Alexithymia is defined as a difficulty in recognizing and describing one’s emotions, characterized by constricted imaginal processes and externally oriented thinking. During the last ten years several studies have investigated the relationship between alexithymia and health in childhood and adolescence, confirming that alexithymia could be defined as a risk factor for pathology also during development. Research in the field is currently constrained by the scarcity of instruments for the assessment of alexithymia in children. The objective of the present study is to create and validate a task for the evaluation of emotional competence in children from 4 to 8, based on the construct of alexithymia. Specifically, the task aims to evaluate childrens’ abilities in identifying and describing emotions, and in imagining a fantasy story on an emotional topic. In a first part of the task children are asked to choose among 4 pictures, representing 4 basic emotions (happiness, fear, sadness, angry), the emotional expression of a character represented in a situation. Children are also asked to describe what is happening in the images and to tell a story on the emotion investigated. A second part of the task evaluates in a similar way 4 complex emotions (loneliness, envy, shame, guilt). The interviewer assigns a score for two dimensions: Ability in Identifying and Describing Feelings and Imaginal Processes. The task was administered to 100 children recruited in kindergarten and elementary schools of Rome, during school time, with the presence of a teacher. Preliminary results showed no relationships between the two dimension scores and the children’s age and gender. A significant correlation was found between the Ability in Identifying and Describing Feelings score and the Imaginal Processes score (r=.62; p=.02). Results appear to confirm a possible application and evaluation of the alexithymia construct in children from 4 to 8 years.

Construction and preliminary validation of a picture task for the evaluation of emotional competence in children from 4 to 8 years based on the alexithymia theory / DI TRANI, Michela; Piperno, Francesca; Renzi, Alessia; Sogos, Carla. - In: MEDITERRANEAN JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY. - ISSN 2282-1619. - ELETTRONICO. - 4:(2016), pp. 157-157. ((Intervento presentato al convegno XVIII CONGRESSO NAZIONALE DELLA SEZIONE DI PSICOLOGIA CLINICA E DINAMICA tenutosi a Facoltà di Medicina e Psicologia, "Sapienza" Università di Roma, Via dei Marsi n.78 nel 16-18 Settembre 2016 [DOI: 10.6092/2282-1619/2016.4.1287].

Construction and preliminary validation of a picture task for the evaluation of emotional competence in children from 4 to 8 years based on the alexithymia theory

DI TRANI, MICHELA;PIPERNO, Francesca;RENZI, ALESSIA;SOGOS, Carla
2016

Abstract

Alexithymia is defined as a difficulty in recognizing and describing one’s emotions, characterized by constricted imaginal processes and externally oriented thinking. During the last ten years several studies have investigated the relationship between alexithymia and health in childhood and adolescence, confirming that alexithymia could be defined as a risk factor for pathology also during development. Research in the field is currently constrained by the scarcity of instruments for the assessment of alexithymia in children. The objective of the present study is to create and validate a task for the evaluation of emotional competence in children from 4 to 8, based on the construct of alexithymia. Specifically, the task aims to evaluate childrens’ abilities in identifying and describing emotions, and in imagining a fantasy story on an emotional topic. In a first part of the task children are asked to choose among 4 pictures, representing 4 basic emotions (happiness, fear, sadness, angry), the emotional expression of a character represented in a situation. Children are also asked to describe what is happening in the images and to tell a story on the emotion investigated. A second part of the task evaluates in a similar way 4 complex emotions (loneliness, envy, shame, guilt). The interviewer assigns a score for two dimensions: Ability in Identifying and Describing Feelings and Imaginal Processes. The task was administered to 100 children recruited in kindergarten and elementary schools of Rome, during school time, with the presence of a teacher. Preliminary results showed no relationships between the two dimension scores and the children’s age and gender. A significant correlation was found between the Ability in Identifying and Describing Feelings score and the Imaginal Processes score (r=.62; p=.02). Results appear to confirm a possible application and evaluation of the alexithymia construct in children from 4 to 8 years.
XVIII CONGRESSO NAZIONALE DELLA SEZIONE DI PSICOLOGIA CLINICA E DINAMICA
04 Pubblicazione in atti di convegno::04d Abstract in atti di convegno
Construction and preliminary validation of a picture task for the evaluation of emotional competence in children from 4 to 8 years based on the alexithymia theory / DI TRANI, Michela; Piperno, Francesca; Renzi, Alessia; Sogos, Carla. - In: MEDITERRANEAN JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY. - ISSN 2282-1619. - ELETTRONICO. - 4:(2016), pp. 157-157. ((Intervento presentato al convegno XVIII CONGRESSO NAZIONALE DELLA SEZIONE DI PSICOLOGIA CLINICA E DINAMICA tenutosi a Facoltà di Medicina e Psicologia, "Sapienza" Università di Roma, Via dei Marsi n.78 nel 16-18 Settembre 2016 [DOI: 10.6092/2282-1619/2016.4.1287].
File allegati a questo prodotto
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/954764
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact