The relationship between attachment styles and alexithymia: Mediating role of self-regulation

2014 IJRSP – Volume 3 Issue 4


Besharat, Mohammad Ali*
Department of Psychology, University of Tehran, Iran (

Salimian Rizi, Mohammad Mehdi
Department of Psychology, University of Tehran, Iran (


The present study examined mediating role of self-regulation on the relationship between secure, avoidant, and ambivalent attachment styles with alexithymia in a sample of undergraduate students consisted of 546 volunteers (259 males, 287 females). Participants completed Adult Attachment Inventory, Toronto Alexithymia Scale, and the Self-Regulation Inventory. Secure attachment style showed a significant negative association with alexithymia, while avoidant and ambivalent attachment styles showed significant positive associations with alexithymia. Analysis of the data revealed that the relationship between attachment styles and alexithymia was mediated by self-regulation. Secure attachment style as the main effective factor in development of impressive emotion regulation skills provides well identification, expression and better exchange of emotions in social and emotional interactions by reinforcement of self-regulation. In contrast, insecure attachment styles deprive potential developmental opportunities for learning emotion regulation skills within the frame of mother-child and child-environment relations and diminish ability of emotional identification, expression and interactions.

Keywords: attachment; self-regulation; emotion regulation; alexithymia



*Corresponding Author