Title

Childhood Emotional Maltreatment and Somatic Complaints: The Mediating Role of Alexithymia

Document Type

Article

Date of Original Version

7-1-2013

Abstract

The relationship between childhood emotional maltreatment (CEM) and adverse health-related outcomes is well-documented in the literature. However, mediators of such relationships are not fully understood. The present study examined alexithymia as a potential mediator of the relationship between CEM and somatic complaints in young adults. A sample of 270 undergraduates completed self-report questionnaires assessing CEM, alexithymia, and somatic complaints. All variables were moderately intercorrelated. Controlling for the effects of sex, path analyses supported a model in which alexithymia partially mediated the relationship between CEM and somatic complaints. This study provides further evidence for the occurrence and lasting sequelae of CEM in a sample of young adults. It also illuminates the role of emotions in the relationship between CEM and somatic complaints, suggesting that interventions emphasizing affective education may lessen somatic complaints. Individual differences in CEM and other mediators warrant further investigation. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Publication Title

Journal of Child and Adolescent Trauma

Volume

6

Issue

3

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