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Journal of Traumatic Stress

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 93–100 | Cite as

Alexithymia in Holocaust Survivors with and Without PTSD

  • Rachel Yehuda
  • Ann Steiner
  • Boaz Kahana
  • Karen Binder-Brynes
  • Steven M. Southwick
  • Shelly Zemelman
  • Earl L. Giller
Article

Abstract

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.

alexithymia Holocaust survivors posttraumatic stress disorder Toronto Alexithymia Scale symptom severity 

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Copyright information

© International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rachel Yehuda
    • 1
  • Ann Steiner
    • 1
  • Boaz Kahana
    • 2
  • Karen Binder-Brynes
    • 1
  • Steven M. Southwick
    • 3
    • 4
  • Shelly Zemelman
    • 1
  • Earl L. Giller
    • 5
  1. 1.Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Program of the Psychiatry DepartmentMount Sinai School of Medicine and Bronx Veterans AffairsNew York
  2. 2.Department of SociologyCleveland State UniversityCleveland
  3. 3.Psychiatry DepartmentYale University School of MedicineNew Haven
  4. 4.Clinical Neurosciences DivisionNational Center for PTSD atWest Haven
  5. 5.Pfizer CorporationGroton

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