The Perth Alexithymia Questionnaire-Short Form (PAQ-S): A 6-item measure of alexithymia

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Journal of Affective Disorders



First Page


Last Page


PubMed ID





School of Arts and Humanities


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


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.



Access Rights

subscription content