Alexithymia, a personality dimension to consider in the acquisition of social emotional competencies of students in their last year of teacher training
Langevin R, Laurent A, Lavoie E. (2019). Alexithymia, a personality dimension to consider in the acquisition of social emotional competencies of students in their last year of teacher training. Revue de Psychoéducation. 48(2): 333-346.
The goal of this study is to determine the strength of the link between the level of acquisition of some socio-emotional competence (SEC) and the degree of alexithymia in a group of fourth-year students enrolled in the teacher-training program at one of Alberta’s universities. Forty-two students (N=42, 23 women and 19 men), whose average age was 26.8 years old, participated in the study. Each participant completed the 20-Item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20). Also, the SEC (expressing, identifying and understanding one’s own and others’ emotions) was measured using an assessment grid used during the participants’ last student-teaching placement. The results indicate that the participants who were alexithymic and intermediate alexithymic on the TAS-20 are significantly lower on each of the satisfaction scales for the 6 skills associated with the SEC than the non alexithymic participants. The results also show significant negative correlations between the «difficulties identifying their emotions» and «difficulties describing their emotions» sub-scales of the TAS-20 and the 6 skills related with the SEC. These results strengthen the concerns about alexithymic and intermediate alexithymic students’ abilities to acquire the SEC during their placement to the same extent as non alexithymic students. Finally, this study also reinforces the idea of the appropriateness of creating a university-level course SEC which would suitably meet the needs of alexithymic students who are planning to go into teaching or who will intervene with children or youth with behavior problems.