An italian alexithymia questionnaire for children: factor structure and reliabilityThough better knowledge concerning alexithymia in childhood could improve understanding of its development during the lifespan, it has been scarcely investigated in children. A necessary step in research on alexithymia is to create instruments for assessing the construct. The object of the present study was to develop an Italian Alexithymia Questionnaire for Children based on the instrument proposed by Rieffe et al. (2006) and to examine its factor structure and reliability. The English version of the questionnaire was translated into Italian and it was administered to 576 children recruited from primary and secondary schools (age mean = 10.78, s.d. = 1.67; males 357 and 219 females). Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) revealed preliminary evidence of a four-factor structure, which explained 37.90% of the variance: Factor 1 "Difficulty Describing Feelings", Factor 2 "Difficulty Identifying Feelings", Factor 3 "Confusion on Physical Sensations" and Factor 4 "Externally-Oriented Thinking". As to reliability, the Cronbach alpha indicated adequate internal consistency. Pearson correlations among the total score and the four factors were statistically significant. Moreover, the sample was divided into two groups (children and pre-adolescents) and a ttest was conducted: children showed significantly higher scores than adolescents on the total score of the questionnaire. No significant gender differences in mean total scores were found.
Key words: alexithymia, childhood, questionnaire, Italian version
Parole chiave: alessitimia, età evolutiva, questionario, versione italiana
Michela Di Trani, Nadia Tomassetti, Maria Bonadies, Flavia Capozzi, Luigi De Gennaro, Fabio Presaghi, Luigi Solano, in "PSICOLOGIA DELLA SALUTE" 2/2009, pp. 131-143, DOI:10.3280/PDS2009-002009