Subjective and objective: Alexithymia and social cognition in eating disorders

Michal Hason Rozenstein, Daniel Stein, Yael Latzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Emotional difficulties characterize eating disorders (ED). We examined the construct of alexithymia (disability to recognize and understand emotions) and neurocognitive factors of social cognition in patients diagnosed with B/P-EDs and their mothers. Method: 34 mother-daughter dyads, in which the daughter has B/P-ED and 31 control dyads conducted subjective self-evaluation of alexithymia and underwent objective neuro-cognitive evaluation of their ability to recognize and understand emotions. Results were compared. Results: First, significant differences were found between the daughters’ groups on their subjective but not objective evaluation of alexithymia. Second, within group mother-daughter correlation was positive for controls, but not for the ED group. Conclusions: People with B/P-ED show subjective high levels of alexithymia but not an objective deficit in emotional understanding. However, there is an interesting dis-correlation between them and their mothers, which calls for further research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-54
Number of pages10
JournalIsrael Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


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