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:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... The American Board of Family Medicine's ... President and Chief Executive Officer, succeeding Dr. James C. Puffer upon his retirement. Dr. ... 2018 until Dr. Puffer’s retirement at the end of 2018. Upon assuming the role ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Apple Rehab Shelton Lakes , which specializes in the ... facility as part of a disaster drill on October 3rd. , Apple Rehab participated ... Emergency Manager, as well as the Connecticut Long Term Care Mutual Aid Plan ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Yisrayl Hawkins, ... week that explains one of the most popular and least understood books in the ... cryptic and puzzling descriptions that have baffled scholars for centuries. Many have tossed it ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... WILMINGTON, Del. (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 ... ... technology and advisory services for healthcare compliance program management, will showcase a range ... and National Association for Assisted Living (NCAL) Convention and Expo to be held ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... Bethesda, MD (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... Award of Excellence to Carol Friedman, PhD, FACMI, during the Opening Session of AMIA’s ... 4 – 8. , In honor of Morris F. Collen, a pioneer in the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... , Oct. 12, 2017 AVACEN Medical ... the company with their  2017 New Product Innovation Award ... on extensive primary and secondary medical device market research by ... through its first-to-market OTC, drug-free pain relief product, the AVACEN ... approach to treating fibromyalgia widespread pain. ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... Texas , Oct. 11, 2017  Caris Life ... focused on fulfilling the promise of precision medicine, today ... has joined Caris, Precision Oncology Alliance™ (POA) as its ... cancer centers, the St. Jude Crosson Cancer Institute will ... advance the use of tumor profiling, making cancer treatment ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... , Oct. 10, 2017   West Pharmaceutical ... innovative solutions for injectable drug administration, today shared the ... ID Adapter for improving the intradermal administration of polio ... Skin Vaccination Summit in May 2017 by Dr. ... Polio Department, World Health Organization (WHO), and recently published ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: