Navigation Links
Having trouble sharing or understanding emotions? MU researcher believes affection could help
Date:4/6/2011

COLUMBIA, Mo. Every person has some level of alexithymia, as it is the personality trait which keeps people from sharing or even understanding their own emotions. Now, one University of Missouri researcher's latest study indicates that affectionate communication, such as hugging, could help those who have high levels of alexithymia lead more fulfilling lives.

Colin Hesse, an assistant professor of communication in the MU College of Arts and Science, said previous studies estimate 8 to 10 percent of people suffer from high alexithymia. Those who have high alexithymia have trouble relating to others, as they tend to become anxious around others or avoid forming relationships. Alexithymia is often found with other conditions on the autism spectrum, as well as post-traumatic stress disorders. Studies have shown that alexithymia has been related to eating and panic disorders, as well as substance abuse.

"We know how important it is for people to empathize and be open with the people around us, because that makes someone more competent as a communicator," Hesse said. "We still need to study the best approaches, but we believe that affectionate communication ranging from hugs, touching, or even the posture taken during communication can make a positive impact, even if it only relieves anxiety."

In the paper "Affection Mediates the Impact of Alexithymia on Relationships," published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, Hesse and Kory Floyd of Arizona State University surveyed 921 people and measured shared affection, attachment levels, and the number of close relationships. The researchers found that even though alexithymia was negatively related to forming relationships, the impact was lessened by giving and receiving higher amounts of affectionate communication.

While alexithymia is still relatively new to the scientific world, some scholars believe it may eventually be added to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. As a communications expert, Hesse is studying the ways alexithymia sufferers can ease the physical and mental costs of the affliction and succeed at relationships.

Hesse's previous work has shown that affectionate communication releases hormones that relieve stress, and his future studies will be applicable to all forms of communication.

"Because there is so much gray area with alexithymia, the potential for what we learn could have benefits for people with conditions such as emotional distance and autism spectrum disorders," Hesse said. "I want to help alexithymia sufferers understand the undercurrent of the messages sent from other people."


'/>"/>

Contact: Steven Adams
AdamsST@missouri.edu
573-882-8353
University of Missouri-Columbia
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Mothers abused during childhood at risk for having low birth weight babies
2. Having a strong community protects adolescents from risky health behaviors
3. Having Relative With Atrial Fibrillation Raises Own Risk
4. Could Having a Bigger Head Help Slow Alzheimers?
5. LASIK Surgeon Having LASIK Surgery
6. New, National Amnesty International Report Finds Appalling U.S. Death Rate for Women Having Babies, Systemic Failures and Shocking Disparities in Maternal Health Care System; Tennessee is 38th Among All States in Maternal Mortality
7. New, National Amnesty International Report Finds Appalling U.S. Death Rate for Women Having Babies, Systemic Failures and Shocking Disparities in Maternal Health Care System; New Jersey is 35th Among All States in Maternal Mortality
8. New, National Amnesty International Report Finds Appalling U.S. Death Rate for Women Having Babies, Systemic Failures and Shocking Disparities in Maternal Health Care System; California 35th Among All States in Maternal Mortality
9. New, National Amnesty International Report Finds Appalling U.S. Death Rate for Women Having Babies, Systemic Failures and Shocking Disparities in Maternal Health Care System; North Carolina is 37th Among All States in Maternal Mortality
10. New, National Amnesty International Report Finds Appalling U.S. Death Rate for Women Having Babies, Systemic Failures and Shocking Disparities in Maternal Health Care System; New Mexico is 49th Among All States in Maternal Mortality
11. New, National Amnesty International Report Finds Appalling U.S. Death Rate for Women Having Babies, Systemic Failures and Shocking Disparities in Maternal Health Care System; Oklahoma is 39th Among All States in Maternal Mortality
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Having trouble sharing or understanding emotions? MU researcher believes affection could help
(Date:5/25/2016)... , ... May 25, 2016 , ... Stern Environmental ... will be selling the device branded as Stern’s Real Time Monitoring (RTM) ... bedbugs to the hotel and motel industry, colleges for use in dormitories, shelters, and ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... Milwaukee, WI (PRWEB) , ... May 24, 2016 ... ... has announced that Rudolfo (Rudy) Cifolelli has joined the company as Vice President ... and the development of U.S. and international sales in the rapidly expanding field ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... ... Jericho Project has named LaToya Williams-Belfort to the position of Chief Development and ... for the nationally-acclaimed nonprofit, working closely with CEO Tori Lyon and the Board of ... roots. , “LaToya Williams-Belfort is joining Jericho at an exciting time of growth ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... How to Write Error Free Procedures, **Presented by Ginette M. ... error is known to be the major cause of quality and production losses in ... many human performance problems can be prevented. , How to Write Error Free Procedures, ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... , ... Loma Linda University Health (LLUH) has officially broken ground on the ... 3,000 people looked on as the shovels hit the dirt at the community groundbreaking ... During the program, Richard H. Hart, MD, DrPH, president, LLUH, recapped the history of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2016)... 23, 2016 The World Health Organization (WHO) expanded ... to include adolescents aged 13 years, and above. Effective immediately, ... for adult and adolescent males in the 14 priority countries ... was the first male circumcision device to receive WHO Prequalification ... Eddy Horowitz said: " The expanded use ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... 2016 Experts from various countries ... and the role of technology in innovative healthcare ... The First International Conference of VPS-Penn Medicine opened in ... presence of Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of ... which helps provide personalized medicine and tailor-made healthcare in disease ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... 2016 The global  reprocessed medical ... by 2022, according to a new study by Grand ... coupled with the lack of centralized support for waste ... the demand for reprocessed medical devices market. Additionally, the ... that of the original device is the high impact ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: