Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Psychological Reports




School of Arts and Humanities / School of Medical and Health Sciences




Harms, C. A., & Barley, O. R. (2023). Alexithymia and Impulsivity in Combat Sports–A Tale of Three Measures. Psychological Reports, 00332941231201951.


The purpose of this study was to compare the psychometric properties of two measures of alexithymia – the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) and the Perth Alexithymia Questionnaire (PAQ) – as well as the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale 11 measure of behavioural impulsivity because the psychometric properties of these scales have not been established in athletes. As part of a larger study, 298 participants completed an online survey that included the TAS-20, PAQ, and BIS 11, as well personal- (age and gender) and sport-specific (primary combat sport and level of competition) demographic measures. A unidimensional model was retained for the TAS-20. A unidimensional model with the possibility of multidimensional measure was retained for the PAQ, with the viability of a subscale for Generalised Externally Orientated Thinking supported. The only versions of the BIS that were retainable were unidimensional models for the BIS-15 (a 15-item version of the BIS 11) and the BIS-Brief (an 8-item version of the BIS 11). As expected, the measures of alexithymia were highly correlated. The associations between impulsivity and alexithymia as well as age and alexithymia were small in nature, with none these associations moderated by level of gender, level of competition, or primary sport for the participants. No differences in alexithymia or impulsivity according to gender, level of competition, or primary sport were noted for the participants. Implications of these findings for the measures of alexithymia – the TAS-20 and PAQ – and impulsivity – the BIS-15 and BIS-Brief – examined in the present study with athletes (as well as with other populations) are discussed.



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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.