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Type: Thesis
Title: The Role of Mindfulness in Alexithymia, Depression and Meditation
Author: Turner, Jasmine
Issue Date: 2020
School/Discipline: School of Psychology
Abstract: Alexithymia is characterised by a difficulty in identifying and describing emotions, as well as an externally oriented style of thinking. Alexithymia particularly impacts upon social and emotional abilities, such as empathy, which can harm psychological well-being. Additionally, alexithymia increases vulnerability to mental health disorders. Alexithymia and depression have been observed as related constructs, in that alexithymia predicts depression. The characteristics of alexithymia make it difficult to treat with typical psychotherapies, however a recent systematic review has given support for mindfulness-based interventions in decreasing levels of alexithymia. The present study utilised an online survey to measure alexithymia (TAS-20), depression (CES-D), mindfulness (FFMQ) and meditation practice in 112 participants. Correlational analyses supported hypotheses that there would be a significant positive relationship between alexithymia and depression, and significant negative relationships between alexithymia and mindfulness, and depression and mindfulness. No significant relationships between meditation and the other variables were observed, credited to the low number of meditators in the study. A simple mediation model with mindfulness and depression, mediated by alexithymia had a significant indirect effect. This supports the idea that mindfulness has an impact on reducing alexithymia, which in turns has an effect on depression. The implications of this suggest that mindfulness-based interventions may be suitable in reducing both alexithymia and depression. Further research should directly test the effects of mindfulness-based interventions on alexithymia and depression.
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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