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Keywords:

  • alexithymia;
  • character;
  • personality;
  • temperament

Aims:  Alexithymia, a personality trait characterized as having problems identifying, describing, and working with one's own feelings, often marked by a lack of understanding of the feelings of others, is only partly described within the context of personality. The aim of the present study was therefore to study the prevalence of alexithymia among male alcohol-dependent inpatients and investigate the relationship between alexithymia and the dimensions of Cloninger's psychobiological model of personality.

Methods:  The Turkish version of the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) and the Turkish version of the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI) were administered to 111 male alcohol-dependent inpatients.

Results:  TAS-20 scores correlated positively with harm avoidance and self-transcendence and negatively with self-directedness and cooperativeness. Regression analysis identified high harm avoidance and self-transcendence and low self-directedness as independent predictors of alexithymia. Also harm avoidance and self-transcendence predicted alexithymia in a logistic regression model.

Conclusions:  Alexithymia can be explained by specific dimensions within Cloninger's psychobiological model of personality in alcohol-dependent Turkish men.