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Alexithymia, Psychopathology and Alcohol Misuse in Adolescence: A Population Based Study on 3556 Teenagers

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DOI: 10.4236/nm.2014.51009    3,927 Downloads   5,194 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Objectives: To analyze the association between alexithymia and alcohol intake during adolescence, also in relation to psychopathology, in order to identify psychological risk factors for alcohol misuse. Method: 3556 students [mean age (range) 14.5 years (11-18)] were recruited in the Padua area. Each was administered a set of three questionnaires: the Toronto Alexithymia Scale for children (TAS-20) to measure alexithymia, the Questionnaire Adolescent Saturday evening (QAS) to estimate of alcohol intake, and the Youth Self-Report (YSR 11-18) to value psychopathology. Results: Externalizing problems appeared to increase with age and with the amount of alcohol consumed, unlike internalizing problems. The prevalence of alexithymia was 18%, decreasing with age, and it was not associated with alcohol consumption, and used except in younger subjects (≤13), for whom a positive correlation was observed between alexithymia, internalizing problems and alcohol intake. Conclusions: Younger adolescents are more psycho-emotionally vulnerable (internalizing problems and alexithymia) and at a greater risk of alcohol misuse.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Gatta, M. , Facca, I. , Colombo, E. , Svanellini, L. , Montagnese, S. and Schiff, S. (2014) Alexithymia, Psychopathology and Alcohol Misuse in Adolescence: A Population Based Study on 3556 Teenagers. Neuroscience and Medicine, 5, 60-71. doi: 10.4236/nm.2014.51009.

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