational health and tailoring counseling interventions for people with low relational health and alexithymic symptoms is discussed.

  4. Assessing urban forest effects and values: Toronto's urban forest

    Treesearch

    David J. Nowak; Robert E. III Hoehn; Allison R. Bodine; Eric J. Greenfield; Alexis Ellis; Theodore A. Endreny; Yang Yang; Tian Zhou; Ruthanne. Henry

    2013-01-01

    An analysis of trees in Toronto, Ontario, reveals that this city has about 10.2 million trees with a tree and shrub canopy that covers approximately 26.6 percent of the city. The most common tree species are eastern white-cedar, sugar maple, and Norway maple. The urban forest currently stores an estimated 1.1 million metric tons of carbon valued at CAD$25.0 million. In...

  5. Mothers' alexithymia, depression and anxiety levels and their association with the quality of mother-infant relationship: a preliminary study.

    PubMed

    Yürümez, Esra; Akça, Ömer Faruk; Uğur, Çağatay; Uslu, Runa Idil; Kılıç, Birim Günay

    2014-08-01

    To evaluate the relationship between mothers and their developmentally normal infants in terms of maternal alexithymia, depression and anxiety, and marital satisfaction. Fifty children between 18 and 48 months of age, and their mothers, were referred consecutively to the Infant Mental Health Unit of Ankara University School of Medicine, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. The sociodemographic features of the families and the depressive symptoms, anxiety, marital satisfaction and alexithymia levels of the mothers were assessed. The relationships between children in normal developmental stages and their mothers were evaluated and rated using a structured clinical procedure. There was a negative correlation between the mothers' alexithymia scores and the quality of the mother-infant relationship (p < 0.05). Mothers with high alexithymia showed higher depression and lower relationship qualities than mothers with low alexithymia, according to the correlation analysis. When depression and anxiety were controlled, high alexithymia levels were predictive of a low, impaired mother-infant relationship. Since alexithymia is a trait-like variable which has a negative correlation with impairment in a mother-infant relationship, it must be investigated in the assessment of mothers' interactions with their babies.

  6. Educational Alliance for a Sustainable Toronto: The University of Toronto and the City's United Nations University (UNU) Regional Centre of Expertise

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stefanovic, Ingrid Leman

    2008-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to describe the role that the University of Toronto has had in helping to establish a Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) on Education for Sustainable Development in Toronto, Canada. The way in which the RCE initiative has helped to move forward the university's own five-year plan will also be discussed.…

  7. Educational Alliance for a Sustainable Toronto: The University of Toronto and the City's United Nations University (UNU) Regional Centre of Expertise

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stefanovic, Ingrid Leman

    2008-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to describe the role that the University of Toronto has had in helping to establish a Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) on Education for Sustainable Development in Toronto, Canada. The way in which the RCE initiative has helped to move forward the university's own five-year plan will also be discussed.…

  8. Anxiety, depression and autonomy-connectedness: The mediating role of alexithymia and assertiveness.

    PubMed

    Rutten, Elisabeth A P; Bachrach, Nathan; van Balkom, Anton J L M; Braeken, Johan; Ouwens, Machteld A; Bekker, Marrie H J

    2016-12-01

    Autonomy-connectedness (self-awareness, sensitivity to others, and capacity for managing new situations) reflects the capacity for self-governance, including in social relationships. Evidence showed that autonomy-connectedness is related to anxiety and depression. Little is known about the underlying mechanisms. We hypothesized that alexithymia and assertiveness would mediate the relationships between autonomy-connectedness and anxiety and depression. Relationships among the variables were investigated in 100 patients with a mean age of 42.2 suffering from anxiety and/or depression using a cross-sectional design. The relationship between self-awareness and both anxiety and depression was mediated by alexithymia. For anxiety, there was also a direct effect of sensitivity to others that was not explained by either alexithymia or assertiveness. Assertiveness did not have any mediational effect. The results indicate that particularly alexithymia explains the association of autonomy-connectedness with anxiety and depression. The study confirmed the relevance of autonomy-connectedness in anxiety and depression. In treating symptoms of anxiety, it is advisable to give attention to normalizing the patient's sensitivity to others. Treatment of patients with symptoms of anxiety and depression should include assessment of emotional awareness and, in the case of impaired emotional awareness, should be tailored as to promote increased awareness. © 2015 The British Psychological Society.

  9. Alexithymia, emotion perception, and social assertiveness in adult women with Noonan and Turner syndromes.

    PubMed

    Roelofs, Renée L; Wingbermühle, Ellen; Freriks, Kim; Verhaak, Chris M; Kessels, Roy P C; Egger, Jos I M

    2015-04-01

    Noonan syndrome (NS) and Turner syndrome (TS) are associated with cognitive problems and difficulties in affective information processing. While both phenotypes include short stature, facial dysmorphisms, and a webbed neck, genetic etiology and neuropsychological phenotype differ significantly. The present study examines putative differences in affective information processing and social assertiveness between adult women with NS and TS. Twenty-six women with NS, 40 women with TS, and 40 female controls were matched on age and intelligence, and subsequently compared on (1) alexithymia, measured by the Bermond-Vorst Alexithymia Questionnaire, (2) emotion perception, evaluated by the Emotion Recognition Task, and (3) social assertiveness and social discomfort, assessed by the Scale for Interpersonal Behavior. Women with TS showed higher levels of alexithymia than women with NS and controls (P-values < 0.001), whereas women with NS had more trouble recognizing angry facial expressions in comparison with controls (P = 0.01). No significant group differences were found for the frequency of social assertiveness and the level of social discomfort. Women with NS and TS demonstrated different patterns of impairment in affective information processing, in terms of alexithymia and emotion perception. The present findings suggest neuropsychological phenotyping to be helpful for the diagnosis of specific cognitive-affective deficits in genetic syndromes, for the enhancement of genetic counseling, and for the development of personalized treatment plans. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Relationships between physical symptoms, emotional distress, and pain appraisal in fibromyalgia: the moderator effect of alexithymia.

    PubMed

    Martínez, M Pilar; Sánchez, Ana I; Miró, Elena; Lami, María J; Prados, Germán; Morales, Ana

    2015-01-01

    Alexithymia is a personality construct that is frequently identified in fibromyalgia (FM). Previous studies have explored the relationship between alexithymia and emotional distress in this disease. Yet, the additional link with factors of pain appraisal is unknown. This study examined the moderating effect of alexithymia in the relationship between emotional distress and pain appraisal in 97 FM women. A control group of 100 healthy women also participated in the study. All participants completed several self-reports about pain experience, sleep quality, impairment, emotional distress, pain appraisal, and alexithymia. FM women showed significantly more difficulty in identifying and describing feelings, but less externally oriented thinking than healthy women. In the clinical group, difficulty in identifying feelings and difficulty in describing feelings significantly correlated with lower sleep quality, higher anxiety and depression, and increased pain catastrophizing and fear of pain. Difficulty in describing feelings significantly correlated with higher pain experience and vigilance to pain. Externally oriented thinking was not correlated with any of the clinical variables. Difficulty in identifying feelings moderated the relationship between anxiety and pain catastrophizing, and difficulty in describing feelings moderated the relationship between anxiety and fear of pain. Implications of the findings for the optimization of care of FM patients are discussed.

  11. An investigation of facial emotion recognition impairments in alexithymia and its neural correlates.

    PubMed

    Jongen, Sebastian; Axmacher, Nikolai; Kremers, Nico A W; Hoffmann, Holger; Limbrecht-Ecklundt, Kerstin; Traue, Harald C; Kessler, Henrik

    2014-09-01

    Alexithymia is a personality trait that involves difficulties identifying emotions and describing feelings. It is hypothesized that this includes facial emotion recognition but limited knowledge exists about possible neural correlates of this assumed deficit. We hence tested thirty-seven healthy subjects with either a relatively high or low degree of alexithymia (HDA versus LDA), who performed in a reliable and standardized test of facial emotion recognition (FEEL, Facially Expressed Emotion Labeling) in the functional MRI. LDA subjects had significantly better emotion recognition scores and showed relatively more activity in several brain areas associated with alexithymia and emotional awareness (anterior cingulate cortex), and the extended system of facial perception concerned with aspects of social communication and emotion (amygdala, insula, striatum). Additionally, LDA subjects had more activity in the visual area of social perception (posterior part of the superior temporal sulcus) and the inferior frontal cortex. HDA subjects, on the other hand, exhibited greater activity in the superior parietal lobule. With differences in behaviour and brain responses between two groups of otherwise healthy subjects, our results indirectly support recent conceptualizations and epidemiological data, that alexithymia is a dimensional personality trait apparent in clinically healthy subjects rather than a categorical diagnosis only applicable to clinical populations.

  12. Empathic brain responses in insula are modulated by levels of alexithymia but not autism

    PubMed Central

    Bird, Geoffrey; Brindley, Rachel; White, Sarah; Frith, Uta; Singer, Tania

    2010-01-01

    Difficulties in social cognition are well recognized in individuals with autism spectrum conditions (henceforth ‘autism’). Here we focus on one crucial aspect of social cognition: the ability to empathize with the feelings of another. In contrast to theory of mind, a capacity that has often been observed to be impaired in individuals with autism, much less is known about the capacity of individuals with autism for affect sharing. Based on previous data suggesting that empathy deficits in autism are a function of interoceptive deficits related to alexithymia, we aimed to investigate empathic brain responses in autistic and control participants with high and low degrees of alexithymia. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we measured empathic brain responses with an ‘empathy for pain’ paradigm assessing empathic brain responses in a real-life social setting that does not rely on attention to, or recognition of, facial affect cues. Confirming previous findings, empathic brain responses to the suffering of others were associated with increased activation in left anterior insula and the strength of this signal was predictive of the degree of alexithymia in both autistic and control groups but did not vary as a function of group. Importantly, there was no difference in the degree of empathy between autistic and control groups after accounting for alexithymia. These findings suggest that empathy deficits observed in autism may be due to the large comorbidity between alexithymic traits and autism, rather than representing a necessary feature of the social impairments in autism. PMID:20371509

  13. Reliability and factorial validity of the Observer Alexithymia Scale-Chinese translation.

    PubMed

    Yao, Shuqiao; Yi, Jinyao; Zhu, Xiongzhao; Haviland, Mark G

    2005-03-30

    The purpose of the present study was to develop a Chinese translation of the Observer Alexithymia Scale (OAS-C) and evaluate its reliability and factorial validity. The original English-version of the Observer Alexithymia Scale (OAS) was translated into Chinese and given to 468 Chinese undergraduate students. Students were asked to rate a person (other than themselves) whom they knew well (e.g., a parent, sibling, another relative, or friend). We evaluated internal consistency, test-retest and inter-rater reliability, and factorial validity. Average OAS-C scores were slightly higher than, but comparable to, OAS scores in the normative samples (English-speaking/nonclinical). The OAS-C showed adequate internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha coefficient was 0.84, and the mean inter-item correlation coefficient was 0.14), good stability (test-retest reliability with a 2-week interval was 0.90), and inter-rater reliability (intra-class correlation coefficient was 0.78). Moreover, the OAS five-factor model (Distant, Uninsightful, Somatizing, Humorless, and Rigid) was confirmed: incremental fit index=0.905, comparative fit index=0.904, and root mean square error of approximation=0.086; each represented an adequate model fit. The OAS-C appears to be a reliable and valid observer-rated alexithymia measure. We recommend that researchers collect both self- and observer-rated alexithymia data and, when possible, obtain observer reports from more than one person.

  14. Childhood Emotional Abuse and Disordered Eating among Undergraduate Females: Mediating Influence of Alexithymia and Distress

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hund, Anita R.; Espelage, Dorothy L.

    2006-01-01

    Objective: Drawing from stress-vulnerability and trauma theory (e.g., Rorty & Yager, 1996), this paper presents a model of associations among child emotional abuse (CEA), alexithymia, general distress (GD), and disordered eating (DE). This study extended previous research on psychological outcomes of child physical and sexual abuse to explore…

  15. What I Like Is How I Am: Impact of Alexithymia on Aesthetic Preference

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Giannini, Anna Maria; Tizzani, Emanuela; Baralla, Francesca; Gurrieri, Grazia

    2013-01-01

    Aim of this work was to explore the impact of alexithymia on art works appreciation, to examine the influence of emotion regulation on art judgment. While observing a painting, the viewer's cognitive structure contains several types of information (semantic, episodic, and strategic) and is the repository of personal traits, motivations, and…

  16. On the Processes Underlying the Relationship Between Alexithymia and Gambling Severity.

    PubMed

    Noël, Xavier; Saeremans, Mélanie; Kornreich, Charles; Bechara, Antoine; Jaafari, Nematollah; Fantini-Hauwel, Carole

    2017-09-02

    A great number of individuals with persistent problematic gambling behavior exhibit alexithymic tendencies, greater impulsivity, impaired working memory and poor mood. However, the relationship between these cognitive, affective and personality factors in problem gambling remains poorly understood. Our aim was to investigate multiple pathways of the alexithymia and problem gambling relationship. One hundred and six male subjects with different levels of gambling problem severity were recruited. Alexithymia, impulsivity and verbal working memory were evaluated, and their relationships to disordered gambling was examined by means of a path analysis. Results indicate that alexithymia is related to an increase in the severity of gambling indirectly, i.e., through distress severity. In addition, a rise of alexithymic tendencies was also associated with problem gambling severity through enhanced impulsivity that directly increased distress. Working memory capacity failed to significantly impact our path model. Overall, our findings contribute a new finding to the literature by highlighting the importance of alexithymia, in addition to impulsivity, in the understanding of gambling problem severity and its clinical course.

  17. Alexithymia as a Mediator between Childhood Trauma and Self-Injurious Behaviors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Paivio, Sandra C.; McCulloch, Chantal R.

    2004-01-01

    Objective: The aim of this study was to test whether alexithymia mediates the relationship between childhood maltreatment and self-injurious behaviors (SIB) in college women. Method: The sample was comprised of 100 female undergraduate students. Measures were the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire [D. Bernstein, L. Fink, Manual for the Childhood…

  18. Dealing with feelings: characterization of trait alexithymia on emotion regulation strategies and cognitive-emotional processing.

    PubMed

    Swart, Marte; Kortekaas, Rudie; Aleman, André

    2009-06-03

    Alexithymia, or "no words for feelings", is a personality trait which is associated with difficulties in emotion recognition and regulation. It is unknown whether this deficit is due primarily to regulation, perception, or mentalizing of emotions. In order to shed light on the core deficit, we tested our subjects on a wide range of emotional tasks. We expected the high alexithymics to underperform on all tasks. Two groups of healthy individuals, high and low scoring on the cognitive component of the Bermond-Vorst Alexithymia Questionnaire, completed questionnaires of emotion regulation and performed several emotion processing tasks including a micro expression recognition task, recognition of emotional prosody and semantics in spoken sentences, an emotional and identity learning task and a conflicting beliefs and emotions task (emotional mentalizing). The two groups differed on the Emotion Regulation Questionnaire, Berkeley Expressivity Questionnaire and Empathy Quotient. Specifically, the Emotion Regulation Quotient showed that alexithymic individuals used more suppressive and less reappraisal strategies. On the behavioral tasks, as expected, alexithymics performed worse on recognition of micro expressions and emotional mentalizing. Surprisingly, groups did not differ on tasks of emotional semantics and prosody and associative emotional-learning. Individuals scoring high on the cognitive component of alexithymia are more prone to suppressive emotion regulation strategies rather than reappraisal strategies. Regarding emotional information processing, alexithymia is associated with reduced performance on measures of early processing as well as higher order mentalizing. However, difficulties in the processing of emotional language were not a core deficit in our alexithymic group.

  19. The Role of Alexithymia in Reduced Eye-Fixation in Autism Spectrum Conditions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bird, Geoffrey; Press, Clare; Richardson, Daniel C.

    2011-01-01

    Eye-tracking studies have demonstrated mixed support for reduced eye fixation when looking at social scenes in individuals with Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC). We present evidence that these mixed findings are due to a separate condition--alexithymia--that is frequently comorbid with ASC. We find that in adults with ASC, autism symptom severity…

  20. The Role of Alexithymia in Reduced Eye-Fixation in Autism Spectrum Conditions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bird, Geoffrey; Press, Clare; Richardson, Daniel C.

    2011-01-01

    Eye-tracking studies have demonstrated mixed support for reduced eye fixation when looking at social scenes in individuals with Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC). We present evidence that these mixed findings are due to a separate condition--alexithymia--that is frequently comorbid with ASC. We find that in adults with ASC, autism symptom severity…

  1. Dissociation between Emotional Remapping of Fear and Disgust in Alexithymia

    PubMed Central

    Scarpazza, Cristina; Làdavas, Elisabetta; di Pellegrino, Giuseppe

    2015-01-01

    There is growing evidence that individuals are able to understand others’ emotions because they “embody” them, i.e., re-experience them by activating a representation of the observed emotion within their own body. One way to study emotion embodiment is provided by a multisensory stimulation paradigm called emotional visual remapping of touch (eVRT), in which the degree of embodiment/remapping of emotions is measured as enhanced detection of near-threshold tactile stimuli on one’s own face while viewing different emotional facial expressions. Here, we measured remapping of fear and disgust in participants with low (LA) and high (HA) levels of alexithymia, a personality trait characterized by a difficulty in recognizing emotions. The results showed that fear is remapped in LA but not in HA participants, while disgust is remapped in HA but not in LA participants. To investigate the hypothesis that HA might exhibit increased responses to emotional stimuli producing a heightened physical and visceral sensations, i.e., disgust, in a second experiment we investigated participants’ interoceptive abilities and the link between interoception and emotional modulations of VRT. The results showed that participants’ disgust modulations of VRT correlated with their ability to perceive bodily signals. We suggest that the emotional profile of HA individuals on the eVRT task could be related to their abnormal tendency to be focalized on their internal bodily signals, and to experience emotions in a “physical” way. Finally, we speculated that these results in HA could be due to a enhancement of insular activity during the perception of disgusted faces. PMID:26462241

  2. Dissociation between Emotional Remapping of Fear and Disgust in Alexithymia.

    PubMed

    Scarpazza, Cristina; Làdavas, Elisabetta; di Pellegrino, Giuseppe

    2015-01-01

    There is growing evidence that individuals are able to understand others' emotions because they "embody" them, i.e., re-experience them by activating a representation of the observed emotion within their own body. One way to study emotion embodiment is provided by a multisensory stimulation paradigm called emotional visual remapping of touch (eVRT), in which the degree of embodiment/remapping of emotions is measured as enhanced detection of near-threshold tactile stimuli on one's own face while viewing different emotional facial expressions. Here, we measured remapping of fear and disgust in participants with low (LA) and high (HA) levels of alexithymia, a personality trait characterized by a difficulty in recognizing emotions. The results showed that fear is remapped in LA but not in HA participants, while disgust is remapped in HA but not in LA participants. To investigate the hypothesis that HA might exhibit increased responses to emotional stimuli producing a heightened physical and visceral sensations, i.e., disgust, in a second experiment we investigated participants' interoceptive abilities and the link between interoception and emotional modulations of VRT. The results showed that participants' disgust modulations of VRT correlated with their ability to perceive bodily signals. We suggest that the emotional profile of HA individuals on the eVRT task could be related to their abnormal tendency to be focalized on their internal bodily signals, and to experience emotions in a "physical" way. Finally, we speculated that these results in HA could be due to a enhancement of insular activity during the perception of disgusted faces.

  3. Energy consumption trends of multi-unit residential buildings in the city of Toronto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Binkley, Clarissa

    The purpose of this research is to determine the average energy intensity of multi-unit residential buildings (MURBs) in Toronto, and evaluate whether certain building characteristics influence energy intensity. This information is particularly important in the Toronto market. Relative to the city's population, Toronto has an unusually high proportion of MURBs with more than half of residential dwellings in apartment buildings. Additionally, Toronto MURBs are significant consumers of energy and produce an estimated 1.3M tonnes of CO2e each year. The ultimate goal is to assess the most efficient building retrofit measures. Energy consumption data for Toronto MURBs were collected and weather normalized. Correlations between the energy data and the building characteristics were examined. Window characteristics and heating system type were found to have the most significant influence on energy intensity. Establishing energy consumption characteristics of MURBs is the first step towards improving the energy efficiency of Toronto's MURBs stock.

  4. Interpersonal problem areas and alexithymia in adolescent girls with loss of control eating.

    PubMed

    Berger, Sarah Shafer; Elliott, Camden; Ranzenhofer, Lisa M; Shomaker, Lauren B; Hannallah, Louise; Field, Sara E; Young, Jami F; Sbrocco, Tracy; Wilfley, Denise E; Yanovski, Jack A; Tanofsky-Kraff, Marian

    2014-01-01

    This study investigated the links among interpersonal problem areas, depression, and alexithymia in adolescent girls at high risk for excessive weight gain and binge eating disorder. Participants were 56 girls (Mage = 14.30, SD = 1.56; 53% non-Hispanic White) with a body mass index (BMI, kg/m(2)) between the 75th and 97th percentiles (MBMI z = 1.57, SD = 0.32). By design, all participants reported loss of control eating patterns in the past month. Adolescents were individually interviewed prior to participating in a group interpersonal psychotherapy obesity and eating disorder prevention program, termed IPT for the prevention of excessive weight gain (IPT-WG). Participants' interpersonal problem areas were coded by trained raters. Participants also completed questionnaires assessing depression and alexithymia. Primary interpersonal problem areas were categorized as interpersonal deficits [as defined in the eating disorders (ED) literature] (n = 29), role disputes (n = 22), or role transitions (n = 5). Girls with interpersonal deficits-ED had greater depressive symptoms and alexithymia than girls with role disputes (p's ≤ 0.01). However, girls with role transitions did not differ from girls with interpersonal deficits-ED or role disputes. Interpersonal problem area had an indirect association with depression via alexithymia; interpersonal deficits-ED were related to greater alexithymia, which in turn, was related to greater depressive symptoms (p = 0.01). Among girls at risk for excess weight gain and eating disorders, those with interpersonal deficits-ED appear to have greater distress as compared to girls with role disputes or role transitions. Future research is required to elucidate the impact of interpersonal problem areas on psychotherapy outcomes. © 2013.

  5. Interpersonal Problem Areas and Alexithymia in Adolescent Girls with Loss of Control Eating

    PubMed Central

    Berger, Sarah Shafer; Elliott, Camden; Ranzenhofer, Lisa M.; Shomaker, Lauren B.; Hannallah, Louise; Field, Sara E.; Young, Jami F.; Sbrocco, Tracy; Wilfley, Denise E.; Yanovski, Jack A.; Tanofsky-Kraff, Marian

    2014-01-01

    This study investigated the links among interpersonal problem areas, depression, and alexithymia in adolescent girls at high-risk for excessive weight gain and binge eating disorder. Participants were 56 girls (Mage = 14.30, SD = 1.56; 53% non-Hispanic White) with a body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) between the 75th and 97th percentiles (MBMI-z = 1.57, SD = 0.32). By design, all participants reported loss of control eating patterns in the past month. Adolescents were individually interviewed prior to participating in a group interpersonal psychotherapy obesity and eating disorder prevention program, termed IPT for the prevention of excessive weight gain (IPT-WG). Participants’ interpersonal problem areas were coded by trained raters. Participants also completed questionnaires assessing depression and alexithymia. Primary interpersonal problem areas were categorized as interpersonal deficits (as defined in the eating disorders (ED) literature) (n = 29), role disputes (n = 22), or role transitions (n = 5). Girls with interpersonal deficits-ED had greater depressive symptoms and alexithymia than girls with role disputes (ps ≤ 0.01). However, girls with role transitions did not differ from girls with interpersonal deficits-ED or role disputes. Interpersonal problem area had an indirect association with depression via alexithymia; interpersonal deficits-ED were related to greater alexithymia, which in turn, was related to greater depressive symptoms (p = 0.01). Among girls at-risk for excess weight gain and eating disorders, those with interpersonal deficits-ED appear to have greater distress as compared to girls with role disputes or role transitions. Future research is required to elucidate the impact of interpersonal problem areas on psychotherapy outcomes. PMID:24139852

  6. [Perception of organizational climate and burnout amongst health care workers: the role of alexithymia as a moderator].

    PubMed

    Lazzari, D; Pisanti, R; Avallone, F

    2006-01-01

    This paper reports a study on 238 health care workers from an hospital in central Italy. We examined: 1) how some dimensions regarding perceived quality of the organizational and relational climate (social warmth and quality of working life both in the ward and in the organization) influence various indicators of burnout (emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, personal accomplishment); 2) if it was possible to improve the previous regressive models by including the personality construct, alexithymia. Controlling for age and gender, results of the hierarchical regression showed significant two-way interactions between organizational/relational climate and alexithymia in predicting emotional exhaustion (p = .005 for both the ward and the organization) and personal fulfillment (for ward, p = .020; for perceived relational climate, p = .037). Depersonalization was accounted by the main effect of alexithymia (p = .000). In conclusion, results demonstrate the need to include the alexithymia construct in models predicting the various dimensions of burnout.

  7. Introducing Darwinism to Toronto's post-1887 reconstituted medical school.

    PubMed

    Court, John P M

    2011-01-01

    Charles Darwin's scientific paradigm was largely welcomed in Canadian academic biology and medicine, while reaction among other faculty and laypeople ranged from interest to outrage. In 1874, Ramsay Wright, a Darwinian-era biologist from Edinburgh, was appointed to the University of Toronto's Chair of Natural History. Over his 38-year career Wright integrated the evolutionary perspective into medical and biology teaching without accentuating its controversial source. He also applied the emerging German experimental research model and laboratory technology. This study identifies five categories of scientific and personal influences upon Wright through archival research on biographical sources and his writings.

  8. Taking time to feel our body: Steady increases in heartbeat perception accuracy and decreases in alexithymia over 9 months of contemplative mental training.

    PubMed

    Bornemann, Boris; Singer, Tania

    2017-03-01

    The ability to accurately perceive signals from the body has been shown to be important for physical and psychological health as well as understanding one's emotions. Despite the importance of this skill, often indexed by heartbeat perception accuracy (HBPa), little is known about its malleability. Here, we investigated whether contemplative mental practice can increase HBPa. In the context of a 9-month mental training study, the ReSource Project, two matched cohorts (n = 77 and n = 79) underwent three training modules of 3 months' duration that targeted attentional and interoceptive abilities (Presence module), socio-affective (Affect module), and socio-cognitive (Perspective module) abilities. A third cohort (n = 78) underwent 3 months of practice (Affect module) and a retest control group (n = 84) did not undergo any training. HBPa was measured with a heartbeat tracking task before and after each training module. Emotional awareness was measured by the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS). Participants with TAS scores > 60 at screening were excluded. HBPa was found to increase steadily over the training, with significant and small- to medium-sized effects emerging after 6 months (Cohen's d = .173) and 9 months (d = .273) of mental training. Changes in HBPa were concomitant with and predictive of changes in emotional awareness. Our results suggest that HBPa can indeed be trained through intensive contemplative practice. The effect takes longer than the 8 weeks of typical mindfulness courses to reach meaningful magnitude. These increments in interoceptive accuracy and the related improvements in emotional awareness point to opportunities for improving physical and psychological health through contemplative mental training.

  9. Facial and bodily emotion recognition in multiple sclerosis: the role of alexithymia and other characteristics of the disease.

    PubMed

    Cecchetto, Cinzia; Aiello, Marilena; D'Amico, Delia; Cutuli, Daniela; Cargnelutti, Daniela; Eleopra, Roberto; Rumiati, Raffaella Ida

    2014-11-01

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) may be associated with impaired perception of facial emotions. However, emotion recognition mediated by bodily postures has never been examined in these patients. Moreover, several studies have suggested a relation between emotion recognition impairments and alexithymia. This is in line with the idea that the ability to recognize emotions requires the individuals to be able to understand their own emotions. Despite a deficit in emotion recognition has been observed in MS patients, the association between impaired emotion recognition and alexithymia has received little attention. The aim of this study was, first, to investigate MS patient's abilities to recognize emotions mediated by both facial and bodily expressions and, second, to examine whether any observed deficits in emotions recognition could be explained by the presence of alexithymia. Thirty patients with MS and 30 healthy matched controls performed experimental tasks assessing emotion discrimination and recognition of facial expressions and bodily postures. Moreover, they completed questionnaires evaluating alexithymia, depression, and fatigue. First, facial emotion recognition and, to a lesser extent, bodily emotion recognition can be impaired in MS patients. In particular, patients with higher disability showed an impairment in emotion recognition compared with patients with lower disability and controls. Second, their deficit in emotion recognition was not predicted by alexithymia. Instead, the disease's characteristics and the performance on some cognitive tasks significantly correlated with emotion recognition. Impaired facial emotion recognition is a cognitive signature of MS that is not dependent on alexithymia.

  10. Images of the Toronto Provincial Asylum, 1846-1890.

    PubMed

    Flis, Nathan

    2009-01-01

    Built in 1850, the Toronto Provincial Asylum was once the largest mental hospitals in Canada. The main building was demolished in 1975, and the property is now home to the Queen Street branch of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. Although there are remnants of the nineteenth-century institution, including most of the perimeter wall, the only lasting visual reminder of the property as a whole is a small group of images. By the last quarter of the nineteenth century, perhaps in order to ease public concern over the increasingly custodial function of the institution, Victorian media sources repeatedly presented an unchanging or immutable depiction of the Toronto Asylum. Drawing upon the architectural concept drawings of the 1840s, which contained an ideal vision for the building, pictures from the 1870s, 80s and 90s depict the asylum as the new, clean, and proud-looking structure it was when it opened. Arguably, these images are what the Victorian public wanted to see: they preserved the early-century optimism that such institutions would yield high cure rates and they supported the view that the care of the mentally ill belonged in the hands of the medical profession.

  11. Healthy Toronto by Design: Promoting a healthier built environment.

    PubMed

    Macfarlane, Ronald G; Wood, Linda P; Campbell, Monica E

    2014-07-08

    Chronic diseases, obesity and sedentary lifestyles are some of the health challenges facing Canada today. There is increasing recognition and evidence that the way our cities are planned, designed and built can contribute to these problems. Many of the policy levers to address the built environment exist outside the health sector and at the municipal level in areas such as urban planning, transportation, parks and recreation, and housing. The challenge for the public health sector is to build and sustain partnerships and collaboration across various sectors to ensure that health is considered in built environment policies. As the public health unit for the city of Toronto and part of the municipal government, Toronto Public Health is in a unique position to provide leadership, advocacy and support for healthy municipal public policies related to the built environment. This article provides some examples of CLASP (Coalitions Linking Action and Science for Prevention) initiatives undertaken to help create support for healthy public policies in the built environment and suggests that the "Healthy Cities" approach is a useful framework to promote policy change in the built environment at the municipal level.

  12. Spatial variations in travel behavior within greater Toronto area

    SciTech Connect

    Ghaeli, R.; Hutchinson, B.G.

    1998-03-01

    Rapid suburbanization of housing and employment has produced severe traffic congestion in North American cities. One response to this problem in the greater Toronto area (GTA) has been to identify urban forms that are more supportive of public transport and require less vehicle kilometers of travel to support. The analytical tools used to assess the travel implications of different urban forms normally use travel demand parameters that are uniform across an area. This has yielded misleading estimates of travel demands. This paper describes analyses of the intraregional differences in travel behavior in the greater Toronto area. The analyses described are at two spatial scales: the suburb (municipality/planning district) level and the much finer traffic analysis zone level. The analysis units were grouped into high-growth, developing,a nd low-growth categories at both spatial scales. The analyses reported in this paper show that household characteristics and travel behavior are quite similar for both established and redeveloping zones in the older, stable suburbs. Significant differences in travel characteristics exist between the older, established zones and the growing zones in the developing suburbs. Household trip rates are shown to vary with household size, car ownership, and whether a household is located in a stable or growing suburb. Accessibility to public transport is shown to affect trip behavior differently in growing areas than in established areas. The paper concludes by discussing the public policy and transport systems analysis implications of the results.

  13. The alexithymic brain: the neural pathways linking alexithymia to physical disorders.

    PubMed

    Kano, Michiko; Fukudo, Shin

    2013-01-09

    Alexithymia is a personality trait characterized by difficulties in identifying and describing feelings and is associated with psychiatric and psychosomatic disorders. The mechanisms underlying the link between emotional dysregulation and psychosomatic disorders are unclear. Recent progress in neuroimaging has provided important information regarding emotional experience in alexithymia. We have conducted three brain imaging studies on alexithymia, which we describe herein. This article considers the role of emotion in the development of physical symptoms and discusses a possible pathway that we have identified in our neuroimaging studies linking alexithymia with psychosomatic disorders. In terms of socio-affective processing, alexithymics demonstrate lower reactivity in brain regions associated with emotion. Many studies have reported reduced activation in limbic areas (e.g., cingulate cortex, anterior insula, amygdala) and the prefrontal cortex when alexithymics attempt to feel other people's feelings or retrieve their own emotional episodes, compared to nonalexithymics. With respect to primitive emotional reactions such as the response to pain, alexithymics show amplified activity in areas considered to be involved in physical sensation. In addition to greater hormonal arousal responses in alexithymics during visceral pain, increased activity has been reported in the insula, anterior cingulate cortex, and midbrain. Moreover, in complex social situations, alexithymics may not be able to use feelings to guide their behavior appropriately. The Iowa gambling task (IGT) was developed to assess decision-making processes based on emotion-guided evaluation. When alexithymics perform the IGT, they fail to learn an advantageous decision-making strategy and show reduced activity in the medial prefrontal cortex, a key area for successful performance of the IGT, and increased activity in the caudate, a region associated with impulsive choice. The neural machinery in

  14. SITE DEMONSTRATION BULLETIN: SOIL RECYCLING TREATMENT TRAIN - THE TORONTO HARBOUR COMMISSIONERS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Toronto Harbour Commissioners (THC) have developed a soil treatment train designed to treat inorganic and organic contaminants in soils. THC has conducted a large-scale demonstration of these technologies in an attempt to establish that contaminated soils at the Toronto Port...

  15. Toronto First Duty: Integrating Kindergarten, Childcare, and Parenting Support to Help Diverse Families Connect to Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pelletier, Janette; Corter, Carl

    2005-01-01

    The focus of this article is a research and development project underway in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The project is Toronto First Duty, reflecting that the "first duty of a state is to see that every child born therein shall be well-housed, clothed, fed, and educated, till it attain years of discretion," according to 19th century…

  16. TORONTO HARBOUR COMMISSIONERS (THC) SOIL RECYCLE TREATMENT TRAIN - APPLICATIONS ANALYSIS REPORT

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Toronto Harbour Commissioners (THC) have developed a soil treatment train designed to treat inorganic and organic contaminants in soils. THC has conducted a large-scale demonstration of these technologies in an attempt to establish that contaminated soils at the Toronto Port ...

  17. TORONTO HARBOUR COMMISSIONERS (THC) SOIL RECYCLE TREATMENT TRAIN - APPLICATIONS ANALYSIS REPORT

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Toronto Harbour Commissioners (THC) have developed a soil treatment train designed to treat inorganic and organic contaminants in soils. THC has conducted a large-scale demonstration of these technologies in an attempt to establish that contaminated soils at the Toronto Port ...

  18. Predicting resistance to stress: incremental validity of trait emotional intelligence over alexithymia and optimism.

    PubMed

    Mikolajczak, Moïra; Luminet, Olivier; Menil, Clémentine

    2006-01-01

    As trait emotional intelligence [TEI] is claimed to facilitate adaptation, study 1 (N= 80) investigated whether TEI would be associated with adaptative outcomes such as enhanced self-reported mental and physical health. As these assumptions were supported, study 2 (N= 75) tested the hypothesis of a moderating effect of TEI on the relationship between stress and psychological and somatic health. Incremental validity of TEI over alexithymia and optimism was also examined. We chose academic exams as the stressor and took measures at the beginning of the year and during the examination period. Regression analyses predicting changes in mental/somatic health from baseline to follow-up revealed that TEI significantly moderated the relationship between examination stress and self-reported health. The fact that high EI people appraised the examination situation as less threatening partly explained this effect. Moreover, TEI predicted both mental and somatic symptoms amid stress over and above alexithymia and optimism.

  19. The effects of autism and alexithymia on physiological and verbal responsiveness to music.

    PubMed

    Allen, Rory; Davis, Rob; Hill, Elisabeth

    2013-02-01

    It has been suggested that individuals with autism will be less responsive to the emotional content of music than typical individuals. With the aim of testing this hypothesis, a group of high-functioning adults on the autism spectrum was compared with a group of matched controls on two measures of emotional responsiveness to music, comprising physiological and verbal measures. Impairment in participants ability to verbalize their emotions (type-II alexithymia) was also assessed. The groups did not differ significantly on physiological responsiveness, but the autism group was significantly lower on the verbal measure. However, inclusion of the alexithymia score as a mediator variable nullified this group difference, suggesting that the difference was due not to absence of underlying emotional responsiveness to music in autism, but to a reduced ability to articulate it.

  20. Dealing with Feelings: Characterization of Trait Alexithymia on Emotion Regulation Strategies and Cognitive-Emotional Processing

    PubMed Central

    Swart, Marte; Kortekaas, Rudie; Aleman, André

    2009-01-01

    Background Alexithymia, or “no words for feelings”, is a personality trait which is associated with difficulties in emotion recognition and regulation. It is unknown whether this deficit is due primarily to regulation, perception, or mentalizing of emotions. In order to shed light on the core deficit, we tested our subjects on a wide range of emotional tasks. We expected the high alexithymics to underperform on all tasks. Method Two groups of healthy individuals, high and low scoring on the cognitive component of the Bermond-Vorst Alexithymia Questionnaire, completed questionnaires of emotion regulation and performed several emotion processing tasks including a micro expression recognition task, recognition of emotional prosody and semantics in spoken sentences, an emotional and identity learning task and a conflicting beliefs and emotions task (emotional mentalizing). Results The two groups differed on the Emotion Regulation Questionnaire, Berkeley Expressivity Questionnaire and Empathy Quotient. Specifically, the Emotion Regulation Quotient showed that alexithymic individuals used more suppressive and less reappraisal strategies. On the behavioral tasks, as expected, alexithymics performed worse on recognition of micro expressions and emotional mentalizing. Surprisingly, groups did not differ on tasks of emotional semantics and prosody and associative emotional-learning. Conclusion Individuals scoring high on the cognitive component of alexithymia are more prone to suppressive emotion regulation strategies rather than reappraisal strategies. Regarding emotional information processing, alexithymia is associated with reduced performance on measures of early processing as well as higher order mentalizing. However, difficulties in the processing of emotional language were not a core deficit in our alexithymic group. PMID:19492045

  1. Predicting individual differences in autonomy-connectedness: the role of body awareness, alexithymia, and assertiveness.

    PubMed

    Bekker, Marrie H J; Croon, Marcel A; van Balkom, Esther G A; Vermee, Jennifer B G

    2008-06-01

    Autonomy-connectedness is the capacity for being on one's own as well as for satisfactorily engaging in interpersonal relationships. Associations have been shown between autonomy-connectedness components (self-awareness, sensitivity to others, and the capacity for managing new situations) and various indices of psychopathology. Both in a theoretical sense as well as for enhancing treatment and prevention, it is relevant to identify which factors most powerfully predict individual differences in autonomy-connectedness: body awareness, alexithymia, or assertiveness. The present study examined this question in a clinical sample of women who were diagnosed as having autonomy problems (N=52) and in a female nonclinical community sample (N=59). In line with expectations, assertiveness was a strong predictor of (all three components of) autonomy-connectedness, as was emotionalizing, one of the alexithymia-components, but the latter in an opposite direction than we had expected: the higher an individual's ability to emotionalize was, the less self-aware and capable to manage new situations that person was, and the more sensitive to others. Cognitive alexithymia contributed to self-awareness as well as to the capacity for managing new situations, and one of the components of body awareness appeared to predict capacity for managing new situations. Our results indicate that assertiveness training and the enhancement of emotion regulation are important elements of autonomy-connectedness targeted interventions. (c) 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. Anorexia nervosa and its relation to depression, anxiety, alexithymia and emotional processing deficits.

    PubMed

    Lulé, Dorothée; Schulze, Ulrike M E; Bauer, Kathrin; Schöll, Friederike; Müller, Sabine; Fladung, Anne-Katharina; Uttner, Ingo

    2014-06-01

    Psychopathological changes and dysfunction in emotion processing have been described for anorexia nervosa (AN). Yet, findings are applicable to adult patients only. Furthermore, potential for discriminative power in clinical practice in relation to clinical parameters has to be discussed. The aim of this study was to investigate psychopathology and emotional face processing in adolescent female patients with AN. In a sample of 15 adolescent female patients with AN (16.2 years, SD ± 1.26) and 15 age and sex matched controls we assessed alexithymia, depression, anxiety and empathy in addition to emotion labelling and social information processing. AN patients had significantly higher alexithymia, higher levels of depression, and state and trait anxiety compared to controls. There was a trend for a lower ability to recognize disgust. Happiness as a positive emotion was recognized better. All facial expressions were recognized significantly faster by AN patients. Associations of pathological eating behaviour and trait anxiety were seen. In accordance with the stress reduction hypothesis, typical psychopathology of alexithymia, anxiety and depression is prevalent in female adolescent AN patients. It is present detached from physical stability. Pathogenesis of AN is multifactorial and already fully present in adolescence. An additional reinforcement process can be discussed. For clinical practice, those parameters might have a better potential for early prognostic factors related to AN than physical parameters and possible implication for intervention is given.

  3. Personality-dependent effects of oxytocin: greater social benefits for high alexithymia scorers.

    PubMed

    Luminet, Olivier; Grynberg, Delphine; Ruzette, Nicolas; Mikolajczak, Moïra

    2011-07-01

    Originally known for its role in labor and lactation, oxytocin (OT) has recently been shown to facilitate social behaviour by improving socio-emotional abilities. However, whether OT is equally beneficial to all people, or whether is it particularly beneficial to less emotionally/socially competent (i.e., high alexithymia) individuals it is not yet known. We investigated the effects of OT on individuals of varying socio-emotional ability by randomly assigning sixty male students to receive either oxytocin (OT) or a placebo (PL), and had them perform the Reading the Mind in the Eyes test (RMET). Results showed that whereas the performance of lower alexithymia individuals was equally good in both OT and PL conditions, the performance of higher alexithymia people was better under OT than PL. These results suggest that the effects of OT are not only context-dependent-as recently shown-but also personality dependent. They also provide new insights into the remediation of socio-emotional deficits. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Fears of compassion and happiness in relation to alexithymia, mindfulness, and self-criticism.

    PubMed

    Gilbert, P; McEwan, K; Gibbons, L; Chotai, S; Duarte, J; Matos, M

    2012-12-01

    There is increasing research to suggest that fears of, and resistances to, affiliative and positive emotions are linked to self-criticism and a range of psychopathologies. It is unclear how these fears and resistances are linked to each other and how these in turn are linked to psychological processes, such as abilities to be mindful and recognize and describe emotions. This research explores the relationship between fears of compassion and happiness in general, with capacities for emotional processing (alexithymia), capacities for mindfulness, and empathic abilities. To advance this research, a new scale was developed to measure general fears of positive feelings - the Fear of Happiness Scale. The results showed that fears of compassion for self, from others and in particular fear of happiness, were highly linked to different aspects of alexithymia, mindfulness, empathy, self-criticism and depression, anxiety and stress. Especially noteworthy was the very high correlation between fear of happiness and depression (r= .70). While the development of positive emotions, especially those linked to affiliation and connectedness are increasingly seen as important therapeutic targets, little research has focused on the blocks and fears to positive emotions. This study used newly developed fears of positive affect scales (e.g., compassion and happiness) to explore these aspects and found they were significantly linked to psychopathology variables self-criticism and difficulties such as alexithymia. ©2011 The British Psychological Society.

  5. Novel cases of blastomycosis acquired in Toronto, Ontario

    PubMed Central

    Lester, Robert S.; DeKoven, Joel G.; Kane, Julius; Simor, Andrew E.; Krajden, Sigmund; Summerbell, Richard C.

    2000-01-01

    Blastomycosis, a potentially fatal fungal disease, is well known from defined areas of endemicity in Ontario, primarily in the northern part of the province. We present 2 unusual cases that appear to extend the area of endemicity into urban southern Ontario, specifically Toronto. Both patients presented to a dermatology clinic with skin lesions. Chest radiography, history and general physical evaluation indicated no disease at other body sites. Both cases appeared to represent “inoculation blastomycosis” connected with minor gardening injuries and a cat scratch respectively. Atypical dissemination could not be completely excluded in either case. Neither patient had travelled recently to a known area of high endemicity for blastomycosis, nor had the cat that was involved in one of the cases. Physicians must become aware that blastomycosis may mimic other diseases, including dermal infections, and may occur in patients whose travel histories would not normally suggest this infection. PMID:11107469

  6. Evaluation of Strength in the ``Toronto'' Osseous-Prosthesis System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giacomo, R.; Cicciã¹, M.; Dini, R.; Franceschini, G.; Maiorana, C.

    2010-06-01

    Several surgical techniques like are today available in order to recovery large bone defects of the jaw. Aim of the surgeon is to obtain a good tridimensional volume to place dental implant and to recovery the patient’s aesthetics and function. Several prosthetic solution were considered for prosthetic rehabilitation. However after a bone graft surgery Toronto screwed prosthesis on dental implants, following Branemark intuitions, was considered the better prosthetic rehabilitation solution. According to Wölff, the dental implants osteointegration is related to the strengths directed to mandibular bone. Our investigation’s aim is to underline through FEM analysis the stress over the prosthetic elements and over bone surface in order to help the surgeon choice about the dental implant positioning, and at the same time reducing the bone trauma on the patients.

  7. The role of the Toronto Girls' Home, 1863-1910.

    PubMed

    Neff, Charlotte

    2011-01-01

    It has been suggested that the role of Ontario children's homes, who had for half a century been helping disadvantaged children, changed significantly and immediately under the 'Children's Protection Act of 1893'. However, the records of the girls admitted to Toronto Girls' Home from 1863 to 1910 suggest that this was not the case, for this home at least. For most of their history, their core clientele was the children of poor respectable parents dealing with a crisis or who could not both work and care for their children. Thus, although prior to 1893 they did also care for a significant number of neglected children, and after 1893 fewer such children were admitted, the Home continued for more than 20 years to help families as they always had, providing a form of family support for which the child protection system was not designed.

  8. Attitudes among Toronto obstetricians towards vaginal breech delivery.

    PubMed

    Devarajan, Karthika; Seaward, P Gareth; Farine, Dan

    2011-05-01

    The recent SOGC guidelines allow for selective vaginal delivery of breech presentations, following an eight-year period during which vaginal breech delivery was discouraged based on the results of the Term Breech Trial (TBT). We sought to determine the effect of publication of this guideline on the acceptance of vaginal breech delivery by obstetricians and to correlate obstetricians' attitudes with actual practice. A survey was sent to all obstetricians practising in five teaching hospitals in Toronto exploring their attitudes towards, and comfort with, vaginal breech delivery in various clinical situations. We correlated these with their graduation year in relation to the publication of the TBT. We also reviewed the obstetrical database of the largest teaching hospital in Toronto to see if these attitudes correlated with actual practice. The vaginal breech delivery rate, which was declining prior to publication of the TBT, plummeted after it. Our survey found that most practitioners (50% to 80%) would be willing to provide vaginal breech delivery in defined conditions, with more experienced obstetricians being more comfortable with offering vaginal breech delivery. However, despite these attitudes, the vaginal breech delivery rate during the period surveyed was only 3% (6/195). In the eight years between publication of the TBT and the new guidelines, very few vaginal breech deliveries were performed. Our survey indicates that most obstetricians have accepted the new guidelines; however, it seems that actual practice is lagging behind. The recent SOGC guidelines seem to have changed attitudes, but without changes in training and practical support, it seems unlikely that the trend for very few vaginal breech deliveries to be performed will be reversed.

  9. Anxiety, Alexithymia, and Depression as Mediators of the Association between Childhood Abuse and Eating Disordered Behavior in African American and European American Women

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mazzeo, Suzanne E.; Mitchell, Karen S.; Williams, Larry J.

    2008-01-01

    This study evaluated structural equation models of the associations among family functioning, childhood abuse, depression, anxiety, alexithymia, and eating disorder symptomatology in a sample of 412 European American and 192 African American female undergraduates. Additionally, the specific roles of anxiety, depression, and alexithymia as…

  10. Anxiety, Alexithymia, and Depression as Mediators of the Association between Childhood Abuse and Eating Disordered Behavior in African American and European American Women

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mazzeo, Suzanne E.; Mitchell, Karen S.; Williams, Larry J.

    2008-01-01

    This study evaluated structural equation models of the associations among family functioning, childhood abuse, depression, anxiety, alexithymia, and eating disorder symptomatology in a sample of 412 European American and 192 African American female undergraduates. Additionally, the specific roles of anxiety, depression, and alexithymia as…

  11. Is alexithymia related to cannabis use disorder? Results from a case-control study in outpatient adolescent cannabis abusers.

    PubMed

    Dorard, Géraldine; Bungener, Catherine; Phan, Olivier; Edel, Yves; Corcos, Maurice; Berthoz, Sylvie

    2017-04-01

    In recent decades, alexithymia has been considered a risk factor for multiple somatic and psychiatric conditions. Yet, whereas alexithymia has been extensively studied in adults with a substance misuse, only one study has reported data on cannabis abusers from the general population. Hence, our main objective was to explore alexithymia in a clinical sample of treatment-seeking young outpatients with a DSM-IV cannabis dependence or abuse diagnosis compared to controls. 120 young patients (95 males - mean age 17.9years (SD=2.8; 14 to 25)) with a cannabis dependence or abuse (DSM-IV-TR criteria evaluated with the MINI), seeking treatment in an addiction unit, and 110 healthy control subjects (77 males - mean age 18.2years (SD=3.4; 14 to 25)) participated in the study. They completed a battery of self-reports measuring alexithymia (TAS-20; BVAQ-B), depression (BDI-13) and state and trait anxiety (STAI). 35.3% of cannabis users were alexithymic, and logistic regression analysis showed that the alexithymic components of difficulties identifying and describing feelings combined with trait anxiety predicted group membership. This first study on young cannabis abusers and dependent subjects further emphasizes the importance of considering the affective style, and particularly the anxious temperament and alexithymia features, as factors associated with substance misuse during late adolescence. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Fears of happiness and compassion in relationship with depression, alexithymia, and attachment security in a depressed sample.

    PubMed

    Gilbert, Paul; McEwan, Kirsten; Catarino, Francisca; Baião, Rita; Palmeira, Lara

    2014-06-01

    In a non-clinical population, fears of compassion and fear of happiness have both been found to be highly correlated with alexithymia and depression. This study sought to explore these processes and their links with adult attachment and social safeness and pleasure in a depressed group. A total of 52 participants suffering from moderate to severe depression completed measures of fears of happiness, compassion from others and for self, in addition to measures of alexithymia, attachment, social safeness, and depression, anxiety, and stress. Fears of compassion and happiness were highly correlated with alexithymia, adult attachment, and depression, anxiety, and stress. Fear of happiness was found to be the best predictor of depression, anxiety, and stress, whereas fear of compassion from others was the best predictor of adult attachment. A path analysis showed that fears of positive emotion fully mediate the link between alexithymia and depression. This clinical sample had higher mean scores in fears of positive emotions, alexithymia, and depression, anxiety, and stress than a previously studied student sample. This study adds to the evidence that fears of positive emotions are important features of mental health difficulties. Unaddressed, these fears can block positive emotions and may lead to emotional avoidance of positive affect thus contributing as blocks to successful therapy. Therapies for depression may therefore profitably assess and desensitize the fear of positive emotions. © 2013 The British Psychological Society.

  13. Doctors of Thoracic Surgery: The Division of Thoracic Surgery at Toronto General Hospital.

    PubMed

    Keshavjee, Shaf; Spatafora, Lisa

    2015-01-01

    The Division of Thoracic Surgery at Toronto General Hospital has a history of sustained excellence and commitment to patient care, research and innovation in Thoracic Surgery. Doctors of Thoracic Surgery (DOTSR) continues to be a leading thoracic division training surgeons who practice all over the world--impacting the treatment of patients with thoracic disease. Many leaders in our specialty worldwide have directly or indirectly trained in Toronto. At University Health Network and the University of Toronto, this academic division has continued to contribute and thrive in a highly supportive and productive research and clinical environment.

  14. Homicide among young Black men in Toronto: an unrecognized public health crisis?

    PubMed

    Khenti, Akwatu A

    2013-01-08

    This commentary addresses the high homicide rates among young Black men in Toronto, Ontario. It posits that homicide among this population is an unrecognized major public health crisis that should be a priority for the field. The author suggests that the dramatic rate of Black homicides in Toronto is a consequence of income inequality, poverty, poor quality of life, mental health risks, and sustained racism. The commentary calls upon public health scientists to prioritize research about violence and homicide among young Black men in Toronto. It suggests that current and future policy making would be better served by their enquiries into the nature and causes of the persisting dilemma.

  15. Commentary on "Autism, oxytocin and interoception": Alexithymia, not Autism Spectrum Disorders, is the consequence of interoceptive failure.

    PubMed

    Brewer, Rebecca; Happé, Francesca; Cook, Richard; Bird, Geoffrey

    2015-09-01

    In "Autism, oxytocin and interoception" (Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews 47, 410-430) Quattrocki and Friston present their theory of the role of oxytocin in interoception from multiple perspectives. The arguments contained therein are compelling, and highlight the fact that interoception, and the role of oxytocin in interoception, should receive more research attention. However, in addition to outlining the role of oxytocin in interoception the authors also suggest that Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a result of a failure of this system. It is this latter claim that we disagree with, instead suggesting that alexithymia, rather than autism, is most accurately characterised as a general failure of interoception. We review positive evidence that alexithymia produces several of the deficits identified as indicating a failure of interoception, and negative evidence that ASD (in the absence of comorbid alexithymia) is associated with these deficits. We highlight implications for the model, for oxytocin research, and for the clinical management of psychiatric conditions more generally.

  16. New Toronto clinic for men may be sign of growing entrepreneurship within medicine.

    PubMed

    Lowry, F

    1995-07-15

    A Toronto physician has opened a new clinic for male patients, particularly highly stressed executives, who pay to have their physical, mental and nutritional health assessed. The Health Institute for Men, which opened in January, is located close to the Toronto Stock Exchange. It charges $450 for the initial visit, which includes a complete history, mental-assessment exam and thorough physical. The chair of the CMA Board of Directors considers the clinic a sign of growing entrepreneurship within Canadian medicine.

  17. Early school leaving among immigrants in Toronto secondary schools.

    PubMed

    Anisef, Paul; Brown, Robert S; Phythian, Kelli; Sweet, Robert; Walters, David

    2010-05-01

    While education statistics confirm that there is little difference in the dropout rates of native-born and immigrant youth, analyses of Toronto District School Board (TDSB) data have revealed significant variation in school persistence within immigrant groups. Among newcomer youth, the decision to leave school early has been reported to be strongly influenced by socioeconomic status as well as such factors as country of origin, age at arrival, generational status, family structure, and academic performance. While living in low-income conditions is thought to place both foreign- and Canadian-born youth at risk of poor school performance and early school withdrawal, their substantially higher incidence of poverty suggests that today's immigrant youth are likely to face greater obstacles to academic success that may in turn have detrimental, long-term consequences. This paper uses TDSB data to investigate the extent to which living below the low-income cutoff affects the likelihood of dropping out of secondary school, while taking into account generational status as well as a variety risk factors, noted above. Policy implications are discussed.

  18. Growing urban health: community gardening in South-East Toronto.

    PubMed

    Wakefield, Sarah; Yeudall, Fiona; Taron, Carolin; Reynolds, Jennifer; Skinner, Ana

    2007-06-01

    This article describes results from an investigation of the health impacts of community gardening, using Toronto, Ontario as a case study. According to community members and local service organizations, these gardens have a number of positive health benefits. However, few studies have explicitly focused on the health impacts of community gardens, and many of those did not ask community gardeners directly about their experiences in community gardening. This article sets out to fill this gap by describing the results of a community-based research project that collected data on the perceived health impacts of community gardening through participant observation, focus groups and in-depth interviews. Results suggest that community gardens were perceived by gardeners to provide numerous health benefits, including improved access to food, improved nutrition, increased physical activity and improved mental health. Community gardens were also seen to promote social health and community cohesion. These benefits were set against a backdrop of insecure land tenure and access, bureaucratic resistance, concerns about soil contamination and a lack of awareness and understanding by community members and decision-makers. Results also highlight the need for ongoing resources to support gardens in these many roles.

  19. Impact of commuter-rail services in Toronto region

    SciTech Connect

    Wells, S.S.; Hutchinson, B.G.

    1996-07-01

    Ridership of the commuter-rail system that was implemented in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) in 1967 increased at an annual, average compound rate of 11.4% until 1989. Demand has leveled substantially during 1990--94 and has averaged only 2.1% per year, which probably reflects the suburbanization of employment. Urban economic theory is used to explain the way in which central-business-district (CBD) employees respond differently to suburban commuter-rail services and rapid transit services, mainly serving the inner intermediate suburbs. Travel data collected in 1986 and 1991 confirmed the effects suggested by the theory. Commuter-rail passengers are drawn from the larger suburban households, living principally in single-family houses, and commuter-rail passengers are more sensitive to access and egress distances than subway passengers. Policies that improve the quality of access and egress components of commuting trips from the suburbs stimulate passenger demand. Also, land-use policies that promote high-density, residential development at suburban commuter-rail stations are unlikely to contribute significantly to commuter-rail demand, and the lakeshore commuter-rail line that has been in service since 1967 has not had a significant impact on residential sorting and on the generation of additional demands.

  20. Risk Factors for Varicella Susceptibility Among Refugees to Toronto, Canada.

    PubMed

    Cadieux, Geneviève; Redditt, Vanessa; Graziano, Daniela; Rashid, Meb

    2017-02-01

    Several outbreaks of varicella have occurred among refugees. We aimed to estimate the prevalence of varicella susceptibility among refugees, and identify risk factors for varicella susceptibility. All refugees rostered at Crossroads Clinic in Toronto, Canada in 2011-2014 were included in our study. Varicella serology was assessed at the initial visit. Refugees' age, sex, education, time since arrival, and climate and population density of birth country were abstracted from the chart. Multivariate logistic regression was used to identify risk factors for varicella susceptibility. 1063 refugees were rostered at Crossroads Clinic during the study; 7.9 % (95 % CI 6.1, 9.7) were susceptible to varicella. Tropical climate (OR 3.20, 95 % CI 1.53, 6.69) and younger age (ORper year of age 0.92, 95 % CI 0.88-0.96) were associated with increased varicella susceptibility. These risk factors for varicella susceptibility should be taken into account to maximize the cost-effectiveness of varicella prevention strategies among refugees.

  1. B. v. Children's Aid Society of Metropolitan Toronto.

    PubMed

    1995-01-27

    The Canadian Supreme Court held that the right of parents to choose or refuse medical treatment for their children based on religious beliefs is not a liberty included in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The parents of S.B., a premature infant, consented to all medical treatment except blood transfusions, to which they objected as Jehovah's Witnesses. Because of a potentially life-threatening condition and a projected later surgery, S.B. was made a temporary ward of the Children's Aid Society of Metropolitan Toronto in order to administer the blood. Section 7 of the Charter proclaims that "[e]veryone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice." The Chief Justice viewed parental autonomy as outside the concept of "liberty", because liberty had a physical connection or dimension specific to criminal justice. Four other judges, however, interpreted "liberty" not to mean unconstrained freedom, not mere freedom from physical restraint, and consequently under their view the state can intervene where parental decision making threatens a child's autonomy or health.

  2. Working with Toronto neighbourhoods toward developing indicators of community capacity.

    PubMed

    Jackson, Suzanne F; Cleverly, Shelley; Poland, Blake; Burman, David; Edwards, Richard; Robertson, Ann

    2003-12-01

    Often the goal of health and social development agencies is to assess communities and work with them to improve community capacity. Particularly for health promoters working in community settings and to ensure consistency in the definition of health promotion, the evaluation of health promotion programmes should be based on strengths and assets, yet existing information for planning and evaluation purposes usually focuses on problems and deficits. A model and definition of community capacity, grounded in community experience and focusing on strengths and assets, was developed following a 4-year, multi-site, qualitative, action research project in four Toronto neighbourhoods. There was significant community involvement in the four Community Advisory Committees, one for each study site. Semi-structured, open-ended interviews and focus groups were conducted with 161 residents and agency workers identified by the Community Advisory Committees. The data were analyzed with the assistance of NUDIST software. Thematic analysis was undertaken in two stages: (i) within each site and (ii) across sites, with the latter serving as the basis for the development of indicators of community capacity. This paper presents a summary of the research, the model and the proposed indicators. The model locates talents and skills of community members in a larger context of socioenvironmental conditions, both inside and outside the community, which can act to enable or constrain the expression of these talents and skills. The significance of the indicators of community capacity proposed in the study is that they focus on identifying and measuring the facilitating and constraining socioenvironmental conditions.

  3. Health status of newly arrived refugees in Toronto, Ont

    PubMed Central

    Redditt, Vanessa J.; Janakiram, Praseedha; Graziano, Daniela; Rashid, Meb

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Objective To determine the prevalence of selected infectious diseases among newly arrived refugee patients and whether there is variation by key demographic factors. Design Retrospective chart review. Setting Primary care clinic for refugee patients in Toronto, Ont. Participants A total of 1063 refugee patients rostered at the clinic from December 2011 to June 2014. Main outcome measures Demographic information (age, sex, and region of birth); prevalence of HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, Strongyloides, Schistosoma, intestinal parasites, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis infections; and varicella immune status. Results The median age of patients was 29 years and 56% were female. Refugees were born in 87 different countries. Approximately 33% of patients were from Africa, 28% were from Europe, 14% were from the Eastern Mediterranean Region, 14% were from Asia, and 8% were from the Americas (excluding 4% born in Canada or the United States). The overall rate of HIV infection was 2%. The prevalence of hepatitis B infection was 4%, with a higher rate among refugees from Asia (12%, P < .001). Hepatitis B immunity was 39%, with higher rates among Asian refugees (64%, P < .001) and children younger than 5 years (68%, P < .001). The rate of hepatitis C infection was less than 1%. Strongyloides infection was found in 3% of tested patients, with higher rates among refugees from Africa (6%, P = .003). Schistosoma infection was identified in 15% of patients from Africa. Intestinal parasites were identified in 16% of patients who submitted stool samples. Approximately 8% of patients were varicella nonimmune, with higher rates in patients from the Americas (21%, P < .001). Conclusion This study highlights the importance of screening for infectious diseases among refugee patients to provide timely preventive and curative care. Our data also point to possible policy and clinical implications, such as targeted screening approaches and improved access to vaccinations and

  4. Left ventricular assist device exchange: the Toronto General Hospital experience.

    PubMed

    Tsubota, Hideki; Ribeiro, Roberto V P; Billia, Filio; Cusimano, Robert J; Yau, Terrence M; Badiwala, Mitesh V; Stansfield, William E; Rao, Vivek

    2017-08-01

    As support times for left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) become longer, several complications requiring device exchange may occur. To our knowledge, this is the first Canadian report regarding implantable LVAD exchange. We retrospectively reviewed the cases of consecutive, unique patients implanted with an LVAD between June 2006 and October 2015 at Toronto General Hospital. In total, 122 patients were impanted with an LVAD during the study period. Eight patients required LVAD exchange, and 1 patient had 2 replacements (9 of 122, 7.3%). There were 7 HeartMate II (HMII), 1 HVAD and 1 DuraHeart pumps exchanged. Two of these exchanges occurred early at the time of initial implant, whereas 7 occurred late (range 8-623 d). Six exchanges were made owing to pump thrombosis. Of the 3 exchanges made for other causes, 1 HMII exchange was owing to a driveline fracture, 1 DuraHeart patient had early inflow obstruction requiring exchange to HMII at the initial implant, and the third had a suspected inflow obstruction with no evidence of thrombosis at the time of the procedure. The mean support time before exchange was 225 days, and time from exchange to transplant, death or ongoing support was 245 days. Three patients were successfully bridged to transplant, and at the time of data collection 2 were supported awaiting transplant. Three patients died after a mean duration of 394.3 days (range 78-673 d) of support postreplacement. Four cases were successfully performed using a subcostal approach. Pump thrombosis is the most common cause for LVAD exchange, which can be performed with acceptable morbidity and mortality. The subcostal approach may be the preferred procedure for an HMII exchange when indicated.

  5. Mismatched racial identities, colourism, and health in Toronto and Vancouver.

    PubMed

    Veenstra, Gerry

    2011-10-01

    Using original telephone survey data collected from adult residents of Toronto (n = 685) and Vancouver (n = 814) in 2009, I investigate associations between mental and physical health and variously conceived racial identities. An 'expressed racial identity' is a self-identification with a racial grouping that a person will readily express to others when asked to fit into official racial classifications presented by Census forms, survey researchers, insurance forms, and the like. Distinguishing between Asian, Black, South Asian, and White expressed racial identities, I find that survey respondents expressing Black identity are the most likely to report high blood pressure or hypertension, a risk that is slightly attenuated by socioeconomic status, and that respondents expressing Asian identity are the most likely to report poorer self-rated mental health and self-rated overall health, risks that are not explained by socioeconomic status. I also find that darker-skinned Black respondents are more likely than lighter-skinned Black respondents to report poor health outcomes, indicating that colourism, processes of discrimination which privilege lighter-skinned people of colour over their darker-skinned counterparts, exists and has implications for well-being in Canada as it does in the United States. Finally, 'reflected racial identity' refers to the racial identity that a person believes that others tend to perceive him or her to be. I find that expressed and reflected racial identities differ from one another for large proportions of self-expressed Black and South Asian respondents and relatively few self-expressed White and Asian respondents. I also find that mismatched racial identities correspond with relatively high risks of various poor health outcomes, especially for respondents who consider themselves White but believe that others tend to think they are something else. I conclude by presenting a framework for conceptualizing multifaceted suites of racial

  6. Leprosy in Toronto: an analysis of 184 imported cases.

    PubMed

    Boggild, Andrea K; Correia, Jason D; Keystone, Jay S; Kain, Kevin C

    2004-01-06

    Leprosy is a rare but serious mycobacterial infection. Immigration from areas where the disease is endemic has resulted in the importation of leprosy into countries where it is not endemic and where physicians and health care workers have little or no experience in diagnosis and therapy. In this study we characterized leprosy patients seen in a tropical disease unit that manages most of the reported leprosy cases in Canada. We reviewed the clinical records of all 184 leprosy patients who were referred to the Tropical Disease Unit at Toronto General Hospital between 1979 and 2002 and abstracted demographic and clinical information. Patients were more likely to be male (122 or 66.3%) and of Indian (44 or 23.9%), Filipino (49 or 26.6%) or Vietnamese (37 or 20.1%) origin. Patients experienced symptoms for a mean of 4.8 years before referral to the Tropical Disease Unit. Most had no family history of leprosy (152/172 or 88.4%). Most patients presented with either borderline tuberculoid (80 or 43.5%) or borderline lepromatous (37 or 20.1%) disease. On average, patients presented with 5.8 skin lesions. Upper- and lower-extremity nerve dysfunction was common at presentation, with up to one-third of patients demonstrating either sensory or motor loss. A significantly greater lag time to presentation was observed in patients who emigrated from low-prevalence regions (p < 0.001). Leprosy is a chronic infectious disease that is associated with serious morbidity if left untreated. Leprosy is uncommon in developed countries, but it is important for physicians to have a high index of suspicion when a foreign-born patient presents with chronic dermatitis and peripheral nerve involvement.

  7. Characterizing Suicide in Toronto: An Observational Study and Cluster Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Sinyor, Mark; Schaffer, Ayal; Streiner, David L

    2014-01-01

    Objective: To determine whether people who have died from suicide in a large epidemiologic sample form clusters based on demographic, clinical, and psychosocial factors. Method: We conducted a coroner’s chart review for 2886 people who died in Toronto, Ontario, from 1998 to 2010, and whose death was ruled as suicide by the Office of the Chief Coroner of Ontario. A cluster analysis using known suicide risk factors was performed to determine whether suicide deaths separate into distinct groups. Clusters were compared according to person- and suicide-specific factors. Results: Five clusters emerged. Cluster 1 had the highest proportion of females and nonviolent methods, and all had depression and a past suicide attempt. Cluster 2 had the highest proportion of people with a recent stressor and violent suicide methods, and all were married. Cluster 3 had mostly males between the ages of 20 and 64, and all had either experienced recent stressors, suffered from mental illness, or had a history of substance abuse. Cluster 4 had the youngest people and the highest proportion of deaths by jumping from height, few were married, and nearly one-half had bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. Cluster 5 had all unmarried people with no prior suicide attempts, and were the least likely to have an identified mental illness and most likely to leave a suicide note. Conclusions: People who die from suicide assort into different patterns of demographic, clinical, and death-specific characteristics. Identifying and studying subgroups of suicides may advance our understanding of the heterogeneous nature of suicide and help to inform development of more targeted suicide prevention strategies. PMID:24444321

  8. Alexithymia and its impact on quality of life in a group of Brazilian women with migraine without aura

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Migraine is a type of primary headache widely known for its impact on quality of life of patients. Although the psychological aspects of the disease are receiving increasing attention in current research, some of them, as alexithymia, are still seldom explored. This study aimed to provide evidence on the relationships between markers of depression, anxiety, alexithymia, self-reflection, insight and quality of life in migraine. Methods Forty female outpatients from a Brazilian specialized headache hospital service and a paired control group were compared. Results The results revealed that women with migraine had higher levels of depression, anxiety and alexithymia, and lower levels of quality of life, self-reflection and insight, compared to controls. Quality of life in women with migraine was predicted by levels of depression and one alexithymia factor (ability to express emotions and fantasies). A binary regression analysis between clinical and control groups revealed the migraine group to comprise individuals with high anxiety, low quality of life in the physical domain and the presence of a concrete thinking style. Conclusions The results highlight the relevance of considering psychological variables in the routine healthcare practices for migraine patients in general, while keeping steady attention to individual case features. PMID:23565860

  9. Burnout and Its Relationships with Alexithymia, Stress, and Social Support among Romanian Medical Students: A Cross-Sectional Study.

    PubMed

    Popa-Velea, Ovidiu; Diaconescu, Liliana; Mihăilescu, Alexandra; Jidveian Popescu, Mara; Macarie, George

    2017-05-25

    Medical school students often experience emotional difficulties when handling the challenges of their formation, occasionally leading to burnout. In this study, we measured the prevalence of burnout and its relationships with perceived stress, perceived social support, and alexithymia in medical students from the largest academic medical community in Romania. A cross-sectional survey was administered to a randomized sample of 299 preclinical medical students at the University of Medicine in Bucharest. Participants completed four standardized questionnaires. In addition to the assessment of burnout prevalence, stepwise backward regression was used to establish which variables had the highest correlation to burnout components. Further, t-tests were run to assess gender-related differences. Overall, burnout prevalence was 15.05%. Perceived stress was found to be the strongest predictor of emotional exhaustion and lack of accomplishment, while the strongest predictors of depersonalization were low perceived social support (in women) and alexithymia (in men). Women appear to be more vulnerable to two of the components of burnout (emotional exhaustion and low personal accomplishment) and associate higher perceived stress and alexithymia. These results suggest that interventions addressing academic burnout could benefit from being gender-specific, with focus on key elements, such as perceived stress and alexithymia.

  10. Child Maltreatment, Subsequent Non-Suicidal Self-Injury and the Mediating Roles of Dissociation, Alexithymia and Self-Blame

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Swannell, Sarah; Martin, Graham; Page, Andrew; Hasking, Penelope; Hazell, Philip; Taylor, Anne; Protani, Melinda

    2012-01-01

    Objective: Although child maltreatment is associated with later non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI), the mechanism through which it might lead to NSSI is not well understood. The current retrospective case-control study examined associations between child maltreatment and later NSSI, and investigated the mediating roles of dissociation, alexithymia,…

  11. "Identifying and Describing Emotions": Measuring the Effectiveness of a Brief, Alexithymia-Specific, Intervention for a Sex Offender Population.

    PubMed

    Byrne, Gary; Bogue, John; Egan, Rachel; Lonergan, Esther

    2016-10-01

    Certain individuals who sexually offend may have difficulty differentiating, identifying, and articulating emotions. These clients may prove challenging for therapists when engaging with them in treatment. Such clients may suffer from alexithymia. There has been a dearth of research regarding specific psychotherapeutic interventions for alexithymia in both the clinical and forensic fields. The present study provides results from a pilot study on the efficacy of a brief, four-session, alexithymia-specific intervention with adults who have sexually offended. The intervention also aimed to increase emotional awareness and psychological mindedness. The intervention was comprised of both mindfulness and mentalization treatment components. Thirty-two men (Mage = 41.8 years, SD = 11.9) convicted of sexual offences completed the intervention group. When compared with a matched control condition (n = 27; Mage = 39, SD = 10.8), the intervention was effective in decreasing alexithymia characteristics and increasing psychological mindedness. Results suggest that the intervention was an effective means of increasing emotional awareness in this population. These provisional results must be tempered by the limitations of the study. However, the positive findings warrant future investigation. Clinical implications and ideas for future work are also discussed. © The Author(s) 2014.

  12. The Bermond-Vorst Alexithymia Questionnaire: A Measurement Invariance Examination among U.S. Anglos and U.S. Hispanics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Culhane, Scott E.; Morera, Osvaldo F.; Watson, P. J.; Millsap, Roger E.

    2011-01-01

    The aim of this article is to assess the measurement invariance of the Bermond-Vorst Alexithymia Questionnaire (BVAQ) in U.S. Anglo (n = 490) and U.S. Hispanic (n = 379) samples of college students. The BVAQ items demonstrated invariance of the factor loadings, the latent item intercepts, and unique factor variances. However, Hispanics had higher…

  13. Child Maltreatment, Subsequent Non-Suicidal Self-Injury and the Mediating Roles of Dissociation, Alexithymia and Self-Blame

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Swannell, Sarah; Martin, Graham; Page, Andrew; Hasking, Penelope; Hazell, Philip; Taylor, Anne; Protani, Melinda

    2012-01-01

    Objective: Although child maltreatment is associated with later non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI), the mechanism through which it might lead to NSSI is not well understood. The current retrospective case-control study examined associations between child maltreatment and later NSSI, and investigated the mediating roles of dissociation, alexithymia,…

  14. Life events, anxiety, social support, personality, and alexithymia in female patients with chronic pain: A path analysis

    PubMed Central

    Zeng, Fanmin; Yang, Bangxiang; Fu, Xiaoqian

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Introduction This study sought to identify a model that explains the relationship between psychosocial factors and chronic pain in female patients, and to explore all of these constructs in a single study and provide a more holistic examination of the overall psychosocial factors that female patients with chronic pain encounter. Methods Female patients with chronic pain (n = 147), aged 20–65 (M = 34.9 years, SD = 11.25), from an outpatient pain clinic completed a cross‐sectional self‐report questionnaire on anxiety, life events, personality, social support, and alexithymia. Data were analyzed by means of path analysis. Results The direct effect of anxiety on female patients with chronic pain was greatest among all the paths. Personality and alexithymia led to chronic pain in female patients only indirectly, mediated by life events. The personality factors of neuroticism and extraversion were associated positively with social support, which had an indirect effect on the influence of life events on chronic pain. However, alexithymia was associated negatively with social support, which had an indirect effect on the influence of life events on chronic pain. Discussion Our findings provide evidence that life events are a mediator in the relationship between personality, social support, alexithymia, and chronic pain in female patients. PMID:26568558

  15. Toronto area ozone: Long-term measurements and modeled sources of poor air quality events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whaley, C. H.; Strong, K.; Jones, D. B. A.; Walker, T. W.; Jiang, Z.; Henze, D. K.; Cooke, M. A.; McLinden, C. A.; Mittermeier, R. L.; Pommier, M.; Fogal, P. F.

    2015-11-01

    The University of Toronto Atmospheric Observatory and Environment Canada's Centre for Atmospheric Research Experiments each has over a decade of ground-based Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy measurements in southern Ontario. We present the Toronto area FTIR time series from 2002 to 2013 of two tropospheric trace gases—ozone and carbon monoxide—along with surface in situ measurements taken by government monitoring programs. We interpret their variability with the GEOS-Chem chemical transport model and determine the atmospheric conditions that cause pollution events in the time series. Our analysis includes a regionally tagged O3 model of the 2004-2007 time period, which quantifies the geographical contributions to Toronto area O3. The important emission types for 15 pollution events are then determined with a high-resolution adjoint model. Toronto O3, during pollution events, is most sensitive to southern Ontario and U.S. fossil fuel NOx emissions and natural isoprene emissions. The sources of Toronto pollution events are found to be highly variable, and this is demonstrated in four case studies representing local, short-, middle-, and long-range transport scenarios. This suggests that continental-scale emission reductions could improve air quality in the Toronto region. We also find that abnormally high temperatures and high-pressure systems are common to all pollution events studied, suggesting that climate change may impact Toronto O3. Finally, we quantitatively compare the sensitivity of the surface and column measurements to anthropogenic NOx emissions and show that they are remarkably similar. This work thus demonstrates the usefulness of FTIR measurements in an urban area to assess air quality.

  16. Abnormal illness behavior and Internet addiction severity: The role of disease conviction, irritability, and alexithymia.

    PubMed

    Scimeca, Giuseppe; Bruno, Antonio; Crucitti, Manuela; Conti, Claudio; Quattrone, Diego; Pandolfo, Gianluca; Zoccali, Rocco Antonio; Muscatello, Maria Rosaria Anna

    2017-03-01

    Background and aims While the association between health anxiety and maladaptive Internet use is a well-established finding, no studies have been performed to examine the possible effect of abnormal illness behavior (AIB). AIB is a maladaptive manner of experiencing, evaluating, or acting in response to health and illness that is disproportionate to evident pathology. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between AIB and Internet addiction (IA) severity in a sample of Italian University students. The possible effect of alexithymia, anxiety, and depression was also taken into account. Methods Participants were 115 men and 163 women (mean age = 23.62 ± 4.38 years); AIB was measured via the Illness Behavior Questionnaire (IBQ), and IA severity by the Internet Addiction Test (IAT). Results The most powerful IBQ factor predicting IA severity scores was disease conviction. Irritability was the only emotional IBQ factor associated with IA severity. Nevertheless, disease conviction and alexithymia remained the only significant predictors of IAT scores when hierarchical regression analysis was executed. Discussion and conclusions Our results support previous findings showing that those characterized by health anxiety are more prone to an excessive and maladaptive use of Internet. Moreover, this study showed that irritability was the only emotional aspect of AIB predicting IA severity. This finding is consistent with the cognitive model of hypochondria, which states that cognitive factors (dysfunctional beliefs and assumptions) play a major role in the explanation of this psychopathological condition.

  17. Self-Other Distinction Enhanced Empathic Responses in Individuals with Alexithymia

    PubMed Central

    Saito, Natsuki; Yokoyama, Takemasa; Ohira, Hideki

    2016-01-01

    Although empathy is important for social interactions, individuals with alexithymia have low empathic ability, particularly where advanced empathy is concerned (empathic concern, perspective taking). It has been argued that awareness of the self-other distinction enhances advanced empathy, and alexithymics are thought to inadequately distinguish the self from others. We therefore tested whether the self-other distinction increases advanced empathy in alexithymics. To this end, we presented painful hand images over participants’ own hands, and required participants to estimate felt pain intensity and their affective states. Half of the participants got specific instructions to distinct themselves from the other in the images. Felt pain intensity (perspective taking) and other-oriented affective responses (empathic concern) were increased by the instructions only when participants had high alexithymia scores as measured by questionnaire, although self-oriented affective responses (personal distress) were not affected by the instructions. These findings indicate that enhancing the self-other distinction enhances alexithymics’ ability to use advanced empathy, but not the primitive empathy. PMID:27739448

  18. Abnormal illness behavior and Internet addiction severity: The role of disease conviction, irritability, and alexithymia

    PubMed Central

    Scimeca, Giuseppe; Bruno, Antonio; Crucitti, Manuela; Conti, Claudio; Quattrone, Diego; Pandolfo, Gianluca; Zoccali, Rocco Antonio; Muscatello, Maria Rosaria Anna

    2017-01-01

    Background and aims While the association between health anxiety and maladaptive Internet use is a well-established finding, no studies have been performed to examine the possible effect of abnormal illness behavior (AIB). AIB is a maladaptive manner of experiencing, evaluating, or acting in response to health and illness that is disproportionate to evident pathology. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between AIB and Internet addiction (IA) severity in a sample of Italian University students. The possible effect of alexithymia, anxiety, and depression was also taken into account. Methods Participants were 115 men and 163 women (mean age = 23.62 ± 4.38 years); AIB was measured via the Illness Behavior Questionnaire (IBQ), and IA severity by the Internet Addiction Test (IAT). Results The most powerful IBQ factor predicting IA severity scores was disease conviction. Irritability was the only emotional IBQ factor associated with IA severity. Nevertheless, disease conviction and alexithymia remained the only significant predictors of IAT scores when hierarchical regression analysis was executed. Discussion and conclusions Our results support previous findings showing that those characterized by health anxiety are more prone to an excessive and maladaptive use of Internet. Moreover, this study showed that irritability was the only emotional aspect of AIB predicting IA severity. This finding is consistent with the cognitive model of hypochondria, which states that cognitive factors (dysfunctional beliefs and assumptions) play a major role in the explanation of this psychopathological condition. PMID:28245678

  19. Who takes risks in high-risk sport?: the role of alexithymia.

    PubMed

    Barlow, Matthew; Woodman, Tim; Chapman, Caradog; Milton, Matthew; Stone, Daniel; Dodds, Tom; Allen, Ben

    2015-02-01

    People who have difficulty identifying and describing their emotions are more likely to seek out the experience of emotions in the high-risk domain. This is because the high-risk domain provides the experience of more easily identifiable emotions (e.g., fear). However, the continued search for intense emotion may lead such individuals to take further risks within this domain, which, in turn, would lead to a greater likelihood of experiencing accidents. Across three studies, we provide the first evidence in support of this view. In Study 1 (n = 762), alexithymia was associated with greater risk taking and a greater propensity to experience accidents and close calls. In Study 2 (n = 332) and Study 3 (n = 356), additional bootstrapped mediation models confirmed these relationships. The predictive role of alexithymia remained significant when controlling for sensation seeking (Study 1) and anhedonia (Study 2 and Study 3). We discuss the practical implications of the present model as they pertain to minimizing accidents and close calls in the high-risk domain.

  20. The effect of alexithymia on early visual processing of emotional body postures.

    PubMed

    Borhani, Khatereh; Borgomaneri, Sara; Làdavas, Elisabetta; Bertini, Caterina

    2016-03-01

    Body postures convey emotion and motion-related information useful in social interactions. Early visual encoding of body postures, reflected by the N190 component, is modulated both by motion (i.e., postures implying motion elicit greater N190 amplitudes than static postures) and by emotion-related content (i.e., fearful postures elicit the largest N190 amplitude). At a later stage, there is a fear-related increase in attention, reflected by an early posterior negativity (EPN) (Borhani et al., 2015). Here, we tested whether difficulties in emotional processing (i.e., alexithymia) affect early and late visual processing of body postures. Low alexithymic participants showed emotional modulation of the N190, with fearful postures specifically enhancing N190 amplitude. In contrast, high alexithymic participants showed no emotional modulation of the N190. Both groups showed preserved encoding of the motion content. At a later stage, a fear-related modulation of the EPN was found for both groups, suggesting that selective attention to salient stimuli is the same in both low and high alexithymia. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Gender role orientations and alcohol use among Moscow and Toronto adults.

    PubMed

    Van Gundy, Karen; Schieman, Scott; Kelley, Margaret S; Rebellon, Cesar J

    2005-12-01

    Using self-report data from representative community samples of Moscow and Toronto adults, we examine the effects of sex, masculinity, and femininity on alcohol use. Consistent with prior research, our results show that men in Moscow and Toronto drink significantly more than women; women in both samples tend more toward conventional femininity than men; and masculinity levels are greater among Toronto men relative to Toronto women. Moscow men and women, however, show comparable masculinity levels. Neither masculinity nor femininity explains the sex gap in alcohol use in either sample. However, sex- and sample-specific effects are identified. In Toronto, femininity is associated with higher alcohol use among women. In Moscow, masculinity is associated with lower use among men and higher use among women. The findings provide preliminary support for our assertion that the characteristics of national contexts, such as drinking norms and "Soviet-style socialism" [Cockerham, Snead, and Dewaal (2002). Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 43, 42-55] interact with traditional gender role orientations to influence alcohol use patterns. We suggest that a movement toward culturally sensitive policies that consider sex-specific social expectations and responses may contribute to improved health outcomes across nations.

  2. Brain activation during the perception of stressful word stimuli concerning interpersonal relationships in anorexia nervosa patients with high degrees of alexithymia in an fMRI paradigm.

    PubMed

    Miyake, Yoshie; Okamoto, Yasumasa; Onoda, Keiichi; Shirao, Naoko; Okamoto, Yuri; Yamawaki, Shigeto

    2012-02-28

    Several studies have reported that anorexia nervosa (AN) patients have high levels of alexithymia. However, relatively little is known about the underlying neurobiological relationships between alexithymia and AN. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to examine the brain responses in 30 AN patients and 20 healthy women during the processing of negative words concerning interpersonal relationships. We investigated the relationship between alexithymia levels and brain activation in AN. AN patients showed significant activation of the orbitofrontal cortex, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and medial prefrontal cortex while processing negative words concerning interpersonal relationships, as compared to the processing of neutral words. Moreover, the subjective rating of unpleasantness with negative words and neural activities in the amygdala, posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) negatively correlated with the level of alexithymia in AN. Our neuroimaging results suggest that AN patients tend to cognitively process negative words concerning interpersonal relationships, resulting in activation of the prefrontal cortex. Lower activation of the amygdala, PCC and ACC in response to these words may contribute to the impairments of emotional processing that are hallmarks of alexithymia. Functional abnormalities associated with alexithymia may be involved in the emotional processing impairments in AN patients. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Accountability in the City of Toronto's 10 long-term care homes.

    PubMed

    Wyers, Lindsay; Gamble, Brenda; Deber, Raisa B

    2014-09-01

    Long-term care (LTC) residential homes provide a supportive environment for residents requiring nursing care and assistance with daily living activities. The LTC sector is highly regulated. We examine the approaches taken to ensure the delivery of quality and safe care in 10 LTC homes owned and operated by the City of Toronto, Ontario, focusing on mandatory accountability agreements with the Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs). Results are based on document review and seven interviews with LTC managers responsible for the management and operation of the 10 LTC homes. One issue identified was the challenges associated with implementing new legislative and regulatory requirements to multiple bodies with differing requirements, particularly when boundaries do not coincide (e.g., the City of Toronto's Long-Term Care Homes and Services Division must establish 10 different accountability agreements with the five LHINs that span into the City of Toronto's geographic area).

  4. Accountability in the City of Toronto's 10 Long-Term Care Homes

    PubMed Central

    Wyers, Lindsay; Gamble, Brenda; Deber, Raisa B.

    2014-01-01

    Long-term care (LTC) residential homes provide a supportive environment for residents requiring nursing care and assistance with daily living activities. The LTC sector is highly regulated. We examine the approaches taken to ensure the delivery of quality and safe care in 10 LTC homes owned and operated by the City of Toronto, Ontario, focusing on mandatory accountability agreements with the Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs). Results are based on document review and seven interviews with LTC managers responsible for the management and operation of the 10 LTC homes. One issue identified was the challenges associated with implementing new legislative and regulatory requirements to multiple bodies with differing requirements, particularly when boundaries do not coincide (e.g., the City of Toronto's Long-Term Care Homes and Services Division must establish 10 different accountability agreements with the five LHINs that span into the City of Toronto's geographic area). PMID:25305393

  5. Technology evaluation report: Toronto Harbour Commissioners (THC) soil recycle treatment train

    SciTech Connect

    Ehrenreich, L.C.; Matuson, A.; Peters, J.; Evans, J.

    1993-07-01

    The report summarizes the results and activities of the demonstration testing of Toronto Harbor Commissioners (THC) Soil Recycle Treatment Train. The Demonstration was conducted at a site within the Port Industrial District (PID) in Toronto, Ontario, Canada under the Superfund Innovative Technology Evaluation (SITE) Program developed by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The demonstration examined a part of THC's on-going evaluation of the treatment train during the first nine months of 1992. EPA elected to sample the process during the processing of Soil B, which based on field sampling, was expected to exhibit relatively high organic (oil and grease, s) and inorganic (heavy metals) contaminants.

  6. Characterizing suicide in Toronto: an observational study and cluster analysis.

    PubMed

    Sinyor, Mark; Schaffer, Ayal; Streiner, David L

    2014-01-01

    Objectif : Déterminer si les personnes qui sont mortes par suicide dans un vaste échantillon épidémiologique forment des groupes selon des facteurs démographiques, cliniques et psychosociaux. Méthode : Nous avons mené une revue des dossiers du coroner des 2886 personnes qui sont décédées à Toronto, Ontario, de 1998 à 2010, et dont le décès a été classé comme un suicide par le Bureau du coroner en chef de l’Ontario. Une analyse en grappe a été menée à l’aide des facteurs connus du risque de suicide, afin de déterminer si les décès par suicide se divisaient en groupes distincts. Les grappes ont été comparées en vertu des facteurs propres à la personne et au suicide. Résultats : Cinq groupes se sont dégagés. Le groupe 1 avait la proportion la plus élevée de femmes et de méthodes non violentes, et tous avaient des antécédents de dépression et de tentative de suicide. Le groupe 2 avait la proportion la plus élevée de personnes ayant eu un stresseur récent et des méthodes de suicide violentes, et toutes étaient mariées. Le groupe 3 se composait surtout d’hommes de 20 à 64 ans, et tous avaient soit subi des stresseurs récents, soit souffert de maladie mentale, soit eu des antécédents d’abus de substances. Le groupe 4 contenait les personnes les plus jeunes et la proportion la plus élevée de décès attribuables à une chute d’une hauteur, peu étaient mariés, et près de la moitié souffrait d’un trouble bipolaire ou de schizophrénie. Le groupe 5 ne contenait que des personnes célibataires sans antécédents de tentative de suicide, et elles étaient les moins susceptibles d’avoir une maladie mentale identifiée et les plus enclines à laisser une note de suicide. Conclusions : Les personnes qui meurent par suicide se répartissent en différents modèles de caractéristiques démographiques, cliniques et de mort particulières. L’identification et l’étude des sous-groupes de suicides peuvent nous

  7. Particulate matter and manganese exposures in Toronto, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pellizzari, E. D.; Clayton, C. A.; Rodes, C. E.; Mason, R. E.; Piper, L. L.; Fort, B.; Pfeifer, G.; Lynam, D.

    Methylcyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl (MMT) is a manganese-based gasoline additive used to enhance automobile performance. MMT has been used in Canadian gasoline for about 20 yr. Because of the potential for increased levels of Mn in particulate matter resulting from automotive exhausts, a large-scale population-based exposure study (˜1000 participant periods) was conducted in Toronto, Canada, to estimate the distribution of 3-day average personal exposures to particulate matter (PM 2.5 and PM 10) and Mn. A stratified, three-stage, two-phase probability, longitudinal sample design of the metropolitan population was employed. Residential indoor and outdoor, and ambient levels (at a fixed site and on a roof) of PM 2.5, PM 10, and Mn were also measured. Supplementary data on traffic counts, meteorology, MMT levels in gasoline, personal occupations, and activities (e.g. amount of vehicular usage) were collected. Overall precision (%RSD) for analysis of duplicate co-located samples ranged from 2.5 to 5.0% for particulate matter and 3.1 to 5.5% for Mn. The detection limits were 1.47 and 3.45 μg m -3 for the PM 10 and PM 2.5 fractions, respectively, and 5.50 and 1.83 ng m -3 for Mn in PM 10 and PM 2.5, respectively. These low detection limits permitted the reporting of concentrations for >98% of the samples. For PM 10, the personal particulate matter levels (median 48.5 μg m -3) were much higher than either indoor (23.1 μg m -3) or outdoor levels (23.6 μg m -3). The median levels for PM 2.5 for personal, indoor, and outdoor were 28.4, 15.4 and 13.2 μg m -3, respectively. The correlation between PM 2.5 personal exposures and indoor concentrations was high (0.79), while correlations between personal and the outdoor, fixed site and roof site were low (0.16-0.27). Indoor Mn concentration distributions (in PM 2.5 and PM 10), unlike particulate matter, exhibited much lower and less variable levels that the corresponding outdoor data. The median personal exposure

  8. Alexithymia and psychosocial problems among Italian preadolescents. A latent class analysis approach.

    PubMed

    Mannarini, Stefania; Balottin, Laura; Toldo, Irene; Gatta, Michela

    2016-10-01

    The study, conducted on Italian preadolscents aged 11 to 13 belonging to the general population, aims to investigate the relationship between the emotional functioning, namely, alexithymia, and the risk of developing behavioral and emotional problems measured using the Strength and Difficulty Questionnaire. The latent class analysis approach allowed to identify two latent variables, accounting for the internalizing (emotional symptoms and difficulties in emotional awareness) and for the externalizing problems (conduct problems and hyperactivity, problematic relationships with peers, poor prosocial behaviors and externally oriented thinking). The two latent variables featured two latent classes: the difficulty in dealing with problems and the strength to face problems that was representative of most of the healthy participants with specific gender differences. Along with the analysis of psychopathological behaviors, the study of resilience and strengths can prove to be a key step in order to develop valuable preventive approaches to tackle psychiatric disorders. © 2016 Scandinavian Psychological Associations and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  9. Alexithymia, Emotional Dysregulation, and Recovery from Alcoholism: Therapeutic Response to Assessment of Mood

    PubMed Central

    Krentzman, Amy R.; Higgins, Margaret M.; Staller, Karen M.; Klatt, Emily S.

    2015-01-01

    This study is a secondary analysis of a randomized controlled trial which tested the effects of a gratitude intervention on well-being in a sample of individuals in outpatient treatment for alcohol use disorder (AUD). Follow-up qualitative interviews unexpectedly revealed that participants found the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) to be helpful to their recovery in the ways that it asked them to identify and rate their emotions. Participant statements were purposively sampled and analyzed using grounded theory methods to produce a conceptual framework illustrating the process of mood identification and its sequelae. Evidence of existing alexithymia and emotional dysregulation, dominance of negative mood, and increasing ability to identify, accept, and regulate mood as part of recovery was found. Findings suggest that emotion regulation is a compelling topic for those in recovery from AUD, and may deserve a more prominent role in treatment. PMID:25810468

  10. Trichotillomania and Trauma: Dissociation and Alexithymia in a Case of Pregnancy Denial.

    PubMed

    Jimenez, Xavier F; Salerno, Karen E; Funk, Margo C

    2015-12-01

    Pregnancy denial is rare yet reported and is often the result of complex psychosocial circumstances. We present an unusual case of pregnancy denial associated directly with both remote and ongoing trauma. A woman suddenly gave birth to a child in a hospital while visiting her other daughter, resulting in emergent labor and delivery as well as social work and psychiatric evaluation. Various atypical findings were noted, including pathological hair-pulling, alexithymia, indifference, and pregnancy denial. We offer a biopsychosocial conceptualization of the case, commenting on various possible processes including dissociation. The case also explores current states of knowledge regarding the interaction between impulse control disorders such as trichotillomania, dissociation, and trauma, with a call for future clinical and investigational attention to these interactions.

  11. Reading the Urban Landscape: The Case of a Campus Tour at York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bardekjian, Adrina; Classens, Michael; Sandberg, L. Anders

    2012-01-01

    This paper presents a campus tour assignment in a first-year undergraduate environmental studies course at York University, Toronto, Canada. As a pedagogical tool, the assignment enables students to interrogate the dominant narratives of a university's immediate physical spaces and to apply broader theoretical and practical concepts to their…

  12. Toronto Harbour Commissioners (THC) soil recycle treatment train. Applications analysis report

    SciTech Connect

    Ehrenreich, L.C.; Matuson, A.; Peters, J.; Evans, J.

    1993-04-01

    This project consists of a demonstration of the Toronto Harbour Commissioners (THC) Soil Recycle Treatment Train. The treatment train consists of three processes. The first process utilizes an attrition soil wash process to separate relatively uncontaminated soil from a more heavily contaminated fine slurry. The contaminated fine slurry is then further processed in a metals removal process or a bioslurry reactor process or both to remove organic contaminants and heavy metals contamination. The Toronto Harbour Commissioners conducted a long-term evaluation of this treatment train at a 55 tons per day pilot plant at 185 Cherry Street in the port of Toronto, located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Superfund Innovative Technology Evaluation (SITE) Program conducted a demonstration project that examined in detail the processing of soil from one of the sites being evaluated in the overall project. The goals of this study were to evaluate the technical effectiveness and economics of a treatment process sequence and to assess the potential applicability of the process to other wastes and/or other Superfund and hazardous waste sites.

  13. Internet Use through the University of Toronto Library: Demographics, Destinations, and Users' Reactions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tillotson, Joy; And Others

    1995-01-01

    Reports results of a study that used an online survey, focus groups, and logs of telnet connections to examine Internet use when accessed through the University of Toronto Library (Canada). Discusses needs of Internet users and reveals patterns of Internet use. An appendix contains the online survey. (JMV)

  14. Undergraduate otolaryngology education at the University of Toronto: a review using a curriculum mapping system.

    PubMed

    Oyewumi, Modupe; Isaac, Kathryn; Schreiber, Martin; Campisi, Paolo

    2012-02-01

    The aim of Canadian medical school curricula is to provide educational experiences that satisfy the specific objectives set out by the Medical Council of Canada. However, for specialties such as otolaryngology, there is considerable variability in student exposure to didactic and clinical teaching across Canadian medical schools, making it unclear whether students receive sufficient teaching of core otolaryngology content and clinical skills. The goal of this review was to assess the exposure to otolaryngology instruction in the undergraduate medical curriculum at the University of Toronto. Otolaryngology objectives were derived from objectives created by the Medical Council of Canada and the University of Toronto. The University of Toronto's recently developed Curriculum Mapping System (CMap) was used to perform a keyword search of otolaryngology objectives to establish when and to what extent essential topics were being taught. All (10 of 10) major topics and skills identified were covered in the undergraduate medical curriculum. Although no major gaps were identified, an uneven distribution of teaching time exists. The majority (> 90%) of otolaryngology education occurs during year 1 of clerkship. The amount of preclerkship education was extremely limited. Essential otolaryngology topics and skills are taught within the University of Toronto curriculum. The CMap was an effective tool to assess the otolaryngology curriculum and was able to identify gaps in otolaryngology education during the preclerkship years of medical school. As a result, modifications to the undergraduate curriculum have been implemented to provide additional teaching during the preclerkship years.

  15. Everyday Racism in Canadian Schools: Ideologies of Language and Culture among Korean Transnational Students in Toronto

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shin, Hyunjung

    2015-01-01

    Drawing from a 2.4-year ethnography with Korean Early Study Abroad (ESA, pre-college-aged study abroad) students in Toronto high schools, I examine the intersections among race, class, language, culture and citizenship (including immigrant status) in the identity construction and language learning of these students. Conceptualising race as a…

  16. Women's Class Strategies as Activism in Native Community Building in Toronto, 1950-1975

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Howard-Bobiwash, Heather

    2003-01-01

    Between the end of World War II and the early 1970s, many Native women in Ontario came to Toronto in the hopes of accessing higher education, jobs, and freedom denied them on reserves under the oppression of federal government tutelage. However, much of the literature on Native rural-urban migration in Canada concentrates on an association between…

  17. A Computer Simulation Model for Planning Instructional Facilities at the University of Toronto.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sceviour, W. F.

    A computer model for providing information to assist space administrators at the University of Toronto in planning classroom requirements is presented in this thesis. The requirements generated are compared against available rooms and measures of utilization computed. The model reacts to changes in parameters describing the system which allows the…

  18. Reading the Urban Landscape: The Case of a Campus Tour at York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bardekjian, Adrina; Classens, Michael; Sandberg, L. Anders

    2012-01-01

    This paper presents a campus tour assignment in a first-year undergraduate environmental studies course at York University, Toronto, Canada. As a pedagogical tool, the assignment enables students to interrogate the dominant narratives of a university's immediate physical spaces and to apply broader theoretical and practical concepts to their…

  19. Toronto Parks and Recreation: The Inner City Out-tripping Centre.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Root, Emily

    2002-01-01

    A Toronto (Canada) outdoor program enables disadvantaged urban youth to connect with nature locally. Incrementally, participants take on increasing responsibility and more challenging tasks. An annual canoe race takes place within the city. A planned leadership and environmental center will provide experiences to reconnect Canadians to their…

  20. Retrospective investigation of chronic wasting disease of cervids at the Toronto Zoo, 1973–2003

    PubMed Central

    Dubé, Caroline; Mehren, Kay G.; Barker, Ian K.; Peart, Brian L.; Balachandran, Aru

    2006-01-01

    The occurrence of chronic wasting disease (CWD) at the Toronto Zoo was investigated retrospectively, based on an examination of management, animal health, and postmortem records, and immunohistochemical studies. Records of animal movements, clinical signs, and postmortem findings were examined for all cervids 1973–2003. All available samples of fixed, wax-embedded lymphoid or central nervous system tissue from cervids that died at the Toronto Zoo from 1973 to 2003, > 12 months of age, were tested, using prion protein immunostaining. Chronic wasting disease prion antigen was detected in 8 of 105 animals tested: 7 mule deer and 1 black-tailed deer. The most likely method of introduction was the importation of CWD-infected animals from a zoo in the United States. Animal-to-animal contact and environmental contamination were the most likely methods of spread of CWD at the zoo. No mule deer left the Toronto Zoo site, and the last animal with CWD died in 1981. Historic findings and ongoing testing of cervids indicate that the Toronto Zoo collection has very low risk of currently being infected with CWD. PMID:17217088

  1. Women's Class Strategies as Activism in Native Community Building in Toronto, 1950-1975

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Howard-Bobiwash, Heather

    2003-01-01

    Between the end of World War II and the early 1970s, many Native women in Ontario came to Toronto in the hopes of accessing higher education, jobs, and freedom denied them on reserves under the oppression of federal government tutelage. However, much of the literature on Native rural-urban migration in Canada concentrates on an association between…

  2. Schooling Transnational Speakers of the Societal Language: Language Variation Policy-Making in Madrid and Toronto

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schecter, Sandra R.; García Parejo, Isabel; Ambadiang, Théophile; James, Carl E.

    2014-01-01

    A cross-national comparative study in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and Madrid, Spain examines educational policies and practices that target immigrant students for whom the language variety normally spoken in the host country represents a second dialect. Policy contexts and schooling environments of the two urban centres were analyzed to gain deeper…

  3. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome and the Delivery of Continuing Medical Education: Case Study from Toronto

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Davis, Dave; Ryan, David; Sibbald, Gary; Rachlis, Anita; Davies, Sharon; Manchul, Lee; Parikh, Sagar

    2004-01-01

    Introduction: Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) struck Toronto in the spring of 2003, causing many deaths, serious morbidity, forced quarantine of thousands of individuals, and the closure of all provincial hospitals for several weeks. Given the direction by public health authorities to cancel or postpone all continuing medical education…

  4. Everyday Racism in Canadian Schools: Ideologies of Language and Culture among Korean Transnational Students in Toronto

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shin, Hyunjung

    2015-01-01

    Drawing from a 2.4-year ethnography with Korean Early Study Abroad (ESA, pre-college-aged study abroad) students in Toronto high schools, I examine the intersections among race, class, language, culture and citizenship (including immigrant status) in the identity construction and language learning of these students. Conceptualising race as a…

  5. Transforming the Institution, or Institutionalizing the Transformation?: Anti-Racism and Equity in Education in Toronto.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carr, Paul R.

    1999-01-01

    Reports on the manner in which the Toronto (Canada) Board of Education responded to racial diversity and anti-racist education from 1970 to 1995. Highlights three findings: (1) the evolutionary nature of attempts to deal with equity issues; (2) the systemic nature of discrimination; and (3) the inability to clearly define anti-racist education and…

  6. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome and the Delivery of Continuing Medical Education: Case Study from Toronto

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Davis, Dave; Ryan, David; Sibbald, Gary; Rachlis, Anita; Davies, Sharon; Manchul, Lee; Parikh, Sagar

    2004-01-01

    Introduction: Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) struck Toronto in the spring of 2003, causing many deaths, serious morbidity, forced quarantine of thousands of individuals, and the closure of all provincial hospitals for several weeks. Given the direction by public health authorities to cancel or postpone all continuing medical education…

  7. Managing Conduct: A Comparative Policy Analysis of Safe Schools Policies in Toronto, Canada and Buffalo, USA

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Winton, Sue

    2011-01-01

    Public school districts in Buffalo, USA and Toronto, Canada reviewed their safe schools policies in 2008. Revised Codes of Conduct are compared to earlier versions and each other, and a conceptual policy web is used to understand how local, state/provincial, national, and international influences affect local safe school policies. The comparison…

  8. Schooling Transnational Speakers of the Societal Language: Language Variation Policy-Making in Madrid and Toronto

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schecter, Sandra R.; García Parejo, Isabel; Ambadiang, Théophile; James, Carl E.

    2014-01-01

    A cross-national comparative study in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and Madrid, Spain examines educational policies and practices that target immigrant students for whom the language variety normally spoken in the host country represents a second dialect. Policy contexts and schooling environments of the two urban centres were analyzed to gain deeper…

  9. Managing Conduct: A Comparative Policy Analysis of Safe Schools Policies in Toronto, Canada and Buffalo, USA

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Winton, Sue

    2011-01-01

    Public school districts in Buffalo, USA and Toronto, Canada reviewed their safe schools policies in 2008. Revised Codes of Conduct are compared to earlier versions and each other, and a conceptual policy web is used to understand how local, state/provincial, national, and international influences affect local safe school policies. The comparison…

  10. Teachers' Views of the Challenges of Teaching Grade 9 Applied Mathematics in Toronto Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stoilescu, Dorian; McDougall, Douglas; Egodawatte, Gunawardena

    2016-01-01

    Mathematics teachers, mathematics department heads, curriculum leaders, and administrators from 11 schools in four school boards from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, participated in a project to improve the teaching and learning in grade 9 mathematics classrooms. In each of these schools, an implementation team was created, so that at least three…

  11. Innovation in Educational Markets: An Organizational Analysis of Private Schools in Toronto

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Davies, Scott; Quirke, Linda

    2005-01-01

    This study examines whether new private schools are innovative, drawing on theories of markets and institutions. Choice advocates claim that markets spark innovation, while institutional theory suggests that isomorphic forces will limit novel school forms. Using qualitative data from third sector private schools in Toronto, three hypotheses about…

  12. Responsiveness and minimally important difference for the patient-reported outcomes measurement information system (PROMIS) 20-item physical functioning short form in a prospective observational study of rheumatoid arthritis.

    PubMed

    Hays, Ron D; Spritzer, Karen L; Fries, James F; Krishnan, Eswar

    2015-01-01

    To estimate responsiveness (sensitivity to change) and minimally important difference (MID) for the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) 20-item physical functioning scale (PROMIS PF-20). The PROMIS PF-20, short form 36 (SF-36) physical functioning scale, and Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ) were administered at baseline, and 6 and 12 months later to a sample of 451 persons with rheumatoid arthritis. A retrospective change (anchor) item was administered at the 12-month follow-up. We estimated responsiveness between 12 months and baseline, and between 12 months and 6 months using one-way analysis of variance F-statistics. We estimated the MID for the PROMIS PF-20 using prospective change for people reporting getting 'a little better' or 'a little worse' on the anchor item. F-statistics for prospective change on the PROMIS PF-20, SF-36 and HAQ by the anchor item over 12 and 6 months (in parentheses) were 16.64 (14.98), 12.20 (7.92) and 10.36 (12.90), respectively. The MID for the PROMIS PF-20 was 2 points (about 0.20 of an SD). The PROMIS PF-20 is more responsive than two widely used ('legacy') measures. The MID is a small effect size. The measure can be useful for assessing physical functioning in clinical trials and observational studies. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.

  13. Asthma and allergic disease prevalence in a diverse sample of Toronto school children: Results from the Toronto Child Health Evaluation Questionnaire (T-CHEQ) Study

    PubMed Central

    Dell, Sharon D; Foty, Richard G; Gilbert, Nicolas L; Jerrett, Michael; To, Teresa; Walter, Stephen D; Stieb, David M

    2010-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Asthma is the most common chronic disease in children. OBJECTIVES: To describe the prevalence of asthma and allergic disease in a multiethnic, population-based sample of Toronto (Ontario) school children attending grades 1 and 2. METHODS: In 2006, the Toronto Child Health Evaluation Questionnaire (T-CHEQ) used the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood survey methodology to administer questionnaires to 23,379 Toronto school children attending grades 1 and 2. Modifications were made to the methodology to conform with current privacy legislation and capture the ethnic diversity of the population. Lifetime asthma, wheeze, hay fever and eczema prevalence were defined by parental report. Asthma was considered to be current if the child also reported wheeze or asthma medication use in the previous 12 months. RESULTS: A total of 5619 children from 283 randomly sampled public schools participated. Children were five to nine years of age, with a mean age of 6.7 years. The overall prevalence of lifetime asthma was 16.1%, while only 11.3% had current asthma. The reported prevalence of lifetime wheeze was 29.2%, while 14.2% reported wheeze in the past 12 months. Sociodemographic and major health determinant characteristics of the T-CHEQ population were similar to 2001 census data, suggesting a diverse sample that was representative of the urban childhood population. CONCLUSIONS: Asthma continues to be a highly prevalent chronic disease in Canadian children. A large proportion of children with reported lifetime asthma, who were five to nine years of age, did not report current asthma symptomatology or medication use. PMID:20186360

  14. Being on the web of unions: an interview with D'Arcy Martin, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

    PubMed

    Martin, D'Arcy

    2012-01-01

    D'Arcy Martin is a labor educator in Toronto. He started his career in adult education and made the transition to labor educator. He has been the Canadian education director for Steelworkers, Communications Workers, and the merged Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union. He is also coordinator of the Centre for the Study of Education and Work at the University of Toronto, which brings together academics and unionists to research the informal learning of workers. In the following interview, D'Arcy talked about his experiences as a Canadian labor educator, how being an internationalist has influenced his views, and how the dynamics of power influence not only workers and their unions, but educators, too. D'Arcy described his work as "being on the web … to go sideways, that is, to draw connections, including international ones, amongst people of like mind and to build collective power by inviting people to learn together."

  15. Energy solutions, neo-liberalism, and social diversity in Toronto, Canada.

    PubMed

    Teelucksingh, Cheryl; Poland, Blake

    2011-01-01

    In response to the dominance of green capitalist discourses in Canada's environmental movement, in this paper, we argue that strategies to improve energy policy must also provide mechanisms to address social conflicts and social disparities. Environmental justice is proposed as an alternative to mainstream environmentalism, one that seeks to address systemic social and spatial exclusion encountered by many racialized immigrants in Toronto as a result of neo-liberal and green capitalist municipal policy and that seeks to position marginalized communities as valued contributors to energy solutions. We examine Toronto-based municipal state initiatives aimed at reducing energy use while concurrently stimulating growth (specifically, green economy/green jobs and 'smart growth'). By treating these as instruments of green capitalism, we illustrate the utility of environmental justice applied to energy-related problems and as a means to analyze stakeholders' positions in the context of neo-liberalism and green capitalism, and as opening possibilities for resistance.

  16. The affordability of a nutritious diet for households on welfare in Toronto.

    PubMed

    Vozoris, Nicholas; Davis, Barbara; Tarasuk, Valerie

    2002-01-01

    This study assesses the affordability of a nutritious diet for households in Toronto that are supported by welfare. For three hypothetical households, welfare incomes were compared to the monthly costs for food, shelter, and other essential expenditures in Toronto. If households lived in market rental accommodation, average monthly incomes were insufficient to cover expenses for the single-person household and two-parent family, and barely adequate for the single-parent family considered in this study. However, the single-parent family's actual income fell below expenses for six months of the year. For households with children, the relative inadequacy of welfare increased as children grew older. Living in rent-geared-to-income housing afforded substantial financial advantage, but the welfare income of single-person households was still insufficient to meet basic needs. These findings indicate discrepancies between welfare incomes and costs of basic needs, which may explain the vulnerability of welfare recipients to food insecurity.

  17. The impact of gentrification on ethnic neighbourhoods in Toronto: a case study of little Portugal.

    PubMed

    Murdie, Robert; Teixeira, Carlos

    2011-01-01

    Despite extensive literature on the nature and impact of gentrification, there has been little consideration of the effects of gentrification on ethnic neighbourhoods. This study evaluates the negative and positive effects of gentrification on the Portuguese in west central Toronto. Details concerning the settlement patterns of the Portuguese, the characteristics of Portuguese residents and patterns of gentrification in inner-city Toronto were obtained from census data. Evaluations of neighbourhood change and attitudes of the residents towards gentrification were obtained from key informant and focus group interviews. The results suggest considerable ambivalence among the respondents, but most agreed that the long-term viability of Little Portugal as an immigrant reception area with a good supply of low-cost housing is in doubt.

  18. Trend analysis of long-term temperature time series in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mohsin, Tanzina; Gough, William A.

    2010-08-01

    As the majority of the world’s population is living in urban environments, there is growing interest in studying local urban climates. In this paper, for the first time, the long-term trends (31-162 years) of temperature change have been analyzed for the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Annual and seasonal time series for a number of urban, suburban, and rural weather stations are considered. Non-parametric statistical techniques such as Mann-Kendall test and Theil-Sen slope estimation are used primarily for the assessing of the significance and detection of trends, and the sequential Mann test is used to detect any abrupt climate change. Statistically significant trends for annual mean and minimum temperatures are detected for almost all stations in the GTA. Winter is found to be the most coherent season contributing substantially to the increase in annual minimum temperature. The analyses of the abrupt changes in temperature suggest that the beginning of the increasing trend in Toronto started after the 1920s and then continued to increase to the 1960s. For all stations, there is a significant increase of annual and seasonal (particularly winter) temperatures after the 1980s. In terms of the linkage between urbanization and spatiotemporal thermal patterns, significant linear trends in annual mean and minimum temperature are detected for the period of 1878-1978 for the urban station, Toronto, while for the rural counterparts, the trends are not significant. Also, for all stations in the GTA that are situated in all directions except south of Toronto, substantial temperature change is detected for the periods of 1970-2000 and 1989-2000. It is concluded that the urbanization in the GTA has significantly contributed to the increase of the annual mean temperatures during the past three decades. In addition to urbanization, the influence of local climate, topography, and larger scale warming are incorporated in the analysis of the trends.

  19. A Cohort Study of Traffic-Related Air Pollution and Mortality in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

    PubMed Central

    Jerrett, Michael; Finkelstein, Murray M.; Brook, Jeffrey R.; Arain, M. Altaf; Kanaroglou, Palvos; Stieb, Dave M.; Gilbert, Nicolas L.; Verma, Dave; Finkelstein, Norm; Chapman, Kenneth R.; Sears, Malcolm R.

    2009-01-01

    Background Chronic exposure to traffic-related air pollution (TRAP) may contribute to premature mortality, but few studies to date have addressed this topic. Objectives In this study we assessed the association between TRAP and mortality in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Methods We collected nitrogen dioxide samples over two seasons using duplicate two-sided Ogawa passive diffusion samplers at 143 locations across Toronto. We calibrated land use regressions to predict NO2 exposure on a fine scale within Toronto. We used interpolations to predict levels of particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter ≤ 2.5 μm (PM2.5) and ozone levels. We assigned predicted pollution exposures to 2,360 subjects from a respiratory clinic, and abstracted health data on these subjects from medical billings, lung function tests, and diagnoses by pulmonologists. We tracked mortality between 1992 and 2002. We used standard and multilevel Cox proportional hazard models to test associations between air pollution and mortality. Results After controlling for age, sex, lung function, obesity, smoking, and neighborhood deprivation, we observed a 17% increase in all-cause mortality and a 40% increase in circulatory mortality from an exposure contrast across the interquartile range of 4 ppb NO2. We observed no significant associations with other pollutants. Conclusions Exposure to TRAP was significantly associated with increased all-cause and circulatory mortality in this cohort. A high prevalence of cardiopulmonary disease in the cohort probably limits inference of the findings to populations with a substantial proportion of susceptible individuals. PMID:19479020

  20. Better governance in academic health sciences centres: moving beyond the Olivieri/Apotex Affair in Toronto.

    PubMed

    Ferris, L E; Singer, P A; Naylor, C D

    2004-02-01

    The Toronto experience suggests that there may be several general lessons for academic health sciences complexes to learn from the Olivieri/Apotex affair (OAA) regarding the ethics, independence, and integrity of clinical research sponsored by for profit enterprises. From a local perspective, the OAA occurred when there already was a focus on the complex and changing relationships among the University of Toronto, its medical school, the fully affiliated teaching hospitals, and off campus faculty because of intertwined interests and responsibilities. The OAA became a catalyst that accelerated various systemic reforms, particularly concerning academic/industry relations. In this article, the evolving governance framework for the Toronto academic health sciences complex is reviewed and these policy and process reforms discussed. These reforms have created collaborative activity among research ethics boards and contract research offices of the partner institutions, and allowed the joint university/hospital ethics centre to play a role in governance and policy, while respecting the missions and mandates of the involved institutions. Although few of the policies are dramatically innovative, what is arguably novel is the elaboration of an overarching governance framework that aims to move ethics to a central focus in the academic complex. Time alone will tell how sustainable and effective these changes are.

  1. Prevalence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection among injection drug users in Toronto

    PubMed Central

    Rusen, I D; Yuan, L; Millson, M E

    1999-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Injection drug users are at increased risk of Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection and active tuberculosis (TB). The primary objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of M. tuberculosis infection among injection drug users in Toronto, as indicated by a positive tuberculin skin test result. An additional objective was to identify predictors of a positive skin test result in this population. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was carried out involving self-selected injection drug users in the city of Toronto. A total of 171 participants were recruited through a downtown Toronto needle-exchange program from June 1 to Oct. 31, 1996. RESULTS: Of 167 subjects tested, 155 (92.8%) returned for interpretation of their skin test result within the designated timeframe (48 to 72 hours). Using a 5-mm cut-off, the prevalence rate of positive tuberculin skin test results was 31.0% (95% confidence interval 23.8% to 38.9%). Birth outside of Canada and increasing age were both predictive of a positive result. INTERPRETATION: There is a high burden of M. tuberculosis infection in this population of injection drug users. The compliance observed with returning for interpretation of skin test results indicates that successful TB screening is possible among injection drug users. PMID:10189423

  2. Inventorying Toronto's single detached housing stocks to examine the availability of clay brick for urban mining.

    PubMed

    Ergun, Deniz; Gorgolewski, Mark

    2015-11-01

    This study examines the stocks of clay brick in Toronto's single detached housing, to provide parameters for city scale material reuse and recycling. Based on consensus from the literature and statistics on Toronto's single detached housing stocks, city scale reusable and recyclable stocks were estimated to provide an understanding of what volume could be saved from landfill and reintroduced into the urban fabric. On average 2523-4542 m(3) of brick was determined to be available annually for reuse, which would account for 20-36% of the volume of virgin brick consumed in new house construction in 2012. A higher volume, 6187 m(3) of brick, was determined to be available annually for recycling because more of the prevalence of cement-based mortar, which creates challenges for brick reuse in Toronto. The results demonstrated that older housing containing reusable brick were being mostly landfilled and replaced with housing that contained only recyclable brick. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Alexithymia, Assertiveness and Psychosocial Functioning in HIV: Implications for Medication Adherence and Disease Severity.

    PubMed

    McIntosh, Roger C; Ironson, Gail; Antoni, Michael; Fletcher, Mary Ann; Schneiderman, Neil

    2016-02-01

    Psychosocial function and adherence to antiretroviral regimen are key factors in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease management. Alexithymia (AL) is a trait deficit in the ability to identify and describe feelings, emotions and bodily sensations. A structural equation model was used to test whether high levels of AL indirectly relate to greater non-adherent behavior and HIV disease severity via psychosocial dysfunction. Blood draws for HIV-1 viral load and CD4 T-lymphocyte, along with psychosocial surveys were collected from 439 HIV positive adults aged 18-73 years. The structural model supports significant paths from: (1) AL to non-active patient involvement, psychological distress, and lower social support, (2) psychological distress and non-active involvement to non-adherent behavior, and (3) non-adherence to greater HIV disease severity (CFI = .97, RMSEA = .04, SRMR = .05). A second model confirmed the intermediary effect of greater patient assertiveness on the path from AL to social support and non-active patient involvement (CFI = .94, RMSEA = .04, SRMR = .05). Altogether, AL is indirectly linked with HIV disease management through it's association with poor psychosocial function, however greater patient assertiveness buffers the negative impact of AL on relationship quality with healthcare providers and members of one's social support network.

  4. Reduced empathic concern leads to utilitarian moral judgments in trait alexithymia

    PubMed Central

    Patil, Indrajeet; Silani, Giorgia

    2014-01-01

    Recent research with moral dilemmas supports dual-process model of moral decision making. This model posits two different paths via which people can endorse utilitarian solution that requires personally harming someone in order to achieve the greater good (e.g., killing one to save five people): (i) weakened emotional aversion to the prospect of harming someone due to reduced empathic concern for the victim; (ii) enhanced cognition which supports cost-benefit analysis and countervails the prepotent emotional aversion to harm. Direct prediction of this model would be that personality traits associated with reduced empathy would show higher propensity to endorse utilitarian solutions. As per this prediction, we found that trait alexithymia, which is well-known to have deficits in empathy, was indeed associated with increased utilitarian tendencies on emotionally aversive personal moral dilemmas and this was due to reduced empathic concern for the victim. Results underscore the importance of empathy for moral judgments in harm/care domain of morality. PMID:24904510

  5. Impact of childhood trauma, alexithymia, dissociation, and emotion suppression on emotional Stroop task.

    PubMed

    Wingenfeld, Katja; Riedesel, Kirsten; Petrovic, Zorica; Philippsen, Christine; Meyer, Björn; Rose, Matthias; Grabe, Hans J; Barnow, Sven; Löwe, Bernd; Spitzer, Carsten

    2011-01-01

    Attentional bias to emotion- and illness-related information plays a prominent role in many mental disorders, particularly major depressive disorder and anxiety disorders. Using the emotional Stroop task we investigated which variables beyond aspects of patients' psychopathology might influence reaction times and interference in the Stroop test. We investigated 82 psychosomatic inpatients and 39 healthy controls. Diagnosis of depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, and somatoform disorders were established using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV. Severity of depression, anxiety, somatic symptoms, as well as experiences of childhood trauma, alexithymia, dissociation and emotion suppression were assessed via questionnaires. The emotional Stroop test was performed by using neutral and negative words, words related to depression, anxiety and somatization, respectively, and individually chosen words, which were related to the main problems of the participants. In multivariate regression analyses, reaction times were best predicted by self-reported experiences of childhood trauma. Interference, by contrast, was predicted by emotion suppression, but only for negative words, anxiety-related words and individually relevant words. Against our hypothesis, measurements of psychopathology were not associated with Stroop performance. The present study provides further support for the idea that the experience of childhood trauma influences adult neuropsychological performance. Furthermore, the findings suggest that the ability to suppress emotions may be an important predictor of attentional bias. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Conflict adaptation is predicted by the cognitive, but not the affective alexithymia dimension

    PubMed Central

    de Galan, Michiel; Sellaro, Roberta; Colzato, Lorenza S.; Hommel, Bernhard

    2014-01-01

    Stimulus-induced response conflict (e.g., in Simon or Stroop tasks) is often reduced after conflict trials—the Gratton effect. It is generally assumed that this effect is due to a strengthening of the representation of the current intention or goal, which in turn increases the degree of stimulus and/or response control. Recent evidence suggests that the motivational signal driving the Gratton effect might be affective in nature. If so, individual differences in either the strength of affective signals and/or the ability to interpret such signals might explain individual differences in cognitive-control adjustments as reflected in the Gratton effect. We tested this hypothesis by relating individual sizes of the Gratton effect in a Simon task to scores on the affective and the cognitive dimension of the Bermond/Vorst Alexithymia Questionnaire (BVAQ)—which we assumed to assess individual differences in affective-signal strength and ability to interpret affective signals, respectively. Results show that the cognitive, but not the affective dimension predicted control adjustment, while the accuracy of heartbeat detection was only (and only weakly) related to online control. This suggests that the motivation to fine-tune one's cognitive-control operations is mediated by, and may depend on one's ability to interpret one's own affective signals. PMID:25101033

  7. Health-related quality of life and its association with alexithymia and difficulties in emotion regulation in patients with psoriasis.

    PubMed

    Innamorati, Marco; Quinto, Rossella M; Imperatori, Claudio; Lora, Viviana; Graceffa, Dario; Fabbricatore, Mariantonietta; Lester, David; Contardi, Anna; Bonifati, Claudio

    2016-10-01

    Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in psoriasis patients could be negatively affected by medical (e.g., obesity) and psychological (e.g., depression, anxiety, and alexithymia) conditions the presence of which suggests difficulties in understanding and regulating inner states and emotions. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate HRQoL and its association with obesity and difficulties in understanding and regulating inner states and emotions in patients with psoriasis. A second objective was to examine whether the presence of difficulties in understanding and regulating inner states and emotions may mediate the association between psoriasis and poor HRQoL. One hundred adult outpatients and 97 healthy controls were administered a checklist assessing major socio-demographic variables, and measures of HRQoL, difficulties in emotion regulation, alexithymia, anxiety, depression, and food craving. Psoriasis patients (compared to controls) reported more frequently obesity, alexithymia, anxiety, depression and food craving, and reported lower scores on the mental and physical components of HRQoL. A mediation model, with mental health as the dependent variable, indicated significant direct and indirect (through BMI, difficulties in emotion regulation, anxiety, depression, and food craving) effects of psoriasis on the quality of life, so that psoriasis was associated with worse mental health. A second mediation model with physical health as dependent variable indicated only a significant indirect effect (through BMI and depression) of psoriasis on the quality of life. Psoriasis is characterized by poor HRQoL and the presence of difficulties in understanding and regulating inner states and emotions. In patients with psoriasis the possible influence of food craving on abnormal eating habits should be carefully assessed. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Masculinity, alexithymia, and fear of intimacy as predictors of UK men's attitudes towards seeking professional psychological help.

    PubMed

    Sullivan, Luke; Camic, Paul M; Brown, June S L

    2015-02-01

    Men's reluctance to access health care services has been under researched even though it has been identified as a potentially important predictor of poorer health outcomes amongst men. Male gender role socialization and male development may be important in accounting for men's underutilization of mental health services in the United Kingdom. A cross-sectional online survey was used to administer standardized self-report measures that were subject to regression analysis. Five hundred and eighty-one men from the UK general population completed the survey, and 536 participants formed the final regression analysis. Men who score higher on measures of traditional masculine ideology, normative alexithymia, and fear of intimacy reported more negative attitudes towards seeking professional psychological help. Normative alexithymia fully mediated the effect of fear of intimacy on attitudes towards professional help seeking. In the final regression model, education significantly accounted for a proportion of unique variance in men's help-seeking attitudes. Hypothesized consequences of male emotional and interpersonal development and male gender role socialization were associated with men's attitudes towards seeking psychological help. These are important factors which could help to improve help seeking and mental health outcomes for men. Limitations of this study and implications for future research are discussed. Statement of contribution What is already known on this subject? Men are less likely to seek help for physical and psychological problems and have poorer health outcomes across nearly all major illness and injury. Men's reluctance to access health care services is believed to be a major contributory factor to poorer health outcomes for men. What does the study add? The study is a large-scale survey of UK men's attitudes towards professional psychological help seeking. Results provide evidence that hypothesized consequences of male gender role socialization and

  9. Are Toronto's streams sick? A look at the fish and benthic invertebrate communities in the Toronto region in relation to the urban stream syndrome.

    PubMed

    Wallace, Angela M; Croft-White, Melanie V; Moryk, Jan

    2013-09-01

    Impacts of urbanization on aquatic ecosystems are intensifying as urban sprawl spreads across the global land base. The urban stream syndrome (USS) identifies "symptoms" associated with urban development including changes in biotic communities, hydrology, water chemistry, and channel morphology. Direct relationships between road density (as surrogate of urbanization) and indicators of the USS were identified for streams in the Toronto region. Significant negative relationships were revealed between road density and biological (fish and benthic macroinvertebrate) richness, diversity, and fish Index of Biotic Integrity scores. Significant positive relationships were found between road density and tolerant fish/benthic macroinvertbrates, benthos Family Biotic Index scores, mean summer stream temperature, stream flashiness, and several water quality variables. Analysis of biological data showed that only four fish species and a reduced number of benthic macroinvertebrate families remained at the most urbanized sites. Road density was found to be a major determinant in both the fish and benthic macroinvertebrate community structure.

  10. Association between neighbourhood marginalization and pedestrian and cyclist collisions in Toronto intersections.

    PubMed

    Silverman, Jordan D; Hutchison, Michael G; Cusimano, Michael D

    2013-09-27

    Pedestrian and cyclist collisions comprise a significant proportion of preventable injury. In urban settings, collision rates have been linked to various socio-demographic factors. We sought to determine whether neighbourhood marginalization affects pedestrian and cyclist collisions in the Greater Toronto Area. For 114 intersections, pedestrian and cyclist collisions were extracted from the Toronto Traffic Data Centre database. We used a geographic information system approach to determine census Dissemination Areas and an associated Ontario Marginalization Index (ON-Marg) for each intersection. We performed a logistic regression to examine the associations between the four ON-Marg dimensions (residential instability, material deprivation, dependency, ethnic concentration) and pedestrian and cyclist collisions. The odds of sustaining a collision were independently associated with residential instability for both pedestrians (OR 1.84, 95% CI 1.21-2.84, p=0.006) and cyclists (OR 2.04, 95% CI 1.34-3.16, p=0.001). Higher overall collision rates (both pedestrian and cyclist) were associated with both ethnic concentration (OR 1.56, 95% CI 1.05-2.37, p=0.033) and residential instability (OR 2.16, 95% CI 1.43-3.38, p=0.001). Material deprivation and dependency were not significant risk factors for intersection collisions in this model. Collisions involving pedestrians and cyclists are more common in areas of increased residential instability and ethnic concentration in Toronto. Intersections in neighbourhoods with these characteristics could be targeted for strategies to reduce pedestrian and cyclist injury risk in urban settings.

  11. [Alexithymia and psychological trauma--analysis of verbal expression of subject with post-traumatic stress disorder: an exploratory study].

    PubMed

    Chahraoui, K; Besche, C; Lacassagne, M F

    2001-01-01

    The aim of this preliminary study is the analysis of the utterances of subjects suffering from Post-traumatic disorder. The study is based on the recent methods of discourse analysis developed in France by Ghiglione and Blanchet (1991, 1998). We have tried to know how victims of psychical trauma verbalize their different emotional reaction to the traumatic event. We expected to find discursive indicators characteristics of alexithymia when they speak about their emotion associated to traumatic event, that is to say an inhibition of the verbal expression of emotion, a factual, descriptive and objective discourse, a diminution of the personal engagement, difficulties to give explanations about the violent trauma. This study shows that the victims of psychical trauma don't present a lack of verbalization of their emotions but a dissociation in the expression of their emotions. The emotional words are more frequently associated to the symptoms than to the traumatic event that had been at the origin of the symptoms. This dissociation is similar to a particularity of alexithymia as it was described by Sifnéos (1996). The study also shows that the distribution of the discursive indicators in the different themes discussed by the subjects constitutes an interesting way of work needing then the application of experimental and comparative methods.

  12. Affective agnosia: Expansion of the alexithymia construct and a new opportunity to integrate and extend Freud's legacy.

    PubMed

    Lane, Richard D; Weihs, Karen L; Herring, Anne; Hishaw, Alex; Smith, Ryan

    2015-08-01

    We describe a new type of agnosia consisting of an impairment in the ability to mentally represent or know what one is feeling. Freud the neurologist coined the term "agnosia" in 1891 before creating psychoanalysis in 1895 but the term has not been previously applied to the domain of affective processing. We propose that the concept of "affective agnosia" advances the theory, measurement and treatment of what is now called "alexithymia," meaning "lack of words for emotion." We trace the origin of the alexithymia construct and discuss the strengths and limitations of extant research. We review evidence that the ability to represent and put emotions into words is a developmental achievement that strongly influences one's ability to experience, recognize, understand and use one's own emotional responses. We describe the neural substrates of emotional awareness and affective agnosia and compare and contrast these with related conditions. We then describe how this expansion of the conceptualization and measurement of affective processing deficits has important implications for basic emotion research and clinical practice.

  13. Association of Food Premises Inspection and Disclosure Program with retail-acquired foodborne illness and operator noncompliance in Toronto.

    PubMed

    Serapiglia, Tino; Kennedy, Erin; Thompson, Sylvanus; de Burger, Ron

    2007-01-01

    In 2001, the city of Toronto was the only health unit in Canada to have implemented a multi-component disclosure system as part of its provincially mandated food safety program. To measure the impact on the ultimate goal of preventing foodborne illness, the authors of the study reported here assessed directly the association of Toronto Public Health's program with the specific incidence of retail-acquired foodborne illness by analyzing secondary data on reportable local enteric disease. In addition, the study indirectly measured prevention of retail-acquired foodborne illness by assessing existing data on regulatory compliance in Toronto food premises as an inherent performance indicator. Results of the statistical analysis show that although there has not been a significant difference in the overall incidence rate of retail foodborne illness (Chi-squared = 0.009, p = .93), certain key diseases, such as Campylobacter infection, have decreased significantly since the implementation of the disclosure program in Toronto. There has also been a significant trend in the reduction of operator noncompliance rates (Z = 32, p < .0001). Further analysis shows that the decrease in operator non-compliance is positively correlated with a decrease in retail foodborne illness (r = .73, p < .0001). These results suggest that the Food Premises Inspection and Disclosure Program is an effective intervention for reducing retail-acquired foodborne illness and decreasing operator noncompliance in the city of Toronto. Programs of this type may assist other local health units to achieve similar results.

  14. Buffalo, Toronto and Niagara Falls at night as seen from STS-60

    NASA Image and Video Library

    1994-02-09

    STS060-06-037 (3-11 Feb 1994) --- The city lights of Buffalo and Toronto outline the shores of the east end of Lake Erie and the west end of Lake Ontario in this night scene of western New York and southern Ontario. Between the two major cities are the cities of Niagara Falls, New York and Niagara Falls, Canada, which straddle the Niagara River just north of the actual falls. This photograph was taken with a special ASA-1600 film that is normally used for night-time photography of aurora, noctilucent clouds, biomass burning, and city lights.

  15. Towards a shared understanding: Perspectives from Toronto's first media forum for suicide prevention.

    PubMed

    Sinyor, Mark; Pirkis, Jane; Picard, André; McKeown, David; Vincent, Margaret; Cheung, Christian; Schaffer, Ayal; Fordham, Jan; Mishaiel, Rosie; Heisel, Marnin

    2016-10-20

    Media reporting on suicide may have harmful and/or protective effects on deaths by suicide, depending on the nature of the coverage. Canada's first forum on this important issue was held in Toronto on November 6, 2015. Participating in the forum were public health policy-makers, mental health and suicide prevention experts and senior media representatives. This commentary summarizes the content of the forum and highlights the need for ongoing collaboration between suicide prevention experts and media professionals aimed at safe and respectful reporting that maintains the public's need to be informed.

  16. Assessing Greenhouse Gas emissions in the Greater Toronto Area using atmospheric observations (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vogel, F. R.; Chan, E.; Huang, L.; Levin, I.; Worthy, D.

    2013-12-01

    Urban areas are said to be responsible for approximately 75% of anthropogenic Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) emissions while comprising only two percent of the land area [1]. This limited spatial expansion should facilitate a monitoring of anthropogenic GHGs from atmospheric observations. As major sources of emissions, cities also have a huge potential to drive emissions reductions. To effectively manage emissions, cities must however, first measure and report these publicly [2]. Modelling studies and measurements of CO2 from fossil fuel burning (FFCO2) in densely populated areas does, however, pose several challenges: Besides continuous in-situ observations, i.e. finding an adequate atmospheric transport model, a sufficiently fine-grained FFCO2 emission model and the proper background reference observations to distinguish the large-scale from the local/urban contributions to the observed FFCO2 concentration offsets ( ΔFFCO2) are required. Pilot studies which include the data from two 'sister sites*' in the vicinity of Toronto, Canada helped to derive flux estimates for Non-CO2 GHGs [3] and improve our understanding of urban FFCO2 emissions. Our 13CO2 observations reveal that the contribution of natural gas burning (mostly due to domestic heating) account for 80%×7% of FFCO2 emissions in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) during winter. Our 14CO2 observations in the GTA, furthermore, show that the local offset of CO2 (ΔCO2) between our two sister sites can be largely attributed to urban FFCO2 emissions. The seasonal cycle of the observed ΔFFCO2 in Toronto, combined with high-resolution atmospheric modeling, helps to independently assess the contribution from different emission sectors (transportation, primary energy and industry, domestic heating) as predicted by a dedicated city-scale emission inventory, which deviates from a UNFCCC-based inventory. [1] D. Dodman. 2009. Blaming cities for climate change? An analysis of urban greenhouse gas emissions inventories

  17. Buffalo, Toronto and Niagara Falls at night as seen from STS-60

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1994-01-01

    The city lights of Buffalo and Toronto outline the shores of the east and of Lake Erie and the west end of Lake Ontario in this night scene of western New York and southern Ontario. Between the two major cities are the cities of Niagara Falls, New York and Niagara Falls, Canada, which straddle the Niagara River just north of the actual falls. This photograph was taken with a special ASA 1600 film that is normally used for night-time photography of aurora, noctilucent clouds, biomass burning, and city lights.

  18. Government policies as a threat to health: findings from two Toronto community quality of life studies.

    PubMed

    Raphael, D; Phillips, S; Renwick, R; Sehdev, H

    2000-01-01

    Community members, service providers, and elected representatives in two Toronto communities were asked to identify community factors influencing the health of community members. Many of the identified barriers to health related to government policies and actions. Cutbacks in federal transfers to provinces and provincial cutbacks in funding for agencies, reductions in social assistance, ending of new social housing, and other policy changes were seen as negatively impacting the health of the community and its members. These perceptions were remarkably consistent with emerging findings concerning the determinants of health. Implications for public health practice were considered.

  19. Introduction to the special issue on personality assessment in medical settings.

    PubMed

    Porcelli, Piero; McGrath, Robert E

    2007-12-01

    This special issue of the Journal of Personality Assessment brings together 3 review articles and 5 research studies on personality assessment in medical settings that should help clinicians become more familiar with the current status of this field. In 1 review article, Sirri, Fabbri, Fava, and Sonino (2007/this issue) summarize evidence of a new approach to the assessment of psychological syndromes in somatizing patients based on the Diagnostic Criteria for Psychosomatic Research (Fava et al., 1995). The other reviews focus on 2 personality constructs widely used in investigations with medical patients. Kupper and Denollet (2007/this issue) review the Type D personality, whereas Lumley, Neely, and Burger (2007/this issue) provide an overview of alexithymia. Of the research articles, 2 also focus on alexithymia, specifically on the factor structure of the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (Bagby, Parker, & Taylor, 1994), which is the best-validated and most commonly used measure of alexithymia (Bagby, Taylor, Quilty, & Parker, 2007/this issue; Gignac, Palmer, & Stough, 2007/this issue). The other 3 research studies examine the relationship between specific personality dimensions (behavioral problems relevant to medicine, resiliency, and interpersonal sensitivity) and medical outcomes (adherence to treatment, coping with injury, and postsurgical sexual functioning) from medical samples of patients with HIV, spinal cord injury, and prostate carcinoma (Berry, Elliott, & Rivera, 2007/this issue; Cruess, Meagher, Antoni, & Millon, 2007/this issue; Siegel et al., 2007/this issue). Each article touches on the role person variables can play in the expression of medical problems.

  20. Emotional self-efficacy and alexithymia may affect compliance, renal function and quality of life in kidney transplant recipients: results from a preliminary cross-sectional study.

    PubMed

    Calia, Rosaria; Lai, Carlo; Aceto, Paola; Luciani, Massimiliano; Camardese, Giovanni; Lai, Silvia; Fantozzi, Chiara; Pietroni, Valentina; Salerno, Maria Paola; Spagnoletti, Gionata; Pedroso, Jose Alberto; Romagnoli, Jacopo; Citterio, Franco

    2015-04-01

    Recent studies show that alexithymia may influence compliance and quality of life in different clinical situations. The aim of this study was to evaluate the associations between alexithymia or emotional self-efficacy and compliance, quality of life (QoL) and renal function in renal transplant patients. Forty-three patients were enrolled during a follow-up visit (>3 months post-transplant) and were asked to complete three self-report questionnaires (TAS-20, SF-36, RESE) to answer the following items: "In the past four weeks, how many times did you fail to take your prescribed dose?" and "How would you rate your adherence levels from 0 to 100?" (visual analogue scale). Alexithymia was positively correlated with non-compliance (r=.314; p=.04), and negatively with QoL dimensions. Analysis of variance confirmed that patients with high levels of alexithymia reported a negative perception of their QoL (mental health: F(1,41)=7,6; p=.008) and lower levels of compliance (F(1,41)=12,5; p=.001) compared with patients with low levels of alexithymia. The self-efficacy in the management of negative emotions was significantly correlated (r=-.314; p=.04) with creatinine levels and positively with the QoL (mental health: r=.421; p=.005). The inability to recognize and express emotions, as well as the ability to manage negative emotions, may influence compliance and QoL of renal transplant patients. Focused psychological support could be useful in these patients in order to increase their compliance and QoL. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Toronto, Canada

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rofes, Eric

    2003-01-01

    This article introduces Karleen Pendleton Jimenez's book for young children, "Are You a Boy or a Girl?", represents a landmark achievement in queer literature in the early childhood classroom and deserves special attention by pre-school and primary teachers, academics working in early childhood education, and parents, particularly…

  2. Top 10 health care ethics challenges facing the public: views of Toronto bioethicists.

    PubMed

    Breslin, Jonathan M; MacRae, Susan K; Bell, Jennifer; Singer, Peter A

    2005-06-26

    There are numerous ethical challenges that can impact patients and families in the health care setting. This paper reports on the results of a study conducted with a panel of clinical bioethicists in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, the purpose of which was to identify the top ethical challenges facing patients and their families in health care. A modified Delphi study was conducted with twelve clinical bioethicist members of the Clinical Ethics Group of the University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics. The panel was asked the question, what do you think are the top ten ethical challenges that Canadians may face in health care? The panel was asked to rank the top ten ethical challenges throughout the Delphi process and consensus was reached after three rounds. The top challenge ranked by the group was disagreement between patients/families and health care professionals about treatment decisions. The second highest ranked challenge was waiting lists. The third ranked challenge was access to needed resources for the aged, chronically ill, and mentally ill. Although many of the challenges listed by the panel have received significant public attention, there has been very little attention paid to the top ranked challenge. We propose several steps that can be taken to help address this key challenge.

  3. Energy Solutions, Neo-Liberalism, and Social Diversity in Toronto, Canada

    PubMed Central

    Teelucksingh, Cheryl; Poland, Blake

    2011-01-01

    In response to the dominance of green capitalist discourses in Canada’s environmental movement, in this paper, we argue that strategies to improve energy policy must also provide mechanisms to address social conflicts and social disparities. Environmental justice is proposed as an alternative to mainstream environmentalism, one that seeks to address systemic social and spatial exclusion encountered by many racialized immigrants in Toronto as a result of neo-liberal and green capitalist municipal policy and that seeks to position marginalized communities as valued contributors to energy solutions. We examine Toronto-based municipal state initiatives aimed at reducing energy use while concurrently stimulating growth (specifically, green economy/green jobs and ‘smart growth’). By treating these as instruments of green capitalism, we illustrate the utility of environmental justice applied to energy-related problems and as a means to analyze stakeholders’ positions in the context of neo-liberalism and green capitalism, and as opening possibilities for resistance. PMID:21318023

  4. Modeling the intraurban variability of ambient traffic pollution in Toronto, Canada.

    PubMed

    Jerrett, M; Arain, M A; Kanaroglou, P; Beckerman, B; Crouse, D; Gilbert, N L; Brook, J R; Finkelstein, N; Finkelstein, M M

    2007-02-01

    The objective of this paper is to model determinants of intraurban variation in ambient concentrations of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in Toronto, Canada, with a land use regression (LUR) model. Although researchers have conducted similar studies in Europe, this work represents the first attempt in a North American setting to characterize variation in traffic pollution through the LUR method. NO2 samples were collected over 2 wk using duplicate two-sided Ogawa passive diffusion samplers at 95 locations across Toronto. Independent variables employed in subsequent regression models as predictors of NO2 were derived by the Arc 8 geographic information system (GIS). Some 85 indicators of land use, traffic, population density, and physical geography were tested. The final regression model yielded a coefficient of determination (R2) of .69. For the traffic variables, density of 24-h traffic counts and road measures display positive associations. For the land use variables, industrial land use and counts of dwellings within 2000 m of the monitoring location were positively associated with NO2. Locations up to 1500 m downwind of major expressways had elevated NO2 levels. The results suggest that a good predictive surface can be derived for North American cities with the LUR method. The predictive maps from the LUR appear to capture small-area variation in NO2 concentrations. These small-area variations in traffic pollution are probably important to the exposure experience of the population and may detect health effects that would have gone unnoticed with other exposure estimates.

  5. Characterizing the spatial distribution of ambient ultrafine particles in Toronto, Canada: A land use regression model.

    PubMed

    Weichenthal, Scott; Van Ryswyk, Keith; Goldstein, Alon; Shekarrizfard, Maryam; Hatzopoulou, Marianne

    2016-01-01

    Exposure models are needed to evaluate the chronic health effects of ambient ultrafine particles (<0.1 μm) (UFPs). We developed a land use regression model for ambient UFPs in Toronto, Canada using mobile monitoring data collected during summer/winter 2010-2011. In total, 405 road segments were included in the analysis. The final model explained 67% of the spatial variation in mean UFPs and included terms for the logarithm of distances to highways, major roads, the central business district, Pearson airport, and bus routes as well as variables for the number of on-street trees, parks, open space, and the length of bus routes within a 100 m buffer. There was no systematic difference between measured and predicted values when the model was evaluated in an external dataset, although the R(2) value decreased (R(2) = 50%). This model will be used to evaluate the chronic health effects of UFPs using population-based cohorts in the Toronto area. Crown Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Measurements of Atmospheric Ice Nuclei Concentrations at Two Canadian Sites: Downtown Toronto and Whistler, British Columbia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Corbin, J. C.; Leaitch, W. R.; Evans, G. J.; MacDonald, A.; Abbatt, J.

    2010-12-01

    The subset of atmospheric aerosol particles termed ice nuclei (IN) facilitate heterogeneous ice formation by lowering the energy barrier to ice formation, thus allowing ice clouds to form at temperatures above the homogeneous freezing threshold. Though ice plays a major role in initiating precipitation globally, the composition and distribution of IN in the atmosphere remains poorly understood. In order to investigate potential anthropogenic contributions to atmospheric ice nucleation, we measured IN concentrations on a major road in Toronto, ON, using the University of Toronto Continuous Flow Diffusion Chamber (UT-CFDC). The majority of measurements were conducted close to 95% relative humidity (RH) with respect to water, but full RH scans to conditions above supersaturation with respect to liquid water were also performed. Simultaneous measurements of aerosol size (APS, SMPS) and chemical composition (Aerosol Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometer, ATOFMS) allow us to investigate the relationship of IN to varying aerosol types. The number of IN observed was highly variable, ranging from 0-87/L. These urban data will be contrasted with similar data obtained in the coniferous forest of Whistler Mountain, BC. An intense biogenic secondary aerosol event observed at Whistler is used to estimate an upper limit for IN from organic aerosol formed from monoterpene oxidation.

  7. Education programs of the Institute for Optical Sciences at the University of Toronto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Istrate, Emanuel; Miller, R. J. Dwayne

    2009-06-01

    The Institute for Optical Sciences at the University of Toronto is an association of faculty members from various departments with research interests in optics. The institute has an extensive program of academic activities, for graduate and undergraduate students, as well as public outreach. For undergraduate students, we have a course on holography. We provide opportunities for students to gain optics experience through research by providing access to summer research positions and by enrolling them in the Research Skills Program, a summer course teaching the basic skills needed in research. For graduate students, we offer the Distinguished Visiting Scientists program, where world-renowned researchers come for a week, giving a series of 3 lectures and interacting closely with students and professors. The extended stay allows the program to run like a mini-course. We launched a Collaborative Master's Program in Optics, where students earn a degree from their home department, along with a certification of participation in the collaborative program. Physics, Chemistry and Engineering students attending together are exposed to the various points of view on optics, ranging from the pure to the applied sciences. For the general public, we offer the Stoicheff Lecture, a yearly public lecture on optics, organized with the Royal Canadian Institute. Our institute also initiated Science Rendezvous, a yearly public celebration of science across the Greater Toronto Area, with lab tours, demonstrations, and other opportunities to learn about science and those who are actively advancing it. This year, this event attracted over 20,000 attendees.

  8. Helmet use in BIXI cyclists in Toronto, Canada: an observational study

    PubMed Central

    Bonyun, Marissa; Camden, Andi; Macarthur, Colin

    2012-01-01

    Objective To investigate the use of helmets for cyclists choosing to use BIXI bikes in comparison to personal bike riders in the City of Toronto. Design Cross-sectional study design. Setting Cyclists were observed in Toronto, Canada. Participants Of the 6732 sample size, 306 cyclists on BIXI bikes and 6426 personal bike riders were observed. Outcome measure The outcome of interest was helmet use. Results Overall, 50.3% of cyclists wore helmets. The proportion of BIXI bike riders using helmets was significantly lower than the proportion of helmet users on personal bikes (20.9% vs 51.7%, respectively, p<0.0001). Conclusions Although the BIXI bike programme has provided an alternate means for Torontonians to use a bicycle, cyclists using BIXI bikes are much less likely to wear a helmet. Since the prevalence of helmet use in cyclists in general is already low, helmet use should be especially promoted in BIXI bike riders in order to promote a safe and healthy environment for cyclists. PMID:22710130

  9. An international comparison of cancer survival: Toronto, Ontario, and Detroit, Michigan, metropolitan areas.

    PubMed Central

    Gorey, K. M.; Holowaty, E. J.; Fehringer, G.; Laukkanen, E.; Moskowitz, A.; Webster, D. J.; Richter, N. L.

    1997-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: This study examined whether socioeconomic status has a differential effect on the survival of adults diagnosed with cancer in Canada and the United States. METHODS: The Ontario Cancer Registry and the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program provided a total of 58,202 and 76,055 population-based primary malignant cancer cases for Toronto, Ontario, and Detroit, Mich, respectively. Socioeconomic data for each person's residence at time of diagnosis were taken from population censuses. RESULTS: In the US cohort, there was a significant association between socioeconomic status and survival for 12 of the 15 most common cancer sites; in the Canadian cohort, there was no such association for 12 of the 15 sites. Among residents of low-income areas, persons in Toronto experienced a survival advantage for 13 of 15 cancer sites at 1- and 5-year follow-up. No such between-country differentials were observed in the middle- or high-income groups. CONCLUSIONS: The consistent pattern of a survival advantage in Canada observed across various cancer sites and follow-up periods suggests that Canada's more equitable access to preventive and therapeutic health care services is responsible for the difference. PMID:9240106

  10. Active Tuberculosis among Homeless Persons, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 1998–2007

    PubMed Central

    Rea, Elizabeth; McDermaid, Cameron; Stuart, Rebecca; Chambers, Catharine; Wang, Jun; Chan, Angie; Gardam, Michael; Jamieson, Frances; Yang, Jae; Hwang, Stephen W.

    2011-01-01

    While tuberculosis (TB) in Canadian cities is increasingly affecting foreign-born persons, homeless persons remain at high risk. To assess trends in TB, we studied all homeless persons in Toronto who had a diagnosis of active TB during 1998–2007. We compared Canada-born and foreign-born homeless persons and assessed changes over time. We identified 91 homeless persons with active TB; they typically had highly contagious, advanced disease, and 19% died within 12 months of diagnosis. The proportion of homeless persons who were foreign-born increased from 24% in 1998–2002 to 39% in 2003–2007. Among foreign-born homeless persons with TB, 56% of infections were caused by strains not known to circulate among homeless persons in Toronto. Only 2% of infections were resistant to first-line TB medications. The rise in foreign-born homeless persons with TB strains likely acquired overseas suggests that the risk for drug-resistant strains entering the homeless shelter system may be escalating. PMID:21392424

  11. Food purchasing and food insecurity among low-income families in Toronto.

    PubMed

    Dachner, Naomi; Ricciuto, Laurie; Kirkpatrick, Sharon I; Tarasuk, Valerie

    2010-01-01

    Factors underlying food-purchasing decisions were examined among a sample of low-income Toronto families. A cross-sectional survey was completed among 485 families residing in high-poverty Toronto neighbourhoods. Food-security status was assessed using the Household Food Security Survey Module. Open-ended questions were included to examine respondents' food selection and management practices and their purchasing decisions for six indicator foods. Logistic regression was used to examine associations between factors influencing food-purchasing decisions, perceived food adequacy, and severity of food insecurity. Twenty-two percent of families had been severely food insecure in the past 30 days. Respondents engaged in thrifty food shopping practices, such as frequenting discount supermarkets and budgeting carefully. Price was the most salient factor influencing food-purchasing decisions; the likelihood that families would report this factor increased with deteriorating food security. Preference, quality, and health considerations also guided food-purchasing decisions, but generally to a lesser extent as food insecurity increased. Household food supplies reflected constraints on food purchasing, and they diminished with increasing food insecurity. Despite their resourcefulness, low-income families struggle to feed their families. Dietitians have an important role to play as advocates for adequate income supports to promote food security and nutritional health.

  12. University of Toronto's dental school shows "new teeth": moving towards online instruction.

    PubMed

    Salajan, Florin D; Mount, Greg J

    2008-05-01

    This article presents the approach the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Toronto employed to modernize its methods of instruction by using online technologies. A small team of faculty, students, and content developers was assembled to work with individual faculty members to brainstorm and research ideas for innovative teaching practices in dental studies. The team was not content to simply post digital versions of the ubiquitous PowerPoint lectures in Blackboard, selected in 2006 by the University of Toronto as its sole platform for online course delivery, but rather set out to introduce interactivity with the course material. Consequently, a series of interactive applications was created, such as the virtual microscope in Oral Pathology, the 3D cavity preparations in Restorative Dentistry, and the Master Media Repository. During the summer of 2006, the Faculty of Dentistry made progress toward becoming one of the university's front-runners in online course innovation. The result of this collaboration between faculty members and the team was ten courses with interactive online presence, representing approximately 20 percent of the undergraduate curriculum. Since the summer of 2006, the Faculty of Dentistry has continued to pursue its goal of providing meaningful online instruction in all of its courses.

  13. The management of child abuse and neglect cases in schools: the Toronto model.

    PubMed

    McClare, G

    1983-01-01

    School staffs have a major role in the prevention, identification and referral of cases of child abuse and neglect. School administrators, teachers and school support staffs require knowledge about abuse and neglect, as well as a clear set of guidelines and procedures for dealing with it if they are to carry out these responsibilities effectively. The Toronto Board of Education has developed a program that has involved superintendents, principals, teachers, pupil personnel staff, caretakers, secretaries and community resources in an educational program oriented to the management of child abuse cases in their schools. The Board's Child Abuse Committee has developed a document which outlines employees' responsibilities under the legislation, provides assistance in the identification of child abuse and neglect cases, and outlines procedures for referral both internally and to the community. The document was used as the base for an extensive staff development program during the school year 1979-80, in which all of the system's 6,000 school based employees participated. The Toronto Board's Child Abuse Program incorporated the establishment of the position "Resource Person, Child Abuse" for the purpose of consultation with school staffs, as well as the ongoing provision of resource material and staff training. The paper outlines the development of the program, includes guidelines and procedures for school staffs, the legislation under which it operates, the content of the training program, and an evaluation of the program with suggestions for replication.

  14. Active tuberculosis among homeless persons, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 1998-2007.

    PubMed

    Khan, Kamran; Rea, Elizabeth; McDermaid, Cameron; Stuart, Rebecca; Chambers, Catharine; Wang, Jun; Chan, Angie; Gardam, Michael; Jamieson, Frances; Yang, Jae; Hwang, Stephen W

    2011-03-01

    While tuberculosis (TB) in Canadian cities is increasingly affecting foreign-born persons, homeless persons remain at high risk. To assess trends in TB, we studied all homeless persons in Toronto who had a diagnosis of active TB during 1998-2007. We compared Canada-born and foreign-born homeless persons and assessed changes over time. We identified 91 homeless persons with active TB; they typically had highly contagious, advanced disease, and 19% died within 12 months of diagnosis. The proportion of homeless persons who were foreign-born increased from 24% in 1998-2002 to 39% in 2003-2007. Among foreign-born homeless persons with TB, 56% of infections were caused by strains not known to circulate among homeless persons in Toronto. Only 2% of infections were resistant to first-line TB medications. The rise in foreign-born homeless persons with TB strains likely acquired overseas suggests that the risk for drug-resistant strains entering the homeless shelter system may be escalating.

  15. Deployment of attention to emotional pictures varies as a function of externally-oriented thinking: An eye tracking investigation.

    PubMed

    Wiebe, Alex; Kersting, Anette; Suslow, Thomas

    2017-06-01

    Alexithymia is a multidimensional personality construct including the components difficulties identifying feelings (DIF), difficulties describing feelings (DDF), and externally oriented thinking (EOT). Different features of alexithymia are thought to reflect specific deficits in the cognitive processing and regulation of emotions. The aim of the present study was to examine for the first time patterns of deployment of attention as a function of alexithymia components in healthy persons by using eye-tracking technology. It was assumed that EOT is linked to avoidance of negative images. 99 healthy adults viewed freely pictures consisting of anxiety-related, depression-related, positive, and neutral images while gaze behavior was registered. Alexithymia was assessed by the 20-Item Toronto Alexithymia Scale. Measures of anxiety, depression, and (visual-perceptual) intelligence were also administered. A main effect of emotion condition on dwell times was observed. Viewing time was lowest for neutral images, longer for depression-related and happy images, and longest for anxiety-related images. Gender and EOT had significant effects on dwell times. EOT correlated negatively with dwell time on depression-related (but not anxiety-related) images. There were no correlations of dwell times with depression, trait anxiety, intelligence, DIF, or DDF. Alexithymia was assessed exclusively by self-report. Our results show that EOT but not DIF or DDF influences attention deployment to simultaneously presented emotional pictures. EOT may reduce attention allocation to dysphoric information. This attentional characteristic of EOT individuals might have mood protecting effects but also detrimental impacts on social relationships and coping competencies. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. An annotated chronology of the history of AIDS in Toronto: the first five years, 1981-1986.

    PubMed

    Robertson, Mark L

    2005-01-01

    The purpose of this annotated chronology is to help provide a framework for research into the history of the first five years of the AIDS epidemic in Canada but especially as it unfolded in Toronto, Canada. The chronological entries can be used to identify the order and relationship of particular themes, while the sources listed in the chronology can be used as points of reference for further investigations. This chronology is primarily derived from reports in key newspapers based in the Toronto region. Each chronological entry lists the sources which reported on the particular event.

  17. Realizing Partnership Potential: A Report on a Formal Collaboration between a Teaching and Learning Centre and Libraries at the University of Toronto

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bolan, John; Bellamy, Patricia; Rolheiser, Carol; Szurmak, Joanna; Vine, Rita

    2015-01-01

    In 2010, the University of Toronto's Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation (CTSI) and University of Toronto Libraries (UTL) jointly launched Partnering for Academic Student Success (PASS), a partnership to foster new opportunities for collaboration between academic librarians and those involved in developing excellence in university…

  18. Investigation of facial emotion recognition, alexithymia, and levels of anxiety and depression in patients with somatic symptoms and related disorders

    PubMed Central

    Öztürk, Ahmet; Kiliç, Alperen; Deveci, Erdem; Kirpinar, İsmet

    2016-01-01

    Background The concept of facial emotion recognition is well established in various neuropsychiatric disorders. Although emotional disturbances are strongly associated with somatoform disorders, there are a restricted number of studies that have investigated facial emotion recognition in somatoform disorders. Furthermore, there have been no studies that have regarded this issue using the new diagnostic criteria for somatoform disorders as somatic symptoms and related disorders (SSD). In this study, we aimed to compare the factors of facial emotion recognition between patients with SSD and age- and sex-matched healthy controls (HC) and to retest and investigate the factors of facial emotion recognition using the new criteria for SSD. Patients and methods After applying the inclusion and exclusion criteria, 54 patients who were diagnosed with SSD according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) criteria and 46 age- and sex-matched HC were selected to participate in the present study. Facial emotion recognition, alexithymia, and the status of anxiety and depression were compared between the groups. Results Patients with SSD had significantly decreased scores of facial emotion for fear faces, disgust faces, and neutral faces compared with age- and sex-matched HC (t=−2.88, P=0.005; t=−2.86, P=0.005; and t=−2.56, P=0.009, respectively). After eliminating the effects of alexithymia and depressive and anxious states, the groups were found to be similar in terms of their responses to facial emotion and mean reaction time to facial emotions. Discussion Although there have been limited numbers of studies that have examined the recognition of facial emotion in patients with somatoform disorders, our study is the first to investigate facial recognition in patients with SSD diagnosed according to the DSM-5 criteria. Recognition of facial emotion was found to be disturbed in patients with SSD. However, our findings suggest that

  19. Using FTIR measurements of stratospheric composition to identify midlatitude polar vortex intrusions over Toronto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whaley, C.; Strong, K.; Adams, C.; Bourassa, A. E.; Daffer, W. H.; Degenstein, D. A.; Fast, H.; Fogal, P. F.; Manney, G. L.; Mittermeier, R. L.; Pavlovic, B.; Wiacek, A.

    2013-11-01

    Using 11 years of trace gas measurements made at the University of Toronto Atmospheric Observatory (43.66°N, 79.40°W) and Environment Canada's Centre for Atmospheric Research Experiments (44.23°N, 79.78°W), along with derived meteorological products, we identify a number of polar intrusion events, which are excursions of the polar vortex or filaments from the polar vortex extending down to midlatitudes. These events are characterized by enhanced stratospheric columns (12-50 km) of hydrogen fluoride (HF), by diminished stratospheric columns of nitrous oxide (N2O), and by a scaled potential vorticity above 1.2 × 10-4s-1. The events comprise 16%of winter/spring (November to April inclusive) Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopic measurements from January 2002 to March 2013, and we find at least two events per year. The events are corroborated by Modèle Isentrope du transport Méso-échelle de l'Ozone Stratosphérique par Advection, Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications potential vorticity maps, and Global Modeling Initiative N2O maps. During polar intrusion events, the stratospheric ozone (O3) columns over Toronto are usually greater than when there is no event. Our O3 measurements agree with the Optical Spectrograph and Infrared Imaging System satellite instrument and are further verified with the Earth Probe Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer and Ozone Monitoring Instrument satellite observations. We find six cases out of 53 for which chemical O3depletion within the polar vortex led to a reduction in stratospheric O3 columns over Toronto. We have thus identified a dynamical cause for most of the winter/spring variability of stratospheric trace gas columns observed at our midlatitude site. While there have been a number of prior polar intrusion studies, this is the first study to report in the context of 11 years of ground-based FTIR column measurements, providing insight into the frequency of midlatitude polar vortex intrusions

  20. Outcome of pulmonary tuberculosis treatment in the tertiary care setting -- Toronto 1992/93

    PubMed Central

    Wobeser, W; Yuan, L; Naus, M

    1999-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Completion of treatment of active cases of tuberculosis (TB) is the most important priority of TB control programs. This study was carried out to assess treatment completion for active cases of pulmonary TB in Toronto. METHODS: Consecutive cases of culture-proven pulmonary TB were obtained from the microbiology laboratories of 5 university-affiliated tertiary care centres in Toronto in 1992/93. A standard data-collection tool was used to abstract information from inpatient and outpatient charts. For patients who were transferred to other treatment centres or lost to follow-up, the local health unit was contacted for information about treatment completion. If incomplete information was obtained from these sources, data from the provincial Reportable Disease Information System were also reviewed. The main outcome analysed was treatment outcome, with cases classified as completed (record of treatment completion noted), transferred (patient transferred to another centre but no treatment results available), defaulted (record of defaulting in patient chart but no record of treatment completion elsewhere, or patient still receiving treatment more than 15 months after diagnosis) or dead (patient died before treatment completion). RESULTS: Of the 145 patients 84 (58%) completed treatment, 25 (17%) died, 22 (15%) defaulted and 14 (10%) were transferred. The corresponding values for the 22 patients with HIV coinfection were 6 (27%), 5 (23%), 8 (36%) and 3 (14%). Independent predictors of failure to complete treatment were injection drug use (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 5.7, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.5 to 22.0), HIV infection (adjusted OR 4.6, 95% CI 1.4 to 14.7) and adverse drug reaction (adjusted OR 2.9, 95% CI 1.1 to 7.9). Independent predictors of death included age more than 50 years (adjusted OR 16.7, 95% CI 2.6 to 105.1), HIV infection (adjusted OR 16.1, 95% CI 3.9 to 66.4), immunosuppressive therapy (adjusted OR 8.0, 95% CI 1.9 to 34.4) and infection with

  1. The prevalence and risks of early childhood caries (ECC) in Toronto, Canada.

    PubMed

    Al-Jewair, Thikriat S; Leake, James L

    2010-10-14

    To determine the prevalence and risks of early childhood caries (ECC) among children less than 71 months of age in Toronto, Canada, and to evaluate the association between parental/caregiver depression and ECC. A secondary analysis of data previously collected by the Toronto Public Health as part of the 2003 Toronto Perinatal and Child Health Survey was performed. The 90-item survey was conducted over the telephone to 1,000 families with children from zero years (birth) to six years of age. Parents/caregivers were asked about factors related to the development and health of their children. For this study, only children younger than six years of age (less than 71 months) were included (n=833). The primary outcome of interest was self-reported and measured by the response to the question of whether a physician/dentist had ever told the parent/caregiver his/her child had ECC. The prevalence of ECC was 4.7 percent (37 of 791 children). The child's age, his/her history of dental visits, teeth brushing, the use of fluoridated toothpaste, the parent's/caregiver's depressive tendencies, the language spoken at home, and the household annual income were all significant in the bivariate analysis. Multiple logistic regression identified four factors associated with ECC: the child's age (being three years of age or older), having at least one parent/caregiver with depression, not speaking English at home, and having an annual household income less than $40,000 in Canadian dollars (CAD). While a child's age, home language, and household income are known risks for ECC, the finding that parental/caregiver depression may be related to ECC is new. Multiple risk factors are involved in the development of early childhood caries. Of particular importance are demographic (e.g., child's age), social (e.g., annual household income), and psychosocial factors (e.g., parental/caregiver depression) that are indirectly linked to ECC. More attention needs to be placed on understanding the role

  2. Tapping into the "Standing-Reserve": A Comparative Analysis of Workers' Training Programmes in Kolkata and Toronto

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maitra, Saikat; Maitra, Srabani

    2015-01-01

    This paper examines employment-related training programmes offered by state funded agencies and multinational corporations in Toronto (Canada) and Kolkata (India). In recent years both cities have witnessed a rise in the service sector industries aligned with global regimes of flexible work and the consequent reinvention of a worker subject that…

  3. Contestation and Conflict: The University of Toronto Student Yearbook "Torontonensis" as an "Appalling Sahara", 1890-1914

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Panayotidis, E. Lisa; Stortz, Paul

    2010-01-01

    In 1898, students at the University of Toronto founded "Torontonensis", the university's first yearbook. Fashioned as a remembrance of university, from its inception the yearbook was fraught with conflict and contestation particularly around how male students were represented and how their college experiences were made, and not made,…

  4. Homeworking: Home Office or Home Sweatshop? Report on Current Conditions of Homeworkers in Toronto's Garment Industry. NALL Working Paper.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ng, Roxana; Wong, Renita Yuk-Lin; Choi, Angela

    The current conditions of home workers in the garment industry in Toronto, Canada, were examined through in-depth telephone interviews with 30 Chinese-speaking immigrant women who were employed as home workers in 1999. The paper dicusses the formal training and informal learning experiences of immigrant woman who are garment workers. A comparison…

  5. 'By Just What Procedure Am I To Be Guillotined?': Academic Freedom in the Toronto Forestry Faculty between the Wars.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kuhlberg, Mark

    2002-01-01

    Focuses on the University of Toronto (Canada) forestry faculty; university president Robert Falconer's firing of W. N. Millar, an outspoken professor; and the politically sensitive university climate during early 20th century. Dissention over Millar's firing brought focus on limited academic freedom of speech and caused further restriction of…

  6. Educational Experiences of Immigrant Students from the Former Soviet Union: A Case Study of an Ethnic School in Toronto

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Asanova, Jazira

    2005-01-01

    This paper explores the academic and psychosocial outcomes of immigrant students from the former Soviet Union (FSU) in an ethnic school in Toronto. Based on interviews with the principal, teachers, students and parents, together with questionnaire responses, the paper describes school programmes and practices that contribute to FSU immigrant…

  7. Seniors in Action: A Case Study of Participation at the University of Toronto by the Senior Alumni Association.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gleberzon, William

    Objectives, administrative organization, and activities of the Senior Alumni Association of the University of Toronto, which consists of members at least 60 years old, are described. The programs of the association are self-sustaining and generated from fees charged for its continuing education courses. Surplus funds generated by these fees are…

  8. 'By Just What Procedure Am I To Be Guillotined?': Academic Freedom in the Toronto Forestry Faculty between the Wars.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kuhlberg, Mark

    2002-01-01

    Focuses on the University of Toronto (Canada) forestry faculty; university president Robert Falconer's firing of W. N. Millar, an outspoken professor; and the politically sensitive university climate during early 20th century. Dissention over Millar's firing brought focus on limited academic freedom of speech and caused further restriction of…

  9. Breaking the Myth of Flexible Work: Contingent Work in Toronto. A Study Conducted by the Contingent Workers Project.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    de Wolff, Alice

    A survey of 205 people, 4 group interviews with approximately 30 people, and 6 design and analysis meetings involving approximately 40 people were conducted in a 1999 participatory study of contingent workers in Toronto. (Contingent work was defined to be lower-waged forms of non-permanent work arrangements that include contracting, employment…

  10. Boundary Spanners and Advocacy Leaders: Black Educators and Race Equality Work in Toronto and London, 1968-1995

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Lauri

    2016-01-01

    This comparative study examines the historical development of race equality efforts during the 1970s and 1980s in two global cities--Toronto and London--and the role of African Canadian and Black British educators in longstanding school-community partnerships. I characterize the leadership stance of Black educators as boundary spanners and…

  11. Boundary Spanners and Advocacy Leaders: Black Educators and Race Equality Work in Toronto and London, 1968-1995

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Lauri

    2016-01-01

    This comparative study examines the historical development of race equality efforts during the 1970s and 1980s in two global cities--Toronto and London--and the role of African Canadian and Black British educators in longstanding school-community partnerships. I characterize the leadership stance of Black educators as boundary spanners and…

  12. Tapping into the "Standing-Reserve": A Comparative Analysis of Workers' Training Programmes in Kolkata and Toronto

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maitra, Saikat; Maitra, Srabani

    2015-01-01

    This paper examines employment-related training programmes offered by state funded agencies and multinational corporations in Toronto (Canada) and Kolkata (India). In recent years both cities have witnessed a rise in the service sector industries aligned with global regimes of flexible work and the consequent reinvention of a worker subject that…

  13. Local School Teams at the Toronto Board: A Five-Year Follow-Up Study. Research Services No. 216.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cole, Ester; Brown, Robert S.

    This follow-up study examined the goals, roles, and functions of the Toronto Board of Education's local school teams (LSTs), which are designed to support teachers in providing appropriate interventions for students in need of assistance in regular and special education settings. The 1990 and 1995 study used similar questionnaires and…

  14. "Fear of Stigmatisation": Black Canadian Youths' Reactions to the Implementation of a Black-Focused School in Toronto

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gordon, Megan K.; Zinga, Dawn M.

    2012-01-01

    The black-focused school introduced by the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) in 2009 has been controversial since the community consultations were conducted. Although media representations and Dei (1996, 2006) provide insight into what Torontonians' reactions are to the proposed black-focused school, the reactions of black youth in the Greater…

  15. Academic Achievement, Academic Self-Concept, and Academic Motivation of Immigrant Adolescents in the Greater Toronto Area Secondary Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Areepattamannil, Shaljan; Freeman, John G.

    2008-01-01

    The study examined the self-reported academic achievement, academic self-concept, and academic motivation of 573 immigrant and nonimmigrant adolescents in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) secondary schools. Descriptive Discriminant Analyses indicated that the immigrant adolescents had higher performance in mathematics, higher math and school…

  16. Effects of an expressive writing intervention on cancer-related distress in Danish breast cancer survivors - results from a nationwide randomized clinical trial.

    PubMed

    Jensen-Johansen, M B; Christensen, S; Valdimarsdottir, H; Zakowski, S; Jensen, A B; Bovbjerg, D H; Zachariae, R

    2013-07-01

    To examine the effects of an expressive writing intervention (EWI) on cancer-related distress, depressive symptoms, and mood in women treated for early stage breast cancer. A nationwide sample of 507 Danish women who had recently completed treatment for primary breast cancer were randomly assigned to three 20-min home-based writing exercises, one week apart, focusing on either emotional disclosure (EWI group) or a non-emotional topic (control group). Cancer-related distress [Impact of Event Scale (IES)], depressive symptoms (Beck Depression Inventory-Short Form), and negative (37-item Profile of Moods State) and positive mood (Passive Positive Mood Scale) were assessed at baseline and at 3 and 9 months post-intervention. Choice of writing topic (cancer versus other), alexithymia (20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale), and social constraints (Social Constraints Scale) were included as possible moderators. Significant (p<0.01) group differences in mood change from before to immediately after each session suggested successful manipulation. Reductions over time in psychological symptoms were seen in both groups (p<0.05), but no time × group interactions were found. Choice of writing topic moderated effects on IES, with women writing about other themes showing greater reductions in cancer-related avoidance than women writing about their cancer. Fewer depressive symptoms and higher levels of positive mood were seen 3 months post-intervention in women writing about their cancer when compared with the control group. Difficulties describing feelings and externally oriented thinking (20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale) moderated effects on positive mood and IES-total, while no moderating effects were found of social constraints. In concordance with the majority of previous results with cancer patients, no main effects of EWI were found for cancer-related distress, depressive symptoms, and mood. Moderator analyses suggested that choice of writing topic and ability to process

  17. Bringing hope and change: a study of youth probation officers in Toronto.

    PubMed

    Umamaheswar, Janani

    2013-09-01

    Although youth probation (in some countries described as youth justice or youth offending work) has been widely discussed in older and more recent criminological literature, less attention has been paid to youth probation officers' accounts of their attitudes and strategies. In this study, the author uses in-depth interviews with 20 youth probation officers in Toronto, examining officers' attitudes toward the youth they work with and how these attitudes are reflected in the strategies that the officers use to achieve their professional goals. Findings reveal that the officers balance their authoritative and supportive roles not only to hold youth accountable, to encourage them to assert control over their lives, and to maintain optimism about the possibility of a nondeviant life, but also to assist the youth in attaining the means and resources necessary to make positive changes. These findings are interpreted within the framework of Canadian youth justice legislation as well as the broader desistance literature.

  18. Experiences of and responses to HIV among African and Caribbean communities in Toronto, Canada.

    PubMed

    Gardezi, F; Calzavara, L; Husbands, W; Tharao, W; Lawson, E; Myers, T; Pancham, A; George, C; Remis, R; Willms, D; McGee, F; Adebajo, S

    2008-07-01

    African and Caribbean communities in Canada and other developed countries are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS. This qualitative study of African and Caribbean communities in Toronto sought to understand HIV-related stigma, discrimination, denial and fear, and the effects of multiple intersecting factors that influence responses to the disease, prevention practices and access to treatment and support services. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 30 HIV-positive men and women and focus groups were conducted with 74 men and women whose HIV status was negative or unknown. We identified a range of issues faced by African and Caribbean people that may increase the risk for HIV infection, create obstacles to testing and treatment and lead to isolation of HIV-positive people. Our findings suggest the need for greater sensitivity and knowledge on the part of healthcare providers; more culturally specific support services; community development; greater community awareness; and expanded efforts to tackle housing, poverty, racism and settlement issues.

  19. Weather sensitivity for zoo visitation in Toronto, Canada: a quantitative analysis of historical data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hewer, Micah J.; Gough, William A.

    2016-11-01

    Based on a case study of the Toronto Zoo (Canada), multivariate regression analysis, involving both climatic and social variables, was employed to assess the relationship between daily weather and visitation. Zoo visitation was most sensitive to weather variability during the shoulder season, followed by the off-season and, then, the peak season. Temperature was the most influential weather variable in relation to zoo visitation, followed by precipitation and, then, wind speed. The intensity and direction of the social and climatic variables varied between seasons. Temperatures exceeding 26 °C during the shoulder season and 28 °C during the peak season suggested a behavioural threshold associated with zoo visitation, with conditions becoming too warm for certain segments of the zoo visitor market, causing visitor numbers to decline. Even light amounts of precipitation caused average visitor numbers to decline by nearly 50 %. Increasing wind speeds also demonstrated a negative influence on zoo visitation.

  20. Tensions in providing services to South Asian victims of wife abuse in Toronto.

    PubMed

    Agnew, V

    1998-04-01

    This article examines the tensions in providing services to South Asian victims of wife abuse in Toronto, Canada. It focuses on major community-based organizations of South Asian women, particularly on the South Asian Family Support Services. These community-based organizations provide services to non-English speaking, working-class immigrant women. This study found out that the dependency towards state funds for their programs necessitates them to modify their feminist agendas and restrain their criticisms of patriarchal society. Yet, these organizations have made no attempts in looking for other ways to operate without state funding. Community-based groups have to balance the immediate needs of the women they serve against their long-term feminist goals of reducing violence by men and destabilizing the patriarchal state. Although they give importance to securing access to social services for these women, supporting them does little to reveal the systematic power relations behind wife abuse.

  1. Current bicycle helmet ownership, use and related factors among school-aged children in metropolitan Toronto.

    PubMed

    Hu, X; Wesson, D E; Parkin, P C; Chipman, M L; Spence, L J

    1994-01-01

    A random digit dialing telephone survey was conducted to examine bicycle helmet ownership, use and related factors among 707 children in Metropolitan Toronto. The ownership rate was 22% and use rate 12%. Although ownership was similarly distributed by age and sex, helmet use varied considerably across age strata among boys; only about one fifth of teenaged boys who owned a helmet wore it regularly. Both parental education and annual family income were significantly associated with ownership and use. Past bicycle injuries, although increasing helmet ownership, had no positive impact on use. The strength of a parental role model was reflected in the fact that when parents owned and used a helmet, 93% of their children had a helmet and more than 80% of them always wore it. Since about half of parents are cyclists themselves, helmet promotion activities are likely to maximize their effect if they target both parents and children.

  2. Evaluation of constricted affect in chronic pain: an attempt using the Toronto Alexythymia Scale.

    PubMed

    Millard, R W; Kinsler, B L

    1992-09-01

    The Toronto Alexythymia Scale (TAS) was applied as a potential measure of constricted affect among a sample of patients with chronic, non-malignant pain (n = 195). As previously demonstrated with non-clinical samples, the scale was found to possess moderate reliability with two principal internal factors. These factors seemed to reflect social introversion and a lack of proneness to fantasy. There was a moderate, negative association between them. The domain sampled by the TAS was apparently heterogeneous, with total scores showing no relationship to reported disability or pain intensity and a low relationship to reported distress. These results suggest potential limitations of the TAS and the alexythymia construct as means for evaluating constricted affect that accompanies chronic pain.

  3. Media portrayal of nurses' perspectives and concerns in the SARS crisis in Toronto.

    PubMed

    Hall, Linda McGillis; Angus, Jan; Peter, Elizabeth; O'Brien-Pallas, Linda; Wynn, Francine; Donner, Gail

    2003-01-01

    To describe nursing work life issues as portrayed in the media during the SARS crisis in Toronto. Content analysis of local and national news media documents in Canada. Media articles were sorted and classified by topic, and themes were identified. Themes were: (a) changing schemas of nursing practice: the new normal; (b) barriers to relational nursing work; (c) work life concerns: retention and recruitment; (d) nursing virtue: nurses as heroes and professionals; (e) paradoxical responses to nurses from the community; and (f) leadership in nursing during the SARS crisis. This analysis enhanced understanding of how nurses are portrayed in the media, but it indicated the significance of quality of work life and issues about work-home life. Some descriptions of the care and caring of nurses have made nursing seem like an important and influential profession to potential applicants who might previously have dismissed nursing as a career.

  4. Designing for "the little convalescents": children's hospitals in Toronto and Montreal, 1875-2006.

    PubMed

    Adams, Annmarie; Theodore, David

    2002-01-01

    This paper explores more than a century of changing ideas about the health of Canadian children through the architecture of pediatric hospitals in Montreal and Toronto. As a unique source in the history of medicine, hospital architecture reveals three distinct phases in the construction of children as patients. Early 20th-century children's hospitals remained bastions of older spatial attitudes towards health. The postwar hospital was self-consciously modern, with an arrangement more scientific and institutional than its predecessor. Through reference to other typologies, the postmodern hospital marks a curious return to the earlier attitude that children's health is a family affair. Is the hospital a home for children or an institution for science?

  5. A comprehensive evaluation of the 1993 city of Toronto smoking by-laws.

    PubMed

    Ying, J Y; Abernathy, T; Choi, B C

    1995-01-01

    Effective January 1, 1993, the City of Toronto's two smoking by-laws--one regarding workplaces and another regarding public places--were replaced and amended respectively. Smoking is now prohibited in all workplaces (unless in a designated smoking area), and in at least 50% of eating areas in restaurants. Through a workplace telephone survey and restaurant inspection records, the implementation and enforcement of the by-laws were evaluated. Eighty-three per cent of the workplaces were completely smoke-free and 7% had restricted smoking to a designated area. A majority (76%) of the managers and owners were in favour of regulatory controls on smoking in workplaces. Eighty-six per cent of restaurants complied with requirements for a minimum 50% smoke-free area and signage, and nearly 4% of the sampled restaurants banned smoking throughout the entire premises even though this is not currently required.

  6. Weather sensitivity for zoo visitation in Toronto, Canada: a quantitative analysis of historical data.

    PubMed

    Hewer, Micah J; Gough, William A

    2016-11-01

    Based on a case study of the Toronto Zoo (Canada), multivariate regression analysis, involving both climatic and social variables, was employed to assess the relationship between daily weather and visitation. Zoo visitation was most sensitive to weather variability during the shoulder season, followed by the off-season and, then, the peak season. Temperature was the most influential weather variable in relation to zoo visitation, followed by precipitation and, then, wind speed. The intensity and direction of the social and climatic variables varied between seasons. Temperatures exceeding 26 °C during the shoulder season and 28 °C during the peak season suggested a behavioural threshold associated with zoo visitation, with conditions becoming too warm for certain segments of the zoo visitor market, causing visitor numbers to decline. Even light amounts of precipitation caused average visitor numbers to decline by nearly 50 %. Increasing wind speeds also demonstrated a negative influence on zoo visitation.

  7. Energy effects of heat-island reduction strategies in Toronto,Canada

    SciTech Connect

    Akbari, Hashem; Konopacki, Steven

    2003-08-26

    The effect of heat-island reduction (HIR) strategies on annual energy savings and peak-power avoidance of the building sector of the Greater Toronto Area is calculated, using an hourly building energy simulation model. Results show that ratepayers could realize potential annual energy savings of over $11M from the effects of HIR strategies. The residential sector accounts for over half (59%) of the total savings, offices 13% and retail stores 28%. Savings from cool roofs are about 20%, shade trees 30%, wind shielding of trees 37%, and ambient cooling by trees and reflective surfaces 12%. These results are preliminary and highly sensitive to the relative price of gas and electricity. Potential annual electricity savings are estimated at about 150GWh and potential peak-power avoidance at 250MW.

  8. Exploring opportunities for healthy aging among older persons with a history of homelessness in Toronto, Canada.

    PubMed

    Waldbrook, Natalie

    2015-03-01

    Within the areas of literature on both population aging and health and homelessness, little attention has been given to the opportunities and barriers to healthy aging among older persons with a history of homelessness. Set in the context of inner-city Toronto, Canada, this article reports on the findings from qualitative interviews with 29 formerly homeless older persons. The findings illustrate participants' experiences of positive health change since moving into a stable housing environment and the aspects of housing they perceive to have improved their health and wellbeing. The qualitative findings also draw attention to the ongoing barriers to healthy aging that can be experienced among older persons with a history of homelessness. Overall, this study draws on the lived experiences of formerly homeless older persons to offer a better understanding of the long-term effects of homelessness on health, wellbeing, and aging.

  9. Sources of personal exposure to fine particles in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

    SciTech Connect

    David Kim; Andrea Sass-Kortsak; James T. Purdham; Robert E. Dales; Jeffrey R. Brook

    2005-08-01

    Individuals are exposed to particulate matter from both indoor and outdoor sources. The aim of this study was to compare the relative contributions of three sources of personal exposure to fine particles (PM2.5) by using chemical tracers. The study design incorporated repeated 24-hr personal exposure measurements of air pollution from 28 cardiac-compromised residents of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Each study participant wore the Rupprecht & Patashnick ChemPass Personal Sampling System 1 day a week for a maximum of 10 weeks. During their individual exposure measurement days the subjects reported to have spent an average of 89% of their time indoors. Particle phase elemental carbon, sulfate, and calcium personal exposure data were used in a mixed-effects model as tracers for outdoor PM2.5 from traffic-related combustion, regional, and local crustal materials, respectively. These three sources were found to contribute 13% {+-} 10%, 17% {+-}16%, and 7% {+-} 6% of PM2.5 exposures. The remaining fraction of the personal PM2.5 is hypothesized to be predominantly related to indoor sources. For comparison, central site outdoor PM2.5 measurements for the same dates as personal measurements were used to construct a receptor model using the same three tracers. In this case, traffic-related combustion, regional, and local crustal materials were found to contribute 19% {+-} 17%, 52% {+-} 22%, and 10% {+-} 7%, respectively. The results indicate that the three outdoor PM2.5 sources considered are statistically significant contributors to personal exposure to PM2.5. The results also suggest that among the Toronto subjects, who spent a considerable amount of time indoors, exposure to outdoor PM2.5 includes a greater relative contribution from combustion sources compared with outdoor PM2.5 measurements where regional sources are the dominant contributor. 56 refs., 3 figs., 6 tabs.

  10. Neighborhood settings, types of social capital and depression among immigrants in Toronto.

    PubMed

    Daoud, Nihaya; Haque, Nasim; Gao, Meiyin; Nisenbaum, Rosane; Muntaner, Carles; O'Campo, Patricia

    2016-04-01

    Few studies consider the associations between neighborhood social capital and immigrant's mental health. We examined associations between bonding, bridging and linking social capital and depression among immigrants in Toronto neighborhoods. We used data on immigrants from the neighborhood effects on health and well-being (NEHW) study, conducted in 47 randomly selected greater Toronto area neighborhoods (sample = 916), and a study of one low-income, immigrant receiving neighborhood (IRN) (sample = 600). We conducted logistic regression models for depression (Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale, CES-D) and social capital types: bonding (social cohesion and informal social control), bridging (group membership) and linking (engagement in political activities), while adjusting for different covariates. The prevalence of depression was 22.9 % in IRN and 21.4 % in NEHW. The associations between social capital types and depression differed in each sample. Lower social cohesion (bonding) was associated with higher depression in NEHW only. Lower linking social capital (never participated in political activities) was associated with lower depression in IRN only. These associations were consistent after adjustment for different covariates. Results suggest that social cohesion might have a protective effect from depression among immigrants in NEHW. In IRN, lower linking social capital associated with lower depression might reflect opposite direction association. Bridging social capital was not associated with depression in either sample, indicating that current community building might be insufficient to impact depression. Different pathways might explain how depression among immigrants is impacted by social capital types operating in different neighborhood settings; this could be examined in future longitudinal studies.

  11. Obstetric risks and outcomes of refugee women at a single centre in Toronto.

    PubMed

    Kandasamy, Tharani; Cherniak, Rebecca; Shah, Rajiv; Yudin, Mark H; Spitzer, Rachel

    2014-04-01

    Women who are refugees during pregnancy may be exposed to homelessness, poor nutrition, and limited access to health care, yet the pregnancy outcomes of this vulnerable population have not been systematically evaluated. We undertook a study to determine the risk of adverse obstetric and perinatal outcomes among refugee women in Toronto. Using a retrospective cohort design, we examined pregnancy outcomes for refugee and non-refugee women delivering at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, between January 1, 2008, and December 31, 2010. The primary outcome measures were preterm delivery (< 37 weeks' gestational age), low birth weight (< 2500 g), and delivery by Caesarean section. Multiparous refugee women had a significantly higher rate of delivery by Caesarean section (36.4%), and a 1.5-fold increase in rate of low birth weight infants when compared with non-refugee women. In subgroup analysis by region of origin, women from Sub-Saharan Africa had significantly higher rates of low birth weight infants and Caesarean section than non-refugee control subjects. Further, compared with non-refugee control subjects, refugee women had significantly increased rates of prior Caesarean section, HIV-positive status, homelessness, social isolation, and delays in accessing prenatal care. Refugee women constitute a higher-risk population with increased rates of adverse obstetric and perinatal outcomes. These findings provide preliminary data to guide targeted public health interventions towards meeting the needs for obstetric care of this vulnerable population. Recent changes to the Interim Federal Health Program have highlighted the importance of identifying and diminishing disparities in health outcomes between refugee and non-refugee populations.

  12. Mechanical circulatory support with the ABIOMED BVS 5000: The Toronto General Hospital experience

    PubMed Central

    Lad, Vidyadhar; Elhenawy, Abdelsalam; Harwood, Steve; MacIver, Jane; Badiwala, Mitesh V; Vallelonga, Mark; Yau, Terrence M; Cusimano, Robert J; Delgado, Diego H; Ross, Heather J; Rao, Vivek

    2010-01-01

    BACKGROUND Acute hemodynamic collapse resulting in cardiogenic shock and impending end-organ failure is usually associated with certain death. The introduction of short-term mechanical circulatory support (MCS) devices offers potential therapy to these critically ill patients. The BVS 5000 device (ABIOMED Inc, USA) is widely used in the United States, but rarely in Canada, where device reimbursement remains a barrier. OBJECTIVE To present the Toronto General Hospital’s (Toronto, Ontario) initial five-year experience with this device to highlight the indications for use, common complications and overall success rates. METHODS AND RESULTS The institutional MCS database from 2001 to 2006 was reviewed, and 18 patients who received 30 devices in a variety of configurations were identified. The most common support configuration consisted of biventricular support (n=12), followed by isolated left ventricular support (n=4) and isolated right ventricular support in two recipients of an implantable long-term left ventricular assist device. Overall survival to device explant or transplant was 55% (n=10), of which five (50%) were successfully discharged from the hospital. The overall survival from device implant to hospital discharge was 28% (five of 18). The most common cause of death was multisystem organ failure. CONCLUSIONS MCS with the ABIOMED BVS 5000 can successfully resuscitate critically ill patients; however, earlier institution of this device would avoid irreversible end-organ injury, and lead to higher rates of device explant and hospital discharge. Short-term MCS devices should be available in all cardiac surgical centres in Canada to permit stabilization and evaluation of the acutely ill cardiac patient and subsequent management in a heart transplant facility. PMID:21076718

  13. Variability of atmospheric ammonia related to potential emission sources in downtown Toronto, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Qingjing; Zhang, Leiming; Evans, Greg J.; Yao, Xiaohong

    2014-12-01

    The variability of atmospheric ammonia (NH3) in downtown Toronto was investigated through the analysis of 24 hr integrated denuder NH3 samples collected at a site above a street canyon every third day from July 2003 to September 2011 (Dataset 1). The measured NH3 mixing ratios ranged from below the detection limit to 14.7 ppb during the eight-year period. Distinctive seasonal variations were observed with summer averages (±standard deviation) of 3.9 ± 1.6 ppb and winter averages of 1.1 ± 0.6 ppb. Two other datasets, weekly/biweekly passive samples of NH3 monitored at 74 agricultural and remote sites across southern Ontario during the period of June 2006 to March 2007 (Dataset 2) and semi-continuous measurements of NH3 and ammonium (pNH4+) in PM2.5 collected at a site inside a street canyon approximately 170 m away from the downtown site in December 2008 and February, March and May 2009 (Dataset 3), were further used to evaluate the potential NH3 sources in downtown Toronto. The NH3 mixing ratios at the downtown location were higher than those at the surrounding agricultural sites, and the mixing ratios within the street canyon were almost double those measured above it. These results suggested that the observed NH3 at the downtown location was mainly from local sources within the street canyon. Analysis of Dataset 3 showed that the diurnal cycles of NH3 at the downtown location cannot be simply explained by traffic and water consumption patterns. A green space inside the street canyon was identified as a potential important source contributing to the observed NH3 when T > 0 °C. However, the major NH3 emission sources at T ≤ 0 °C are yet to be investigated.

  14. Health and growth status of immigrant and refugee children in Toronto, Ontario: A retrospective chart review

    PubMed Central

    Salehi, Leila; Lofters, Aisha K; Hoffmann, Susan M; Polsky, Jane Y; Rouleau, Katherine D

    2015-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To describe selected anthropometric and health status variables among immigrant and refugee children ≤6 years of age within an inner city clinic in Toronto, Ontario. METHODS: A retrospective chart review of patients born between January 1, 1998 and December 31, 2008, was conducted at a Toronto community health centre serving a primarily immigrant and refugee population. Outcome measures included calculated age-specific percentiles for height and weight, and the prevalence of anemia, iron deficiency, enteric parasites, elevated lead levels, HIV and hepatitis B. Postal codes were collected and used to determine the patient’s neighbourhood income quintile. RESULTS: A total of 331 patients, born between January 1, 1998 and December 31, 2008, were identified. Of these, a total of 210 charts were manually reviewed. The prevalence of height-for-age and weight-for-age under the third percentile on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Growth Charts were 7.2% and 11.6%, respectively, and 8.4% and 5.0%, respectively, on the WHO Growth Standards Chart. Prevalence rates were also calculated for anemia (22.8%), iron deficiency (53.3%), hepatitis B (2.5%), parasitic infections (33.6%), elevated blood lead levels (4.9%) and HIV (0%). Neighbourhood income quintiles revealed that 46.7% of patients were residing in the lowest (ie, poorest) income quintile neighbourhoods. CONCLUSION: These findings reveal a high burden of illness within the population presenting to an immigrant/refugee health clinic, and illustrate the need for further research in this area, as well as increased efforts to ensure appropriate screening within clinics serving a high volume of newcomer patients. PMID:26744562

  15. Concentrations in air of organobromine, organochlorine and organophosphate flame retardants in Toronto, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shoeib, Mahiba; Ahrens, Lutz; Jantunen, Liisa; Harner, Tom

    2014-12-01

    Concentrations of organobromine (BFRs), organochlorine (CFRs) and organophosphate esters flame retardants and plasticizers (PFRs) in air were monitored for over one year at an urban site in Toronto, Canada during 2010-2011. The mean value for polybrominated diphenyl ethers (BDEs) (gas + particle phase) was 38 pg/m3 with BDE-47 and BDE-99 as the dominant congeners. The mean concentrations in air for ∑non-BDE (BFRs and CFRs), was 9.6 pg/m3 - about four times lower than the BDEs. The brominated FRs: TBP-AE, BTBPE, EH-TBB, BEH-TEBP and the chlorinated syn- and anti-DP were detected frequently, ranging from 87% to 96%. Highest concentrations in air among all flame retardant classes were observed for the Σ-PFRs. The yearly mean concentration in air for ΣPFRs was 2643 pg/m3 with detection frequency higher than 80%. Except for TBP-AE and b- DBE-DBCH, non-BDEs (BFRs, CFRs and PFRs) were mainly associated with the particle phase. BDE concentrations in air were positively correlated with temperature indicating that volatilization from local sources was an important factor controlling levels in air. This correlation did not hold for most BFRs, CFRs and PFRs which were mainly on particles. For these compounds, air concentrations in Toronto are likely related to emissions from point sources and advective inputs. This study highlights the importance of urban air monitoring for FRs. Urban air can be considered a sentinel for detecting changes in the use and application of FRs in commercial products.

  16. Clinical course and management of SARS in health care workers in Toronto: a case series

    PubMed Central

    Avendano, Monica; Derkach, Peter; Swan, Susan

    2003-01-01

    Background Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) has only recently been described. We provide individual patient data on the clinical course, treatment and complications experienced by 14 front-line health care workers and hospital support staff in Toronto who were diagnosed with SARS, and we provide follow-up information for up to 3 weeks after their discharge from hospital. Methods As part of the initial response to the SARS outbreak in Toronto, our health care centre was asked to establish a SARS unit for health care workers who were infected. Patients were admitted to this unit and were closely monitored and treated until they were well enough to be discharged. We prospectively compiled information on their clinical course, management and complications and followed them for 3 weeks after discharge. Results The 11 women and 3 men described here (mean age 42 [standard deviation {SD} 9] years) were all involved in providing medical or ancillary hospital services to patients who were later found to have SARS. Onset of symptoms in 4 of our patients who could clearly identify only a single contact with a patient with SARS occurred on average 4 (SD 3) days after exposure. For the remaining 10 patients with multiple patient contacts, symptom onset followed exposure by a mean of 3.5 (SD 3) days after their exposure. All patients were treated with ribavirin, and all patients received levofloxacin. Many experienced major complications. Dyspnea was present in 12 patients during their stay in hospital, and all developed abnormalities on chest radiograph; 3 patients developed severe hypoxemia (PaO2 < 50 mm Hg). All patients experienced a drop in hemoglobin. Nine patients had hemolytic anemia. Three patients experienced numbness and tingling in their hands and feet, and 2 developed frank tetany. All 3 had magnesium levels that were less than 0.1 mmol/L. All patients recovered and were discharged home. At a follow-up examination 3 weeks after discharge (5 weeks after onset

  17. Perceived barriers in accessing food among recent Latin American immigrants in Toronto.

    PubMed

    Vahabi, Mandana; Damba, Cynthia

    2013-01-03

    In Canada, recent immigrant households experience more food insecurity than the general population, but limited information is available about the personal, cultural, and social factors that contribute to this vulnerability. This study focused on recent Latin American (LA) immigrants to explore their perceived barriers in acquiring safe, nutritious, and culturally-appropriate food. A cross-sectional mixed-method design was applied to collect information from a convenience sample of 70 adult Spanish/Portuguese speakers who had arrived in Toronto within the last five years. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with primary household caregivers to obtain responses about barriers to acquiring food for their households; data were analyzed using a thematic analysis technique. Four main categories of barriers were identified: limited financial resources; language difficulty; cultural food preferences; and poor knowledge of available community-based food resources and services. Inadequate income was the main impediment in accessing adequate food, and was related to affordability of food items, accessibility of food outlets and transportation cost, and limited time for grocery shopping due to work conditions. Language barriers affected participants' ability to obtain well-paid employment and their awareness about and access to available community-based food resources. Cultural barriers were related to food preferences and limited access to culturally-appropriate foods and resources. The main barrier to food security among our sample of LA newcomers to Toronto is limited financial resources, highlighting the need for policies and strategies that could improve their financial power to purchase sufficient, nutritious, and culturally-acceptable food. Linguistic barriers and limited information among newcomers suggest the need to provide linguistically- and culturally-appropriate information related to community-based food programs and resources, as well as accessible

  18. Perceived barriers in accessing food among recent Latin American immigrants in Toronto

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Objective In Canada, recent immigrant households experience more food insecurity than the general population, but limited information is available about the personal, cultural, and social factors that contribute to this vulnerability. This study focused on recent Latin American (LA) immigrants to explore their perceived barriers in acquiring safe, nutritious, and culturally-appropriate food. Design A cross-sectional mixed-method design was applied to collect information from a convenience sample of 70 adult Spanish/Portuguese speakers who had arrived in Toronto within the last five years. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with primary household caregivers to obtain responses about barriers to acquiring food for their households; data were analyzed using a thematic analysis technique. Results Four main categories of barriers were identified: limited financial resources; language difficulty; cultural food preferences; and poor knowledge of available community-based food resources and services. Inadequate income was the main impediment in accessing adequate food, and was related to affordability of food items, accessibility of food outlets and transportation cost, and limited time for grocery shopping due to work conditions. Language barriers affected participants’ ability to obtain well-paid employment and their awareness about and access to available community-based food resources. Cultural barriers were related to food preferences and limited access to culturally-appropriate foods and resources. Conclusion The main barrier to food security among our sample of LA newcomers to Toronto is limited financial resources, highlighting the need for policies and strategies that could improve their financial power to purchase sufficient, nutritious, and culturally-acceptable food. Linguistic barriers and limited information among newcomers suggest the need to provide linguistically- and culturally-appropriate information related to community-based food programs and

  19. The case of Iranian immigrants in the greater Toronto area: a qualitative study

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Introduction Iranians comprise an immigrant group that has a very different cultural background from that of the mainstream Canadian population and speaks a language other than English or French; in this case mainly Farsi (Persian). Although Iranian immigrants in Toronto receive a high proportion of care from Farsi-speaking family physicians and health care providers than physicians who cannot speak Farsi, they are still not satisfied with the provided services. The purpose of this study was to identify the obstacles and issues Iranian immigrants faced in accessing health care services as seen through the eyes of Iranian health care professionals/providers and social workers working in Greater Toronto Area, Canada. Methods Narrative inquiry was used to capture and understand the obstacles this immigrant population faces when accessing health care services, through the lens of fifty Iranian health care professionals/providers and social workers. Thirty three health care professionals and five social workers were interviewed. To capture the essence of issues, individual interviews were followed by three focus groups consisting of three health care professionals and one social worker in each group. Results Three major themes emerged from the study: language barrier and the lack of knowledge of Canadian health care services/systems; lack of trust in Canadian health care services due to financial limitations and fear of disclosure; and somatization and needs for psychological supports. Conclusion Iranians may not be satisfied with the Canadian health care services due to a lack of knowledge of the system, as well as cultural differences when seeking care, such as fear of disclosure, discrimination, and mistrust of primary care. To attain equitable, adequate, and effective access to health care services, immigrants need to be educated and informed about the Canadian health care system and services it provides. It would be of great benefit to this population to hold

  20. Interpretation of diagnostic laboratory tests for severe acute respiratory syndrome: the Toronto experience

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Patrick; Louie, Marie; Richardson, Susan E.; Smieja, Marek; Simor, Andrew E.; Jamieson, Frances; Fearon, Margaret; Poutanen, Susan M.; Mazzulli, Tony; Tellier, Raymond; Mahony, James; Loeb, Mark; Petrich, Astrid; Chernesky, Max; McGeer, Allison; Low, Donald E.; Phillips, Elizabeth; Jones, Steven; Bastien, Nathalie; Li, Yan; Dick, Daryl; Grolla, Allen; Fernando, Lisa; Booth, Timothy F.; Henry, Bonnie; Rachlis, Anita R.; Matukas, Larissa M.; Rose, David B.; Lovinsky, Reena; Walmsley, Sharon; Gold, Wayne L.; Krajden, Sigmund

    2004-01-01

    Background An outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) began in Canada in February 2003. The initial diagnosis of SARS was based on clinical and epidemiological criteria. During the outbreak, molecular and serologic tests for the SARS-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV) became available. However, without a “gold standard,” it was impossible to determine the usefulness of these tests. We describe how these tests were used during the first phase of the SARS outbreak in Toronto and offer some recommendations that may be useful if SARS returns. Methods We examined the results of all diagnostic laboratory tests used in 117 patients admitted to hospitals in Toronto who met the Health Canada criteria for suspect or probable SARS. Focusing on tests for SARS-CoV, we attempted to determine the optimal specimen types and timing of specimen collection. Results Diagnostic test results for SARS-CoV were available for 110 of the 117 patients. SARS-CoV was detected by means of reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in at least one specimen in 59 (54.1%) of 109 patients. Serologic test results of convalescent samples were positive in 50 (96.2%) of 52 patients for whom paired serum samples were collected during the acute and convalescent phases of the illness. Of the 110 patients, 78 (70.9%) had specimens that tested positive by means of RT-PCR, serologic testing or both methods. The proportion of RT-PCR test results that were positive was similar between patients who met the criteria for suspect SARS (50.8%, 95% confidence interval [CI] 38.4%–63.2%) and those who met the criteria for probable SARS (58.0%, 95% CI 44.2%–70.7%). SARS-CoV was detected in nasopharyngeal swabs in 33 (32.4%) of 102 patients, in stool specimens in 19 (63.3%) of 30 patients, and in specimens from the lower respiratory tract in 10 (58.8%) of 17 patients. Interpretation These findings suggest that the rapid diagnostic tests in use at the time of the initial outbreak lack