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Title: Understanding the relationship between alexithymia and empathy
Author: Colbron, Suzanne
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2009
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The purpose of this review is to explore published literature that is relevant to developing an understanding of the relationship between alexithymia and empathy. Before evaluating this relationship, this review focused on each construct separately, critically reviewing the literature surrounding the definition, theoretical models and measurement of each construct. Given the previous published literature examining alexithymia and various psychiatric illnesses, and empathy and offending populations, this review will consider the available literature examining alexithymia and empathy in the context of offending populations and autistic spectrum disorders. A literature search was conducted though searches of PSYCHINFO, Web of Science and Medline using the search terms alexithymia, empathy, offenders and autistic spectrum disorders to identify articles that were pertinent to the focus of this review. Empirical research provides evidence for a negative relationship between alexithymia and empathy. It has been demonstrated in the context of high alexithymia populations and in low empathy populations. Despite these indirect methods of exploring the relationship between alexithymia and empathy, this review identified the lack of empirical research evaluating this relationship specifically with valid and reliable measures of both the alexithymia and the empathy construct. This review identified the need to explore this relationship using valid and reliable self report measures in the general population, in addition to offending populations.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available