OBJECTIVES: To determine (1) alexithymia, affect recognition, and empathy differences in participants with and without traumatic brain injury (TBI); (2) the amount of affect recognition variance explained by alexithymia; and (3) the amount of empathy variance explained by alexithymia and affect recognition. PARTICIPANTS: Sixty adults with moderate-to-severe TBI; 60 age and gender-matched controls. PROCEDURES: Participants were evaluated for alexithymia (difficulty identifying feelings, difficulty describing feelings, and externally-oriented thinking); facial and vocal affect recognition; and affective and cognitive empathy (empathic concern and perspective-taking, respectively). RESULTS: Participants with TBI had significantly higher alexithymia; poorer facial and vocal affect recognition; and lower empathy scores. For TBI participants, facial and vocal affect recognition variances were significantly explained by alexithymia (12% and 8%, respectively); however, the majority of the variances were accounted for by externally-oriented thinking alone. Affect recognition and alexithymia significantly accounted for 16.5% of cognitive empathy. Again, the majority of the variance was primarily explained by externally-oriented thinking. Affect recognition and alexithymia did not explain affective empathy. CONCLUSIONS: Results suggest that people who have a tendency to avoid thinking about emotions (externally-oriented thinking) are more likely to have problems recognizing others emotions and assuming others points of view. Clinical implications are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
Relationships between alexithymia, affect recognition, and empathy after traumatic brain injury. / Neumann, Dawn; Zupan, Barbra; Malec, James F.; Hammond, Flora.In: Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, Vol. 29, No. 1, 01.2014.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article
TY - JOUR
T1 - Relationships between alexithymia, affect recognition, and empathy after traumatic brain injury
AU - Neumann, Dawn
AU - Zupan, Barbra
AU - Malec, James F.
AU - Hammond, Flora
PY - 2014/1
Y1 - 2014/1
N2 - Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
AB - Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84893025544&partnerID=8YFLogxK
UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84893025544&partnerID=8YFLogxK
U2 - 10.1097/HTR.0b013e31827fb0b5
DO - 10.1097/HTR.0b013e31827fb0b5
M3 - Article
C2 - 23407425
AN - SCOPUS:84893025544
VL - 29
JO - Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation
JF - Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation
SN - 0885-9701
IS - 1