Date of Graduation
Master of Arts in Psychology (MA)
Matthew T. Feldner
Denise R. Beike
Second Committee Member
Jeffrey M. Lohr
Psychology; Alexithymia; Multimodal assessment; Trauma
Evidence suggests alexithymia is often relatively elevated among people suffering from posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS). Despite a growing body of research supporting this relation between alexithymia and PTSS, it is unclear whether alexithymia is a unique predictor of emotional reactivity relative to posttraumatic stress symptoms. Furthermore, existing literature is largely limited to retrospective, self-reported symptoms. Therefore, the current study employed a multimodal assessment strategy for measuring emotional reactivity in the context of posttraumatic stress. More specifically, self-report, behavioral, and physiological measures were used to measure emotional responding to a traumatic event-related stimulus among motor vehicle accident victims. It was hypothesized that behavioral and self-reported responding would evidence a negative relation to level of alexithymia, while physiological responding was not expected to relate to levels of alexithymia. Results replicated previous research demonstrating a strong correlation between self-reported PTSS and alexithymia. Also as expected, alexithymia did not predict physiological responding to the stimulus. However, alexithymia was not found to uniquely predict self-reported or behavioral responding above and beyond the influence of PTSS. These findings do not conclusively support alexithymia as a unique predictor of emotional responding relative to PTSS.
Bujarski, Sarah Jo, "A Multimodal Approach for the Assessment of Alexithymia: An Evaluation of Physiological, Behavioral, and Self-Reported Reactivity to a Traumatic Event-Relevant Video" (2012). Theses and Dissertations. 348.