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Alexithymia in nonviolent offenders

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Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health

Published online on


["Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health, Volume 31, Issue 1, Page 44-48, February 2021. ", "\nAbstract\n\nBackground\nAlexithymia is a trait involving difficulties processing emotions. Existing data suggest it is associated with violent offending. In violent offender programmes, therefore, violent offenders are screened for alexithymia and it is attended to if necessary. No studies have, however, examined alexithymia levels in nonviolent offenders and it is, therefore, unknown whether it is also a criminogenic factor in this population.\n\n\nAims\nTo investigate alexithymia levels among incarcerated nonviolent offenders and compare them with a community comparison group.\n\n\nMethod\nThe 20‐item Toronto Alexithymia Scale was used to compare the alexithymia levels of 67 incarcerated nonviolent offenders with a group of 139 people from the general public living in the community.\n\n\nResults\nAlexithymia levels did not differ between the groups.\n\n\nConclusion\nIt appears that alexithymia is not a criminogenic factor for nonviolent offenders and screening of such offenders appears unnecessary.\n\n"]