Vol 5: Traumatic experiences, alexithymia, and posttraumatic symptomatology: a cross-sectional population-based study in Germany.Report as inadecuate



 Vol 5: Traumatic experiences, alexithymia, and posttraumatic symptomatology: a cross-sectional population-based study in Germany.


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This article is from European Journal of Psychotraumatology, volume 5.AbstractObjective: 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. Methods: 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. Results: 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. Conclusions: 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.



Author: Eichhorn, Svenja; Brahler, Elmar; Franz, Matthias; Friedrich, Michael; Glaesmer, Heide

Source: https://archive.org/







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