Alexithymia, anger, and interpersonal behavior

Howard Berenbaum, Stacey Irvin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: We explored the relationship between alexithymia and interpersonal behavior, particularly the expression of anger. Methods: Ninety-eight college students completed the Toronto Alexithymia Scale. A median split was used to divide participants into a low-alexithymia and a high-alexithymia group. The experimenter intentionally engaged in a series of anger-provoking behaviors. Results: Compared to individuals in the low-alexithymia group, individuals in the high-alexithymia group were more interpersonally avoidant and exhibited more nonverbal anger, yet there was a trend for them to describe their lab experience as more pleasant. Among individuals in the high-alexithymia group, the different measures of anger and interpersonal behavior were less strongly associated than they were among individuals in the low-alexithymia group. Conclusions: The results provide evidence of a complex association between alexithymia and anger, and of the lack of coherence in the communication of individuals with high levels of alexithymia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-208
Number of pages6
JournalPsychotherapy and Psychosomatics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996


  • Alexithymia
  • Anger
  • Behavior
  • Emotion
  • Interpersonal
  • Personality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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