This study investigated both whether alexithymia is a predictor for mental health and adjustment disorder, and its pathway relationships. Total of 158 young male conscripts diagnosed with adjustment disorder and another 155 young normal male controls were enrolled. Structural equation modeling showed, parental bonding influence personality, then affects alexithymic traits, and then affects mental health, finally further develop adjustment disorder. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) found the optimal cutoff point for screening of adjustment disorder using DIF of the TAS-20 was 21/22, resulting in a sensitivity of 0.84, specificity of 0.87, PPV of 0.87, and NPV of 0.84. The DIF of alexithymia can be used as a screening index for adjustment disorder. With the high degree of association between alexithymia and other psychiatric disorders, especially in those relatively lacking in the ability to empathize, future studies should investigate whether DIF can be generalizable to the screening of other empathy-related and psychiatric disorders.
Psychiatric Quarterly – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 29, 2010
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