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  Interacting and dissociable effects of alexithymia and depression on empathy

Banzhaf, C., Hoffmann, F., Kanske, P., Fan, Y., Walter, H., Spengler, S., et al. (2018). Interacting and dissociable effects of alexithymia and depression on empathy. Psychiatry Research, 270, 631-638. doi:10.1016/j.psychres.2018.10.045.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0002-6B08-E Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-936D-D
Genre: Journal Article

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 Creators:
Banzhaf, Christian1, Author
Hoffmann, Ferdinand2, Author              
Kanske, Philipp2, 3, Author              
Fan, Yan4, Author
Walter, Henrik1, Author
Spengler, Stephanie1, Author
Schreiter, Stefanie1, Author
Singer, Tania2, Author              
Bermpohl, Felix1, Author
Affiliations:
1Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Charité University Medicine Berlin, German, ou_persistent22              
2Department Social Neuroscience, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_634552              
3Institute of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, TU Dresden, Germany, ou_persistent22              
4Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Charité University Medicine Berlin, Germany, ou_persistent22              

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Free keywords: Empathy; Depression; Alexithymia
 Abstract: Major-depressive-disorder (MDD) and alexithymia have both been associated with empathy deficits. We examined whether depression and alexithymia show dissociable or interacting effects on cognitive and emotional trait and state empathy. Healthy controls with high and low alexithymia and MDD-patients with high and low alexithymia were assessed. We used the Interpersonal–Reactivity-Index-questionnaire (IRI) for trait cognitive and emotional empathy and the Multifaceted-Empathy-Test (MET) for state cognitive and emotional empathy. Firstly, we found a main effect of alexithymia, irrespective of depression, on trait and state cognitive empathy: High alexithymia subjects showed lower scores in perspective taking (IRI) and in the cognitive-empathy-component of the MET. Secondly, we found main effects of alexithymia and depression on trait emotional empathy (IRI-subscale personal distress). Moreover, we found a significant depression-by-alexithymia-interaction on trait emotional empathy: MDD-patients showed particularly high personal distress when affected by alexithymia (IRI). Thirdly, alexithymia and depression had no impact on state emotional empathy (MET). However, analyzing positive and negative trials separately, we found more emotional empathy in MDD-patients concerning negatively valenced stimuli. Our data suggest dissociable and interacting effects of MDD and alexithymia on empathy. Importantly, except for heightened personal distress, empathy deficits in MDD-patients were entirely due to concurrent alexithymia.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2018-10-182018-02-102018-10-192018-10-212018-12
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Method: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1016/j.psychres.2018.10.045
Other: Epub 2018
PMID: 30384283
 Degree: -

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Project name : -
Grant ID : 01KR1207C
Funding program : -
Funding organization : German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
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Grant ID : -
Funding program : -
Funding organization : Max Plank Society

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Title: Psychiatry Research
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Amsterdam : Elsevier
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 270 Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 631 - 638 Identifier: ISSN: 0165-1781
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925481603