Family of origin correlates with alexithymia
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Alexithymia is defined as difficulty identifying and expressing emotions and externally oriented thinking (Taylor & Bagby, 1994). It is important to explore the relationship between family emotional expressivity and alexithymia in order to understand factors in the family environment that lead to alexithymia. The present study is based on research by Parker, Taylor, and Bagby (1993), Eisenberg et al. (1998), and Hovestadt et al. (1998), who examined family factors associated with alexithymia. Although investigators have previously assessed individual factors such as family of origin environment, research is lacking in the area of comprehensively assessing family of origin correlates with alexithymia. This study examined family variables that are related to alexithymia, specifically self and family expressiveness and family dysfunction. Moderating and mediating relations are also explored. Results of the study indicated that negative self-expressiveness, negative family expressiveness, family dysfunction, and lack of perceived social support from family were associated with alexithymia.