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The purpose of the present study was to investigate, in a non-clinical sample of undergraduate women, the relationships between alexithymia, dissociative experiences and body dissatisfaction, while identifying the predictive factors associated with a potential risk of developing eating disorders (EDs). The Toronto alexithymia scale (TAS-20), dissociative experiences scale (DES), eating disorder inventory-2 (EDI-2), body shape questionnaire (BSQ), symptom checklist revised (SCL-90-R) and rosenberg self-esteem scale (RSES) were completed by 546 undergraduate females. We found that alexithymics had higher dissociative experiences and body dissatisfaction than did the nonalexithymics. In addition, alexithymics also reported a higher potential risk for ED (higher scores on EDI-2) and lower self-esteem as compared to nonalexithymics. Difficulty in the identifying and describing feelings subscales of the TAS-20, dissociative experiences as well as lower self-esteem were associated with higher risk of EDs in a linear regression analysis. Our findings suggest that a combination of alexithymia, dissociative experiences and low self-esteem may constitute a risk-factor for symptoms of EDs, in a non-clinical sample of university women. We discuss limitations of the present study and suggest opportunities for future research.
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- Alexithymia and Its Relationships with Dissociative Experiences, Body Dissatisfaction and Eating Disturbances in a Non-Clinical Female Sample
Domenico De Berardis
Anna Maria Pizzorno
Rosa Maria Salerno
Filippo Maria Ferro
- Springer US