UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Alexithymia mediates the relationship between interoceptive sensibility and anxiety

Palser, ER; Palmer, CE; Galvez-Pol, A; Hannah, R; Fotopoulou, A; Kilner, JM; (2018) Alexithymia mediates the relationship between interoceptive sensibility and anxiety. PLoS ONE , 13 (9) , Article e0203212. 10.1371/journal.pone.0203212. Green open access

[img]
Preview
Text
Palser_journal.pone.0203212.pdf - Published version

Download (1MB) | Preview

Abstract

A number of empirical and theoretical reports link altered interoceptive processing to anxiety. However, the mechanistic understanding of the relationship between the two remains poor. We propose that a heightened sensibility for interoceptive signals, combined with a difficulty in attributing these sensations to emotions, increases an individual’s vulnerability to anxiety. In order to investigate this, a large sample of general population adults were recruited and completed self-report measures of interoceptive sensibility, trait anxiety and alexithymia. Results confirmed that the positive association between interoceptive sensibility and trait anxiety was partially mediated by alexithymia, such that those most at risk for clinically significant levels of trait anxiety have both significantly higher levels of interoceptive sensibility and alexithymia. A subsequent factor analysis confirmed the independence of the three measures. Altered interoceptive processing in combination with alexithymia, increased the risk for anxiety above and beyond altered interoceptive processing alone. We suggest that a heightened sensibility for interoceptive signals, combined with a difficulty in attributing these sensations to emotions, leaves these sensations vulnerable to catastrophizing interpretation. Interventions that target the attribution of bodily sensations may prove valuable in reducing anxiety.

Type: Article
Title: Alexithymia mediates the relationship between interoceptive sensibility and anxiety
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0203212
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0203212
Language: English
Additional information: © 2018 Palser et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Clinical and Movement Neurosciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10056358
Downloads since deposit
51Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item