Prevalence and demographic correlates of alexithymia: A comparison between Australian psychiatric and community samples
Place of Publication
School of Arts and Humanities
Objectives: A cross-sectional empirical design was used to compare differences in alexithymia between Australian psychiatric and community samples and examine the influence of sample type on the relation between alexithymia and psychological distress. Method: Psychiatric outpatients (N = 151) and a convenience sample of the general community (N = 216) completed questionnaires measuring alexithymia and psychological distress. Results: Alexithymia was several times more prevalent in the psychiatric sample than the community sample. While the psychiatric sample reported greater psychological distress, no difference was found in the strength of the association between alexithymia and psychological distress between the study samples. Conclusion: These findings emphasize the pervasive problem alexithymia presents within the Australian psychiatric population and the importance of increasing recognition of alexithymia for the future research about and treatment of psychiatric patients.