Alexithymia in autism: cross-sectional and longitudinal associations with social-communication difficulties, anxiety and depression symptoms.

Alexithymia in autism: cross-sectional and longitudinal associations with social-communication difficulties, anxiety and depression symptoms. Psychol Med. 2020 Oct 08;:1-13 Authors: Oakley BFM, Jones EJH, Crawley D, Charman T, Buitelaar J, Tillmann J, Murphy DG, Loth E, EU-AIMS LEAP Group Abstract BACKGROUND: Alexithymia (difficulties in identifying and describing emotion) is a transdiagnostic trait implicated in social-emotional and mental health problems in the general population. Many autistic individuals experience significant social-communication difficulties and elevated anxiety/depression and alexithymia. Nevertheless, the role of alexithymia in explaining individual variability in the quality/severity of social-communication difficulties and/or anxiety and depression symptoms in autism remains poorly understood. METHODS: In total, 337 adolescents and adults (autism N = 179) were assessed for alexithymia on the Toronto Alexithymia Scale and for social-communication difficulties, anxiety and depression symptoms. A total of 135 individuals (autism N = 76) were followed up 12-24 months later. We used regression models to establish cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between alexithymia, social-communication difficulties, anxiety and depression symptoms. RESULTS: Autistic individuals reported significantly higher alexithymia than comparison individuals (p
Source: Psychological Medicine - Category: Psychiatry Authors: Tags: Psychol Med Source Type: research

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