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Examination of the relationships among psychological symptoms, alexithymia and emotional regulation: mediating role of emotion regulation

Yıldız Bilge Yusuf Bilge Ekin Emiral Coşkun Betül Nesibe Altundal.

Abstract
Objectives: The current study aims to explore (1) the relationship among alexithymia, emotional regulation, and various psychological symptoms factors; (2) the mediating role of emotion regulation strategies in the relationship among alexithymia and psychological symptoms; and (3) whether individuals with alexithymia high and low scores differ in psychological symptoms and emotional regulation. Method: In this study that consists of 319 university students reached through convenience sampling method, a cross sectional non-experimental design is used. A demographic information form, the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI) and Emotion Regulation Scale (ER) were used for data collection. Results: TAS-20 Scores were moderately positively correlated with all factors of BSI and the BSI-General Severity Index (GSI) and the ER-suppression subscale while negatively correlated with the ER- cognitive reappraisal factor. Further analysis showed that ER-suppression subscale mediated the relationship between alexithymia and the BSI-GSI while ER-cognitive reappraisal subscale did not mediate it. Finally, a series of Mann-Whitney U tests indicated that individuals with high levels of alexithymia differed from those with low levels in all study variables. Conclusion: The results show that ER-suppression subscale has a mediating role between alexithymia and psychological symptoms as well as that alexithymia and emotional regulation are effective factors for predicting psychological symptoms. Finally, the findings imply that emotion regulation is associated with alexithymia and psychological symptoms and contribute to the development these factors.

Key words: alexithymia, psychological symptoms, emotion regulation



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