SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • alexithymia;
  • posttraumatic stress;
  • military nurses;
  • military ambulance personnel

Abstract

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.