An adaptation of a Norwegian modified short version of Christiansen & Goldman's Alcohol Expectancy Questionnaire for Adolescents (AEQ-A) was examined in this survey. Subjects were 924 Norwegian seventh graders, with an average age of 13.3 years. From the original 90 items, 27 items representing all seven original scales were used in this study. Factor analysis did not create any preferred new factor solution compared to Christiansen & Goldman's original factors. Internal consistency of the seven AEQ-A scales ranged from 0.37 to 0.72 on Cronbach's alpha. All seven AEQ-A scales correlated significantly with self-reported alcohol use as was expected, and this study also replicated the relative importance of the social enhancement scale. This was the first study using AEQ-A in a non-English-speaking culture. The generalizability of alcohol outcome expectancies was strongly supported. The present study indicates that the Norwegian version of AEQ-A possesses a level of concurrent validity and internal reliability that is acceptable compared to the original scales, and can serve as a useful instrument in behavioral research on alcohol use among Norwegian adolescents in the years to come.
An explosion in a Danish supertanker under construction in 1994 caused the death of six workers and injured 15. Six months later 270 workers took part in this study, which analyses the relationships between objective stressors, the workers' own feelings and the reactions of their families after the explosion together with training, attitude to the workplace, general out-look, and received crisis help. Traumatisation, coping style and crisis support was assessed via the Impact of Event Scale (IES), the Coping Styles Questionnaire (CSQ) and the Crisis Support Scale (CSS). Emotionally, workers and their families were strongly affected by the explosion. The IES-score was 17.6 and the invasion score 9.1. The degree of traumatisation was higher in the group who had an 'audience position' than in the group who was directly hit by the explosion. Training in rescue work did not protect against adverse effects. Rescue work had a strong impact on the involved. Social support was a significant factor, that seems to buffer negative effects. High level of social integration, effective leadership in the situation, and professional crisis intervention characterised the disaster situation. All the same, 41 per cent of the workers reached the caseness criteria by Horowitz (IES > or = 19).
The aim of the present study was to examine age and gender differences in social anxiety symptoms during adolescence, and to investigate the psychometrics of the Social Phobia Inventory (SPIN) among adolescents. The SPIN was administered to a large general population sample (n=5252) of Finnish adolescents aged 12-16 years. Age and gender trends in scores and internal consistency and factorial composition of the SPIN were examined in this sample. The test-retest reliability of the SPIN was examined in a smaller sample of adolescents (n=802). Results showed that girls scored higher than boys on the SPIN full scale and three subscales across the whole age range. Eighth graders (14- to 15-year-olds) scored higher than seventh and ninth graders on the full scale, for boys the differences were significant. Good test-retest reliability (r=0.81), and internal consistency (alpha=0.89) were found for the SPIN. An exploratory factor analysis (EFA) performed on a random half (n=2625) of the population sample yielded a one-factor model accounting for 38% of the variance between items. This one-factor model, plus an alternative three-factor model, were examined in the holdout half of the population sample (n=2627) by means of a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). Some support was gained for both factor structures. Our results indicate that symptoms of social phobia may increase in mid-adolescence. The SPIN appears to be a reliable self-report instrument among adolescents.
The aim of the present study was to develop a Swedish self-rating instrument for clinical aggression research based on the American Aggression Questionnaire (AQ), which measures physical aggression, verbal aggression, anger, and hostility. To test this adapted Aggression Questionnaire--revised Swedish version (AQ-RSV), it was mailed to 781 randomly selected individuals, aged 20-40 year. A total of 497 (64%) evaluable AQ-RSV inventories were obtained and analyzed statistically. Drop-out analysis showed that non-responders were most often male and significantly older than responders. Among the responders, AQ-RSV showed significant sex differences in all aggression subscales except Hostility. Aggression was found to vary with age, geographical region, and size of home community. The AQ and the AQ-RSV were comparable in correlations between the four aggression subscales and in alpha coefficients, which indicated considerable internal consistency. Development of the aggression-measuring instrument for Swedish conditions is important not only to study subtraits of aggression but to enable analyses of their relationships to neurobiological and psychiatric variables.
Erratum In: Nord J Psychiatry. 2001;55(5):36411839129
A representative sample of 310 long-term unemployed in Norway was followed for 2 years with clinical examinations and the AUDIT questionnaire. 30% of the men and 8% of the women scored over the cut-off point for an alcohol use disorder. This gives a probable prevalence of 16%. The test predicted return to employment in this sample. The AUDIT answers were also used as a basis for dividing into three groups: 'normal', 'hazardous' and 'harmful'. At 2 year follow-up, 27% had changed group, 32 respondents to the worse and 24 to the better. This 'unstable' group was characterized by weaker social network and more frequent drinking. The AUDIT was judged as a useful instrument both in a routine health examination and as an epidemiological tool.
The objective of the present study was to assess alexithymia by means of the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) and The Emotion Protocol (EP) in a group of refugees. Eighty-six subjects were willing to participate. At last follow-up, 33 non-PTSD and 22 PTSD subjects had complete data. Subjects with PTSD had higher scores on the TAS-20 (F = 4.314, df = 77, p = 0.041), but on the subscale level, this was significant only with regard to Factor I, difficulties identifying feelings (F = 5.316, df = 77, p = 0.024). TAS Factor I and to a lower extent TAS Factor II (difficulties naming feelings) were significantly associated with the self-rated presence of dysphoric affects. At follow-up, an increase in TAS Factor I score was associated with increased prevalence of self-rated symptoms of PTSD, but not depression. Decrease in prolactin was associated with significant increase of TAS Factor I (rho = -0.396, n = 54, p = 0.003). The present study indicates that alexithymia as measured by TAS-20 is indeed associated with symptoms of PTSD. This association is almost exclusively explained by the TAS Factor I subscale and is in turn associated with a high level of self-reported dysphoric affect. The longitudinal inverse correlation with prolactin points to the possibility of an underlying disturbance in serotonergic and/or dopaminergic systems. The results thus indicate that secondary, or post-traumatic, alexithymia is a measure of suppressed or warded-off negative affects.
Alexithymia is a personality trait associated with difficulties in identifying feelings, difficulties in describing feelings to other people, constricted imaginal processes, and an externally oriented cognitive style. It has been found to be associated with personality features that may cause interpersonally avoidant behavior and other interpersonal problems. The present study explored, in a sample of primary care patients (N = 491), whether alexithymia is associated with mobile phone usage, and whether the perceived quality and quantity of human relationships mediate its effect. Even controlling for sociodemographic variables and symptoms of depression, mania and psychoses, alexithymia, measured by the 20-Item Toronto Alexithymia Scale, was associated with less frequent mobile phone use. Not having enough relationships or a close friend, and relationships being less satisfactory mediated the effect of alexithymia on less frequent mobile phone use. The results support the findings of earlier studies that have linked interpersonal problems with alexithymia.
The aim of this study was to explore the possible association between alexithymia and anxiety in a non-clinical sample of late adolescents.
The questionnaire was sent to 935 adolescents of whom 729 (78%) responded, thus forming the final sample. The mean age of the subjects was 19 years (range 17-21 years). The Finnish versions of the following scales were used: the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) was used to assess alexithymia, and anxiety symptoms were measured using the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI). Alcohol consumption was assessed using the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT), and depression symptoms were evaluated using the short form of the Beck Depression Inventory, as modified by Raitasalo (RBDI).
The prevalence of alexithymia in the sample was 8.2%, with no statistically significant gender difference. The alexithymic subjects had significantly (p
We investigated if alexithymia, a personality construct with difficulties in emotional processing, is stable in the general population.
Altogether 3083 unselected subjects aged 30 and older in Finland completed the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) in the longitudinal Health 2000 and Health 2011 general population surveys (BRIF8901). The stability of alexithymia at the 11-year follow-up was assessed with t-tests, correlations, and separate linear regression models with base-line and follow-up age, gender, marital status, education, and 12-month depressive and anxiety disorders as confounders.
The mean score (SD) of the TAS-20 for the whole sample was 44.2 (10.4) in 2000 and 44.2 (10.9) in 2011 (p=0.731). The mean score of the TAS-20 subscale Difficulty Identifying Feelings increased by 0.3 points, Difficulty Describing Feelings decreased by 0.6 points and Externally Oriented Thinking increased by 0.3 points. The effect sizes of the changes varied from negligible to small. Age had little effect except for the group of the oldest subjects (75-97years): the TAS-20 mean (SD) score was 49.1 (10.1) in 2000 and 53.1 (10.3) in 2011 (p