The influence of alexithymia and mood on eating psychopathology in a non-clinical female sample

N. Ridout, D.J. Wallis, Y. Autwal, A. Kralj, J. Sellis, E. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

It has been demonstrated that clinical and subclinical disor- dered eating are associated with elevated levels of depression and the personality trait alexithymia (ALX). ALX means literally lack of words for emotion and is associated with a difficulty identifying and describing feelings, and with an externally oriented cognitive style. The aim of the current study was to examine the inter-relationships between mood and ALX in accounting for variations in non-clinical eating psychopathology. 124 females were assessed on the 20- item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and the Eating Disorders Inventory (EDI). Results revealed that EDI scores were positively associated with scores on the TAS-20 and with scores on the depression and anxi- ety subscales of the HADS. A series of stepwise multiple regressions revealed that depression and ALX accounted for 53% of the variance in total EDI scores and 40% of the variance in scores on the drive- for-thinness subscale of the EDI. Scores on the bulimia and body dissatisfaction subscales were predicted by the mood scores only. In conclusion, ALX and mood may contribute, alone and in combi- nation, to the development of some forms of disordered eating.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)565
Number of pages1
JournalAppetite
Volume57
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2011

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