The Perth Alexithymia Questionnaire-Short Form (PAQ-S): A 6-item measure of alexithymia
Journal of Affective Disorders
School of Arts and Humanities
Background: Alexithymia is a trait characterized by difficulties identifying feelings, difficulties describing feelings, and externally orientated thinking. It is widely regarded as an important transdiagnostic risk factor for a range of psychopathologies, including depressive and anxiety disorders. Whilst several well-validated psychometric measures of alexithymia exist, these are relatively lengthy, thus limiting their utility in time-pressured settings. In this paper, we address this gap by introducing and validating a brief 6-item version of the Perth Alexithymia Questionnaire, called the Perth Alexithymia Questionnaire-Short Form (PAQ-S). Method: Across two studies with adult samples (Study 1 N = 508 United States community; Study 2 = 378 Australian college students), we examined the psychometric properties of the PAQ-S in terms of its factor structure, reliability, and concurrent/criterion validity. Results: In exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses, all PAQ-S items loaded well on a single general alexithymia factor. The PAQ-S total score had high reliability, and correlated as expected with the long-form of the PAQ, as well as other established markers of alexithymia, emotion regulation, and affective disorder symptoms. Limitations: Our samples were general community or college student samples from two Western countries; future validation work in clinical samples and more diverse cultural groups is thus needed. Conclusions: The PAQ-S retains the psychometric strengths of the PAQ. As such, the PAQ-S can be used as a quick, robust measure of overall alexithymia levels. The introduction of the PAQ-S hence enables valid assessments of alexithymia in a more diverse range of settings and research designs.
Preece, D. A., Mehta, A., Petrova, K., Sikka, P., Bjureberg, J., Chen, W., ... & Gross, J. J. (2023). The Perth Alexithymia Questionnaire-Short Form (PAQ-S): A 6-item measure of alexithymia. Journal of Affective Disorders, 325, 493-501. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2023.01.036