Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Polish Psychological Bulletin

The Journal of Committee for Psychological Sciences of Polish Academy of Sciences

4 Issues per year

CiteScore 2016: 0.33

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2016: 0.185
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2016: 0.258

Open Access
See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 46, Issue 2


Attachment and alexithymia are related, but mind-mindedness does not mediate this relationship

Marta Szpak / Marta Białecka-Pikul
Published Online: 2015-05-22 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ppb-2015-0029


The main aim of the study was to check: (a) attachment-related differences in alexithymia and (b) the mediating role of mind-mindedness in attachment-alexithymia relationship. Method: Attachment (PAM; Berry et al., 2007), alexithymia (TAS-20; Bagby, Taylor, & Parker, 1994) and mind-mindedness (“describe your friend” method; Meins et al, 2008) were measured in the sample of 128 Polish undergraduates. Results: Positive associations were seen between attachment anxiety and overall alexithymia scores and difficulty identifying emotions. Attachment avoidance was positively associated with overall alexithymia score, difficulty describing feelings and externally oriented thinking. Mind-mindedness was not related to neither attachment or alexithymia. Conclusion: There are attachment-related differences in alexithymia, but mind-mindedness seems not to mediate attachment-alexithymia relationship.

Keywords : alexithymia; attachment; mind-mindedness; mentalizing


  • Bagby, R., Taylor, G., & Parker, J. (1994). The twenty-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale - II. Convergent, discriminant, and concurrent validity. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 38, 33-40.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Bagby, R., Taylor, G., Parker, J., & Dickens, S. E. (2006). The development of the Toronto Structured Interview for Alexithymia: Item selection, factor structure, reliability, and concurrent validity. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 75, 25-39.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Bartholomew, K. & Horowitz, L.M. (1991). Attachment Style Among Young Adults: A Test of a Four-Category Model. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 61, 226-244.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Berry, K., Band, R., Corcoran, R., Barrowclough, Ch., & Wearden, A. (2007). Attachment styles, earlier interpersonal relationships and schizotypy in a non-clinical sample. Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice, 80, 563-576.CrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Brody, L. R., & Hall, J. A. (2000). Gender, emotion, and expression. In M. Lewis & J. M. Haviland (Eds.), Handbook of emotions (2nd ed., pp. 338-349). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar

  • Cedro, A. , Kokoszka, A. , Popiel, A., & Narkiewicz-Jodko, W. (2001). Alexithymia in Schizophrenia: an Exploratory Study. Psychological Reports, 89, 95-98.PubMedGoogle Scholar

  • De Rick, A. & Vanheule, S. (2006). The relationship between perceived parenting, adult attachment style and alexithymia in alcoholic inpatients. Addictive Behaviors, 31, 1265-1270.CrossrefPubMedGoogle Scholar

  • Fertuck, E., Jekal, A., Song, I., Wyman, B. Morris, M., Wilson, S. Brodsky, B., & Stanley, B. (2009). Enhanced ‘Reading the Mind in the Eyes’ in borderline personality disorder compared to healthy controls. Psychological Medicine, 39, 1979-1988.CrossrefWeb of SciencePubMedGoogle Scholar

  • Fonagy (2006). The Mentalization-Focused Approach to Social Development. In J.G. Allen & P. Fonagy (Eds.), Handbook of Mentalization-Based Treatment (pp.53-99). London: John Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar

  • George, C., Kaplan, N., & Main, M. (1985). The adult attachment interview. Unpublished manuscript, Department of Psychology, University of California at Berkeley.Google Scholar

  • Griffin, D. & Bartholomew, K. (1994). Models of the Self and Other: Fundamental Dimensions Underlying Measures of Adult Attachment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 67(3), 43-445.Google Scholar

  • Hexel, M. (2003). Alexithymia and attachment style in relation to locus of control. Personality and Individual Differences, 35, 1261-1270.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Hoaglin, D. C. & Iglewicz, B. (1987). Fine tuning some resistant rules for outlier labeling, Journal of American Statistical Association, 82, 1147-1149.Google Scholar

  • Hoaglin, D. C., Iglewicz, B., & Tukey, J. W. (1986). Performance of Some Resistant Rules for Outlier Labeling. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 81, 991-999.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Kobak, R., Holland, E., Rayanne, F., & Fleming, W. (1993). Attachment and Emotion Regulation during Mother-Teen Problem Solving: A Control Theory Analysis. Child Development, 64, 231-245.PubMedCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Leweke F, Leichsenring F, Kruse J, Hermes S. Is Alexithymia Associated with Specific Mental Disorders. Psychopathology, 45, 22-28.Web of SciencePubMedGoogle Scholar

  • Luminet, O., Rime, B., Bagby, R., & Taylor, G. (2004). A multimodal investigation of emotional responding in alexithymia. Cognition and Emotion, 18, 741-766.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Meins, E., Fernyhough, Ch., Russell, J., & Clark-Carter, D. (1998). Security of Attachment as a Predictor Symbolic and Mentalising Abilities: A Longitudinal Study. Social Development, 7(1), 1-24.Google Scholar

  • Meins, E., Fernyhough, Ch., Johnson, F., & Lidstone, J. (2006). Mindmindedness in children: Individual differences in internal-state talk in middle childhood. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 24, 181-196.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Meins, E., Harris-Waller, J., & Lloyd, A. (2008). Understanding alexithymia: Associations with peer attachment style and mindmindedness. Personality and Individual Differences, 45, 146-152.CrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Montebarocci, O., Codispoti, M., Baldaro, B., & Rossi, N. (2004). Adult attachment style and alexithymia. Personality and Individual Differences, 36, 499-507.Web of ScienceCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Osborne, J.W. & Overbay, A. (2004). The power of outliers (and why researchers should always check for them). Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, 9(6).Google Scholar

  • Picardi, A., Toni, A., & Caroppo, E. (2005). Stability of Alexithymia and Its Relationships with the ‘Big Five’ Factors, Temperament, Character, and Attachment Style. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 74, 371-378.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Preißler, S., Dziobek, I., Ritter, K., Heekeren, H.R., & Roepke, S. (2010). Social Cognition in Borderline Personality Disorder: Evidence for Disturbed Recognition of the Emotions, Thoughts, and Intentions of others. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 4, 182.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Schore, A.N. (2000). Attachment and the regulation of the right brain. Attachment & Human Development, 2(1), 23-47.PubMedCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Tamres, L., Janicki, D., & Helgeson, V. S. (2002). Sex differences in coping behavior: A meta-analytic review. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 6, 2-30.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Taylor, G.J. & Bagby, R.M. (2004). New Trends in Alexithymia Research. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 73(2), 68-73.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Wastell, C.A. & Taylor, A.J. (2002). Alexithymic mentalising: Theory of mind and social adaptation. Social Behavior and Personality, 30(2), 141-148. CrossrefGoogle Scholar

About the article

Published Online: 2015-05-22

Published in Print: 2015-06-01

Citation Information: Polish Psychological Bulletin, Volume 46, Issue 2, Pages 217–222, ISSN (Online) 1641-7844, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ppb-2015-0029.

Export Citation

© Polish Academy of Sciences, Committee for Psychological Sciences. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in