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Does perceived social support and parental attitude relate to alexithymia? A study in Finnish late adolescents.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21185086     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
The aim of the present study was to explore the associations of perceived social support and parental attitude with alexithymia in a Finnish adolescent population sample. Of the initial sample of 935 adolescents, 729 (78%) answered the questionnaire and formed the final sample. The mean age of the subjects was 19years (range 17-21years). The 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) was used for assessment of alexithymia. Perceived social support from family, friends, and significant other people was measured using the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS). Perceived parental care and overprotection were assessed using the Parental Bonding Instrument (PBI), and separately for mother and father. After controlling for the sociodemographic factors, alexithymia was significantly associated with a lower degree of experienced social support and higher parental overprotection both in females and males. Maternal overprotection was associated (p<0.04) with TAS-20 total score as well as the Difficulty Identifying Feelings (DIF) and Difficulty Describing Feelings (DDF) subscales. The lack of social support from friends appeared to predict alexithymia more strongly than lack of support from family and significant other people. Against our hypothesis, maternal and paternal care was not directly associated with alexithymic features. This study highlights the significance of intrusive and overprotective parental attitudes as a possible risk factor for development of alexithymia. However, to assess causality, we need longitudinal studies. The results also emphasize the need for further studies to establish the significance of peer relationships in the development of alexithymia.
Max Karukivi; Matti Joukamaa; Lea Hautala; Olli Kaleva; Kirsi-Maria Haapasalo-Pesu; Pirjo-Riitta Liuksila; Simo Saarijärvi
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2010-12-22
Journal Detail:
Title:  Psychiatry research     Volume:  -     ISSN:  0165-1781     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2010 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-12-27     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7911385     Medline TA:  Psychiatry Res     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2010. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
Unit of Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Turku, Finland; Unit of Adolescent Psychiatry, Satakunta Hospital District, Pori, Finland.
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