No studies exist dealing with alexithymia and cellular phone (=CP) use. We hypothesised that there is an association between alexithymia and 1.not owing a CP and 2. with sparse use of CP.
The material consisted of 696 primary health care patients in Finland. Data was gathered with a questionnaire. Alexithymia was measured with the Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20. In addition to owing and using of CP several other factors were measured. The sociodemographic background factors consisted of gender, age, marital status, working status, living situation, and interpersonal relationships. The health status was measured with two subjective assessments (self perceived general health and functional ability) and with three standardized scales (the Depression Scale, Mood Disorder Questionnaire, and 22 questions from the core psychosis section of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview). In addition the childhood emotional, sexual and physical abuse was measured with the Traumatic and Distress Scale.
Only 9 % of the participants did not own a CP. Among them the means of TAS total score and TAS-factor3 (externally oriented thinking) were significantly higher than among other participants. Among those who used CP at least daily the means of all alexithymia measures: TAS total score, and the three factors (difficulty in identifying feelings, difficulty in describing feelings, externally-oriented thinking) were significantly lower than among other participants. In case of TAS total score and difficulty in describing feelings these associations still remained after controlling for all the above mentioned other factors. These findings fit well with the alexithymia construct.