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Title: Impaired emotional processing and somatization : a correlation study
Authors: Saliba, Joelle
Advisors: Abi Habib, Rudy
Keywords: emotional processing, impoverished emotional experiences, somatization, somatic symptom severity, psychological symptom burden
Issue Date: 2024
Somatization, commonly defined as the expression of psychological distress in the form of
physical complaints, is a persistent clinical problem as it leads its sufferers to excessively
seek medical care for their symptoms. Somatic symptoms are common in the general
population, and in some cases, people may experience these somatic symptoms as distressing,
chronic, and disabling. Studies are increasingly demonstrating that having deficits in
emotional processing contributes to somatization, however, the conceptualization of
emotional processing in these studies has mostly been restricted to only one specific
dimension of emotional processing which is alexithymia. This principle aim of this research
was to explore the relationship between deficits in emotional processing and somatization in
Lebanese adults aged 18-40, as well as the association of these two variables with various
sociodemographic and health variables. An quantitative questionnaire was distributed online
containing: (1) a demographic and health questionnaire; (2) the Emotional Processing scale
version 25 (EPS-25); (3) the 15-item Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-15); (4) the 12-item
Somatic Symptom Disorder-B criteria scale (SSD-12); (5) the 8-item Patient Health Question
depression scale (PHQ-8); and (6) the 7-item Generalized Anxiety Disorder scale (GAD-7).
A total of 302 participants were recruited using convenience sampling. Results indicated that
people who display greater deficits in emotional processing were more likely to report
somatic symptoms and were more burdened by them. Depression was the factor most likely
to contribute to somatic severity while an impoverished emotional experience was the most
likely to increase psychological symptom burden. The findings suggest that the treatment of
somatization may be more effective if it incorporates emotion-focused elements that address
the deficits in emotional processing that are more prevalent in individuals who somatize.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 53-67)
Rights: This object is protected by copyright, and is made available here for research and educational purposes. Permission to reuse, publish, or reproduce the object beyond the personal and educational use exceptions must be obtained from the copyright holder
Ezproxy URL: Link to full text
Type: Thesis
Appears in Collections:UOB Theses and Projects

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