The authors would like to thank the Centre for Mental Health and Crisis Psychology at the Military Hospital—Queen Astrid for their help in the collection of the data. This research was made possible thanks to the kind permission of the Medical Component of Belgian Defence.
Alexithymia and posttraumatic stress: subscales and symptom clusters†
Article first published online: 18 JUN 2010
© 2010 Wiley Periodicals
Journal of Clinical Psychology
Volume 66, Issue 10, pages 1076–1089, October 2010
How to Cite
Declercq, F., Vanheule, S. and Deheegher, J. (2010), Alexithymia and posttraumatic stress: subscales and symptom clusters. J. Clin. Psychol., 66: 1076–1089. doi: 10.1002/jclp.20715
- Issue published online: 31 AUG 2010
- Article first published online: 18 JUN 2010
- posttraumatic stress;
- military nurses;
- military ambulance personnel
This study examined the relationship between the emotion-regulating factor alexithymia and the occurrence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after critical incidents in a nonclinical sample of 136 nurses and ambulance personnel working in military facilities. The results showed that alexythima accounts for variance in PTSD symptoms. Breaking PTSD into its 4 symptom clusters, alexithymia was found to predict numbing and hyperarousal symptoms but not avoidance or reexperiencing symptoms. Finally, the rarely investigated, but clinically relevant, distinctive subdimensions of alexithymia were examined in relation to the 4 PTSD clusters. The difficulty identifying feelings subscale contributed most to the numbing and hyperarousal PTSD subscales. Clinical implications and future research directions are discussed. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Clin Psychol 66: 1–14, 2010.