Alexithymia and Locus of Control in Graduation Students

Scientific Essay, 2012

13 Pages



Imran Haider Zaidi

MS (Clinical Psychology) Scholar

G.C University, Faisalabad Pakistan

Dr. M. Naeem Mohsin

Director Distance Learning Education

G.C University, Faisalabad Pakistan


The current research focused on exploring the relationship between Alexithymia and locus of control among graduation students in Pakistan. TAS 20 item (Bagb, Parker and Taylor, 1994) and 29 item Locus of Control questionnaire (Rotter, 1966) were used to measure Alexithymia and locus of control respectively. Sample of (N=200) individuals (n=100) men and (n=100) women selected from different academic institutes of Faisalabad division Punjab Pakistan.

Pearson Product Moment Correlation and independent sample t-test were used for statistical analysis. This study has consistent results with the earlier studies. Results of this research indicate a significant positive correlation between Alexithymia and locus of control among graduation students. Current study further find out that men experience high level of Alexithymia as compared to women. However, this study additionally concluded that men has internal locus of control and women scored high on external locus of control. Implications of these findings and suggestions for future researches are discussed.

Key Words: Alexithymia, Locus of control, graduation students.


Alexithymia is lack of emotional awareness. We can say that it is an inability to express and judge the emotions of others. Some people lack both of the abilities but some others may express their emotions but cannot judge or vice versa. Emotional awareness is necessary in our daily life. It is essential to understand and response to others. It has been studied that Alexithymics have more difficulties in their professional, personal and social life as compared to non Alexithymics. There are two basic causes of Alexithymia. The first one is biological according to which Alexithymia is caused by interhemisphere transfer deficiency. Basically emotional information transmits from right hemisphere to the language regions not being properly transferred to the left hemisphere which can be caused by decreased corpus callosum. This can be congenital or occur later at any stage of life. The other considerable cause consists of genetic and ecological factor. Alexithymia can transfer genetically and sever childhood abuse (head or skull injury) can also contribute important role in its development (Bogen & Hoppe, 1977).

Alexithymia is a word coined by psychotherapist Sifneos in 1973 to explain a condition of difficulty in understanding, processing, or describing emotions. The word originate from the Ancient Greek words (lexis, "diction", "word") and (thumos, "soul, as the seat of emotion, feeling, and thought") modified by an alpha privative, literally meaning "without words for emotions".

Locus of Control is an aptitude that to be relevant control in excess of outcomes. People considering themselves able to control their outcomes are known as internal or possessing internal Locus of Control. Externals or individuals with external Locus of Control considered their outcomes beyond of their control. Individual with internal Locus of Control have high motivation for achievement and low outer directedness. On the other side externals always keep trying to search out explanations for their failures. We may also refer internals as “self control” or “self determination”.

Internal individuals can be psychologically unhealthy and instable if they decline competence, efficacy and opportunity. They may become neurotic, nervous or depress. It can be said that they require suitable surroundings which influence them to experience success. External individuals may be easy going, relaxed and lead a pleasant life (Hans, 2000; Hattie, Marsh, Neill, & Richards, 1997).

According to Bjorkqvist et al. (1999), internal locus of control is composed of dependent events mostly related to one’s permanent characteristics. Three types of locus of control had been acknowledged. Foremost, internal locus of control reflects the trust that one has personage control in surplus of the proceedings to make possible happen. Succeeding, authoritative other locus of control is the conviction that proceedings are not resolute by one’s own behavior, excluding by persons who are in positions of power over the human being. Third, unidentified locus of control is at what time a person does not acquainted with why actions take place (Doumas & Halloran, 1999).

Any individual enrolled in graduation program and previously have passed an undergraduate program is called a graduation student. Mostly these individuals are enrolled in master degree program.

My aim is to study the level of Alexithymia and Locus of Control in graduation students.

Hexel (2003) examined the relationship between internal–external locus of control, alexithymia, and adult attachment style. Results from study reveal that participants with an internal locus of control show lower scores on alexithymia and report more confidence, which was associated with secure attachment style. Overall that study finds a significant association between low alexithymia and secure attachment style with the influence of the locus of control.

Relationship among alexithymia and locus of control was explored within an experimental group comprised of common follow up patients and patients with provocative bowel disease, and in a nonclinical group of medical students. Alexithymia was linked positively with the powerful others and chance dimensions of external locus of control in both groups, and has reverse relationship with internal locus of control in the nonclinical group (Bagby, Taylor, & Veríssimo, 2000).

The relationship between alexithymia and locus of control Studied in healthy men and women from a French geographic region. Consequently, alexithymia scores were disapprovingly related with scores on internality (Loas et al., 1996).


Keeping in view the above mentioned objectives following hypotheses are formulated.

- There would be a significant relationship between Alexithymia and General Locus of Control in graduation students.
- There would be a significant difference on Alexithymia among men and women in graduation students.
- There would be a significant difference on General Locus of Control among men and women.


Ghasemzadeh and Saadat (2011) assessed that female students for the locus of chance control received higher scores than the male students. The students of the faculties of basic sciences, psychology and educational sciences, power and computer showed significant difference on the locus of internal control and external locus of control. Internal locus of control with meaningful level had a direct and positive relationship with the educational achievement of students.

The relationship between alexithymia and ego defense styles was investigated by Besharat and Shahidi (2011) in a sample of two hundred and eighty six Iranian students in the University of Tehran. A significant negative correlation between alexithymia and mature defense style as well as a significant positive association with neurotic and immature defense styles concluded from the study.

An inverse relationship among social desirability and alexithymia had been observed in undergraduate students in Japan and Australia. Social desirability scores inversely correlated with TAS20 total scores and neuroticism scores. Students with privileged alexithymia and neuroticism scores give the impression to themselves in less communally attractive ways. The association of social prestige with alexithymia was moderated by privileged neuroticism scores (Fogliani, Messina, & Paradiso, 2010).

A study aimed to find out the role of self esteem, locus of control, and big five personality traits in predicting hopelessness of students. Results reveal that internal locus of control; self esteem and extraversion predicted hopelessness (Balbag, Cemrek, & Mutlu, 2010).

A research described concept of alexithymia and confirm if there is a difference in the rate of alexithymia amongst graduate students of different disciplines. Restricted rates of alexithymia were commencing for life science students in contrast to psychology students. Between these two fields are students of medicine, no significant difference in score of medical students and other student groups were found (HoškováMayerová & Mokrá, 2010).

Berthoz et al. (2010) observed associations between the proposed cognitive components of alexithymia and that of empathy as well as empathic concern, which were insensitive to anxiety or depression. Findings suggested specific relationship among cognitive and affective components of both constructs that were differently affected by anxiety plus depression.

Besharat (2010) investigated the relationship of alexithymia with coping styles and interpersonal problems. Alexithmic students scored significantly high as compared to low and nonalexithmic students on emotion oriented coping as well as interpersonal issues. Nonalexithymic students scored significantly high than higher and low alexithymic students on task oriented. Results supported link of alexithymia with maladaptive coping strategies and interpersonal relationships.

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Alexithymia and Locus of Control in Graduation Students
Governament College University Faisalabad  (GC University)
MS (Clinical Psychology)
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Alexithymia, Locus of Control, graduation, students
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Imran Haider Zaidi Zaidi (Author)M. Naeem Mohsin (Author), 2012, Alexithymia and Locus of Control in Graduation Students, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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