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History of trauma and relationship with alexithymia, temperament and character dimensions in male alcohol dependent inpatients

Ercan Dalbudak, Cüneyt Evren, Turan Çetin, Mine Durkaya, Rabia Cetin.

Abstract
Objective: To evaluate the relationship of trauma history with alexithymia and personality dimensions in male alcohol dependent inpatients. Method: Participants were 156 consecutively admitted male alcohol dependents. Patients were investigated with the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI) and the Traumatic Experiences Checklist (TEC). Results: Among alcohol dependent inpatients, 49.4% (n=77) were considered as the group having trauma history according to definition of DSM-IV, although this rate was 92% according to TEC. Rate of being single and alexithymic were higher, whereas age for regular alcohol use was lower in traumatic group. Current age, employment status, and duration of education did not differ between groups. Mean scores of difficulty in identifying feelings, alexithymia total score and personality dimensions of novelty seeking, harm avoidance and self-transcendence were higher in traumatic group whereas self-directedness (S) and cooperativeness (C) were lower in this group. Lower S score was determinant for trauma history (according to the DSM-IV) in Forward Logistic Regression model, whereas lower C was determinant for number of trauma types (according to the TEC) in Stepwise Linear Regression model. Conclusions: Alexithymia, temperament and character may all be related with trauma history in male alcohol dependent inpatients. Finding low S score which predicts the presence of trauma history and low C score which predicts the severity of trauma suggest that lifetime trauma experience is related with higher probability of negative personality characteristics, although causal relationship is not clear.

Key words: Alcohol dependence, alexithymia, character, temperament, trauma



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