Alexithymia and facial emotion recognition in patients with eating disorders
Article first published online: 16 FEB 2006
Copyright © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
International Journal of Eating Disorders
Volume 39, Issue 3, pages 245–251, April 2006
How to Cite
Kessler, H., Schwarze, M., Filipic, S., Traue, H. C. and von Wietersheim, J. (2006), Alexithymia and facial emotion recognition in patients with eating disorders. Int. J. Eat. Disord., 39: 245–251. doi: 10.1002/eat.20228
- Issue published online: 21 MAR 2006
- Article first published online: 16 FEB 2006
- Manuscript Accepted: 1 OCT 2005
- facial emotion recognition;
- eating disorders
Patients with anorexia or bulimia nervosa are reported to show high levels of alexithymia and to have difficulties recognizing facially displayed emotions. The current study tested whether it could be that facial emotion recognition is a basic skill that is independent from alexithymia.
We assessed emotion recognition skills and alexithymia in a group of 79 female inpatients with eating disorders and compared them with a group of 78 healthy female controls. Instruments used were the Toronto Alexithymia Scale, the Facially Expressed Emotion Labeling (FEEL) test, and the revised Symptom Check List (SCL-90-R).
There were no significant differences between patients and controls in their emotion recognition scores, but patients with eating disorders displayed significantly more alexithymia and psychopathology. Emotion recognition in patients was not related to alexithymia, psychopathology, or clinical symptoms.
We suggest that the reported alexithymia of patients with eating disorders is complex and independent from basic facial emotion recognition. © 2006 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2006