Background: Substance Use Disorder (SUD) causes a great deal of personal suffering for patients. Recent evidence highlights how defenses and emotion regulation may play a crucial part in the onset and development of this disorder. The aim of this study was to investigate potential differences in the defensive functioning between SUD patients and non-clinical controls. Secondly, we aimed at investigating the relationships between alexithymia and maladaptive/assimilation defenses. Methods: The authors assessed defensive functioning (Response Evaluation Measure-71, REM-71), personality (MMPI-II), and alexithymia (TAS-20) of 171 SUD patients (17% female; mean age = 36.5), compared to 155 controls. Authors performed a series of ANOVAs to investigate the defensive array in SUD patients compared to that of nonclinical controls. Student t test for indipendent samples was used to compare clinical characteristics between the SUD group and the controls. To investigate the role of single defenses in explaining alexithimia’s subscores, stepwise multiple regression analysis were carried out on socio-demographic characteristics of participants (gender, age, and years of education), with REM-71 defenses as predictors. Results: SUD patients presented a more maladaptive/assimilation (Factor 1) defensive array (p < .001). Among SUD sub-groups, Alcohol Use Disorder patients showed more disfuncional defenses. Factor 1 defenses were related to a worse psychological functioning. In addition, alexyhimia (particularly DIF) was strongly related to Factor 1 defenses, expecially Projection (38% of variance explained, β = .270, p < .001). Conclusion: The REM-71 and the TAS-20 might be useful screening instruments among SUD patients.

Investigating defensive functioning and alexithymia in substance use disorder patients

Taurino, Alessandro
Conceptualization
;
Antonucci, Linda A.
Supervision
;
Taurisano, Paolo
Writing – Review & Editing
;
Laera, Domenico
Investigation
2021-01-01

Abstract

Background: Substance Use Disorder (SUD) causes a great deal of personal suffering for patients. Recent evidence highlights how defenses and emotion regulation may play a crucial part in the onset and development of this disorder. The aim of this study was to investigate potential differences in the defensive functioning between SUD patients and non-clinical controls. Secondly, we aimed at investigating the relationships between alexithymia and maladaptive/assimilation defenses. Methods: The authors assessed defensive functioning (Response Evaluation Measure-71, REM-71), personality (MMPI-II), and alexithymia (TAS-20) of 171 SUD patients (17% female; mean age = 36.5), compared to 155 controls. Authors performed a series of ANOVAs to investigate the defensive array in SUD patients compared to that of nonclinical controls. Student t test for indipendent samples was used to compare clinical characteristics between the SUD group and the controls. To investigate the role of single defenses in explaining alexithimia’s subscores, stepwise multiple regression analysis were carried out on socio-demographic characteristics of participants (gender, age, and years of education), with REM-71 defenses as predictors. Results: SUD patients presented a more maladaptive/assimilation (Factor 1) defensive array (p < .001). Among SUD sub-groups, Alcohol Use Disorder patients showed more disfuncional defenses. Factor 1 defenses were related to a worse psychological functioning. In addition, alexyhimia (particularly DIF) was strongly related to Factor 1 defenses, expecially Projection (38% of variance explained, β = .270, p < .001). Conclusion: The REM-71 and the TAS-20 might be useful screening instruments among SUD patients.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11586/370455
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