Gender Differences in Phenomenology of Alexithymia

The purpose of this study is to investigate Alexithymia and its phenomenological patterns, with special emphasis on gender differences. Total of 184 non-clinical participants were divided into four groups according to Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS) and gender. Participants completed Empathy Quotient (EQ), Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI), Buss-Durkee Hostility Inventory (BDHI), Barratt Impulsiveness Scale-11-Revised (BIS-11-R), and Borderline Personality Disorder items from Structured Clinical Interview Schedule for DSM-IV Axis II Disorder (SCID-II). Data was analyzed using t-test to identify the gender difference in Alexithymia measured by TAS, and the result indicated TAS score occurred higher in women than in men. MANOVA was applied to identify the relationship between TAS score and empathy, hostility, impulsivity, and borderline personality traits for each gender group. Both gender with higher TAS score showed significantly weakened EQ, decreased IRI-Personal Distress subscale score, and increased SCID-II Borderline personality trait compared to those with lower TAS score. However, compare to female group that showed no differences in BDHI and BIS-11-R score according to alexithymia, high-alexithymic male showed increased hostility and impulsivity compared to non-alexithymic male. Findings of this study show that men and women with alexithymia exhibit weakened general emotional intelligence, problems of ability to empathize with others' suffering, and borderline personality traits. The results also emphasize the possibility of distinguishing phenomenological features of alexithymia including hostility and impulsivity by gender. These findings may not only advance our understanding of the externalizing behavior problems but also enhance gender-based approach in individuals with alexithymia or borderline personalities.

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Author Information
Gieun Nam, Chung-Ang University, South Korea
Jang-Han Lee, Chung-Ang University, South Korea
Ji-Won Hur, Chung-Ang University, South Korea

Paper Information Conference: ACP2018
Stream: General Psychology

Added on Monday, April 9th, 2018
The full paper is not available for this title

Posted by amp21