Background. Alcohol consumption among adolescents is becoming an increasingly widespread phenomenon in Italy, even among the younger population (Italy ranks first in Europa) with consequent negative effects on neurologic and psychic health. Alcohol dependence in adult age seems to be related to the inadequate way emotions and affects are perceived and managed since they are still not mentalized and poorly differentiated from physical states (alexithymia). Although evidence exists of a relationship between alexithymia and alcohol abuse in adults, there are no such studies on an adolescent sample. Objectives. Assess the potential correlation between alcohol consumption, alexithymia and the ability to attribute emotional states to others. Methods. Two samples were used for this study: one comprising high school students enrolled in the province of Padua and the other psychiatric patients affected by a Mixed Disturbance of Emotions and Conduct treated in the neuropsychiatric service of the local Hospital Unit n 16 in Padua. The mean age of adolescents was 15.5 years. Adolescents were given the QASS (Questionario Adolescenti Sabato Sera ), the TAS-20 (Toronto Alexithymia Scale) and the Emotion Attribution Test. Results. Our study seems to confirm some of the data contained in literature, namely that as adolescents get older there is an increase in alcohol consumption and a decrease of alexithymic traits. While studies on adults seem to confirm the relationship between alexithymia and alcohol abuse, in our study results were inverse. With regard to emotional attribution, there was a negative correlation between the former and alcohol consumption in the control group, which did not turn up in the case group, although the latter was significantly less capable to attribute an emotional state to others. Conclusions. This study is a valid preliminary contribution on the theme of adolescents, alcohol consumption and emotions, considering that its scarce visibility in literature. Additionally, from the perspective of its applicability, our study can be used to design preventive interventions which seek to reduce the use of alcohol among adolescents by working on emotional management as a risk factor.

Alcohol and emotions in adolescence

GATTA, MICHELA;SVANELLINI, LORENZA;BALOTTIN, LAURA;BATTISTELLA, PIER ANTONIO
2014

Abstract

Background. Alcohol consumption among adolescents is becoming an increasingly widespread phenomenon in Italy, even among the younger population (Italy ranks first in Europa) with consequent negative effects on neurologic and psychic health. Alcohol dependence in adult age seems to be related to the inadequate way emotions and affects are perceived and managed since they are still not mentalized and poorly differentiated from physical states (alexithymia). Although evidence exists of a relationship between alexithymia and alcohol abuse in adults, there are no such studies on an adolescent sample. Objectives. Assess the potential correlation between alcohol consumption, alexithymia and the ability to attribute emotional states to others. Methods. Two samples were used for this study: one comprising high school students enrolled in the province of Padua and the other psychiatric patients affected by a Mixed Disturbance of Emotions and Conduct treated in the neuropsychiatric service of the local Hospital Unit n 16 in Padua. The mean age of adolescents was 15.5 years. Adolescents were given the QASS (Questionario Adolescenti Sabato Sera ), the TAS-20 (Toronto Alexithymia Scale) and the Emotion Attribution Test. Results. Our study seems to confirm some of the data contained in literature, namely that as adolescents get older there is an increase in alcohol consumption and a decrease of alexithymic traits. While studies on adults seem to confirm the relationship between alexithymia and alcohol abuse, in our study results were inverse. With regard to emotional attribution, there was a negative correlation between the former and alcohol consumption in the control group, which did not turn up in the case group, although the latter was significantly less capable to attribute an emotional state to others. Conclusions. This study is a valid preliminary contribution on the theme of adolescents, alcohol consumption and emotions, considering that its scarce visibility in literature. Additionally, from the perspective of its applicability, our study can be used to design preventive interventions which seek to reduce the use of alcohol among adolescents by working on emotional management as a risk factor.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11577/3146933
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