Assessing alexithymia: Psychometric properties of the Perth Alexithymia Questionnaire and 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale in United States adults
Personality and Individual Differences
School of Arts and Humanities
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd Alexithymia is a trait involving difficulty identifying feelings, difficulty describing feelings, and externally orientated thinking. Over the past two decades, it has usually been assessed using the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20). Recently, the Perth Alexithymia Questionnaire (PAQ) was developed to provide more detailed facet-level (and valence-specific) analysis. To date, no studies have compared these two measures, and few data are available on the PAQ. We examined the psychometric properties of the PAQ and TAS-20 in United States adults (N = 675). Confirmatory factor analysis indicated that both measures had a theoretically congruent factor structure. While the PAQ assessed alexithymia for both negative and positive emotions, the TAS-20 assessed alexithymia only for negative emotions. All PAQ and TAS-20 subscales had good reliability, except for the TAS-20 externally orientated thinking subscale. Pearson correlations supported the convergent validity of both measures. We conclude that the PAQ and TAS-20 both have strong qualities and assess a similar alexithymia construct, however, the PAQ appears to provide a more comprehensive facet-level profile.