Alexithymia in Holocaust survivors with and without PTSD

J Trauma Stress. 1997 Jan;10(1):93-100. doi: 10.1023/a:1024860430725.


Alexithymia was measured in non-treatment seeking, community-dwelling Holocaust survivors using the Toronto Alexithymia Scale-Twenty Item Version (TAS-20). Scores of survivors with (n = 30) and without (n = 26) posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were compared, and associations among alexithymia, severity of trauma, and severity of PTSD symptoms were determined. Survivors with PTSD had significantly higher scores on the TAS-20 compared to survivors without PTSD. TAS-20 scores were significantly associated with severity of PTSD symptoms, but not with severity of trauma. This study adds to our knowledge of the relationship between alexithymia and trauma by demonstrating that this characteristic is related to the presence of posttraumatic symptoms and not simply exposure to trauma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Affective Symptoms / diagnosis
  • Affective Symptoms / psychology*
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Holocaust / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / diagnosis
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology*
  • Survivors / psychology*