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Type: Thesis
Title: The mind-body connection: The relationship between perceived parenting style, interoception, experiential avoidance and alexithymia
Author: Caruso, Holly
Issue Date: 2020
School/Discipline: School of Psychology
Abstract: Alexithymia, or the inability to understand and describe emotions, is suggested to underly a range of psychological disorders, including depression and substance abuse. Adverse childhood experiences, including perceived adverse parenting, are considered a precursor to the development of alexithymia, although processes underlying this association are not well understood. The extent to which one can detect and recognise bodily sensations, known as interoception, along with the tendency to avoid distressing emotional experiences, or experiential avoidance (EA), show empirical links with and are theorised to be explanatory factors for the relationship between adverse parenting experiences and alexithymia. The current study therefore aimed to test these relationships and proposed a model in which interoception and EA sequentially mediate the relationship between adverse parenting and alexithymia. A convenience sample of 233 Australian adults completed an online survey comprised of a sociodemographic questionnaire and validated measures of perceived parenting, interoception, EA and alexithymia. Results from the serial mediation analyses found that interoception and EA partially mediated the relationship between adverse parenting and alexithymia. Furthermore, the positive and negative relationships between the variables in the mediation model reflected the relationships found in the correlation analysis. The findings from the current study suggest interoception and experiential avoidance are therapeutic targets that may assist in reducing the impact of adverse parenting on alexithymia, a factor associated with psychopathology in adulthood.
Dissertation Note: Thesis (B.PsychSc(Hons)) -- University of Adelaide, School of Psychology, 2020
Keywords: Honours; Psychology
Description: This item is only available electronically.
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