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Type: Thesis
Title: Meditation Experience is Related to Alexithymia and Two Distinct Styles of Coping
Author: Vikrant-Aravkar, Bhargavee
Issue Date: 2020
School/Discipline: School of Psychology
Abstract: Alexithymia is a cognitive and affective deficit, characterized by an inability to comprehend the emotional states of oneself or others. Increased levels of alexithymia have been linked to maladaptive (avoidant) coping and a deficient relationship with adaptive (approach) coping, potentially leading to various psychological disorders and even suicidal thoughts. Meditation practice is associated with improved psychological well-being and emotion regulation, however there is limited evidence concerning the relationship of meditation with coping and alexithymia. Therefore, it is desirable to investigate the relationship of meditation experience with avoidant and approach coping, and alexithymia. Adult participants recruited from the University of Adelaide first-year onwards Psychology pool and social media participated in an online survey assessing meditation experience, alexithymia and two distinct styles of coping; avoidant and approach coping. Measures of alexithymia were positively correlated with avoidant coping and negatively correlated with approach coping. Minutes of meditation showed a significant relationship with lower avoidant coping, but not higher approach coping, and years of meditation showed a significant relationship with reduced alexithymia. Although, intervention studies are needed, meditation may be a useful tool for reducing avoidant coping strategies and encouraging approach coping strategies, ultimately reducing alexithymia.
Dissertation Note: Thesis (B.PsychSc(Hons)) -- University of Adelaide, School of Psychology, 2020
Keywords: Honours; Psychology
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