Alexithymia, craving and attachment in a heavy drinking population

Thorberg, Fred Arne, Young, Ross McD., Sullivan, Karen A., Lyvers, Michael, Connor, Jason P., & Feeney, Gerald F.X. (2011) Alexithymia, craving and attachment in a heavy drinking population. Addictive Behaviours, 36(4), pp. 427-430.

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Up to fifty per cent of individuals with Alcohol use disorders (AUD) also have alexithymia a personality construct hypothesized to be related to attachment difficulties. The relationship between alexithymia, craving, anxious attachment and alcohol-dependence severity was examined in 254 patients participating in a Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) program for alcohol-dependence. Participants completed the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), the Obsessive Compulsive Drinking Scale (OCDS), the Revised Adult Attachment Anxiety Subscale (RAAS-Anxiety) and the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT). MANOVA indicated that individuals with alexithymia reported significantly higher levels of total OCDS, obsessive thoughts about alcohol, and compulsive drinking urges and behavior, compared to the non-alexithymic group. Regression analyses found that anxious attachment partially mediated the relationship between alexithymia and craving. Anxious attachment may be a potential treatment target to reduce alcohol consumption in those with alcohol-dependence and alexithymia.

Research Highlights ► There were significant relationships of alexithymia, craving and anxious attachment. ► Alexithymic alcoholics reported higher levels of craving and alcoholism severity. ► Anxious attachment partially mediated the relationship of alexithymia and craving.

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ID Code: 40576
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Alexithymia, Craving, Attachment, Alcohol-Dependence
DOI: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2010.12.016
ISSN: 0306-4603
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved.
Deposited On: 08 Mar 2011 23:29
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2011 15:47

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