Original Article

Somatization Mediates the Structural Relationship of Alexithymia with Anxiety and Depression


Objective: The study of factors affecting anxiety and depression as the most common emotional disorders has always been at the forefront of psychological research. Among different factors, alexithymia and somatization have considerable importance due to their emotional nature with makes them more integrated with anxiety and depression. Several studies have demonstrated a link between these four concepts, but as far as we know, the quality of the relationship has not been addressed yet. The present paper aims to investigate the mediating role of somatization in the structural relationship of alexithymia with anxiety and depression.

Method: A total of 334 college students were recruited through cluster sampling and were asked to complete the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS), Beck Depression Inventory – Second Edition (BDI-II), Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), and Somatization Subscale from the Symptom Checklist-90-Revised Questionnaire. Data were analyzed using correlational as well as structural equation modeling.

Results: Based on the correlation analysis, there was significant relationship between alexithymia, somatization, anxiety, and depression. According to the results of regression weights, there is a moderate relationship between alexithymia and somatization (regression weight = 0.44). The relationship between somatization and depression is at moderate level (regression weight = 0.42) and the relationship of somatization with anxiety is at strong level (regression weight = 0.85). the goodness of fit indices for the hypothetical model showed significant coefficients at P < 0.05 (CFI = 0.98, RMSEA = 0.059).

Conclusion: Findings indicated the important and influential role of somatization in explaining the relationship of alexithymia with anxiety and depression. Therefore, it seems that emotional components such as difficulty in identifying and expressing emotions as well as regulating mood states are important in the psychopathology of emotional disorders.

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IssueVol 17 No 2 (2022) QRcode
SectionOriginal Article(s)
DOI https://doi.org/10.18502/ijps.v17i2.8904
Anxiety Alexithymia Depression Somatization

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Farhoumandi N, Zarean M, Nasiri M, Jega M. Somatization Mediates the Structural Relationship of Alexithymia with Anxiety and Depression. Iran J Psychiatry. 2022;17(2):144-153.