Alexithymia, Attachment styles and Dissociative experiences in a sample of drug addicts

Giulia Costanzo, Monica Pellerone, Silvia Fasciano, Giuseppe Craparo


Background: Many studies demonstrate that early trauma affects the development of cognitive and affective processing, the integration between thoughts and feelings and the ability to understand and regulate emotional experiences. Some researchers emphasize the role of dissociation.

Methods: In our study, we involved 62 participants that have completed the following questionnaires:  TAS-20, TEC, DES-II, PBI, and RQ. The aim was to evaluate, through descriptive statistics, univariate variant analysis and hierarchical regression analysis, the correlation between alexithymia, traumatic, dissociative experiences, parenting style, and adult relational style in two groups.

Results: The results of our research have partially confirmed the significant differences between clinical group and control group. In the clinical group we observed dysfunctional parenting and relationship style in rapport with an alexithymic condition. In addition, alexithymia would also represent a risk factor for the development of an addictive behavior. Regarding to the relationship between dissociation and trauma, our data confirm a significant relationship between these two variables.

Conclusions: Our study underlines the importance to consider the role of emotional experiences linked to early traumatic experiences and dissociative defensive reactions. 

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