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Alexithymia and emotional intelligence among people with cannabis dependence and healthy control: a comparative study

Journal: Open Journal of Psychiatry & Allied Sciences (Vol.5, No. 1)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 49-55

Keywords : Personality. Interpersonal Relations. Problem Solving. Social Support.;

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Background: Substance abuse is considered a major public health issue worldwide. It impairs familial, vocational, psychological, legal, social, or physical aspects of life. Low emotional intelligence (EI) is a significant predictor of drug related problems. Greater drug abuse has also been seen in those with high alexithymia, a condition that is strongly associated with low EI. However, there is a dearth of Indian literature on the same. This study was taken up to study these variables in persons with cannabis dependence. Material and methods: Cross-sectional hospital based study; one hundred cannabis dependent patients, diagnosed as per the text revision of the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, were selected by purposive sampling. One hundred healthy matched subjects constituted the control group. Assessment was done using the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview, General Health Questionnaire, Indian adaptation of Emotional Intelligence Scale, and Toronto Alexithymia Scale. The statistical analysis was carried out using the Statistical Product and Service Solutions (SPSS) Windows 16.0 software package. The analysis of the obtained data was done using various descriptive and inferential statistics. Results: Significant differences were seen in alexithymia scores between the cannabis dependent group and normal control group. The cannabis dependent group scored significantly high on alexithymia in comparison with control group. Further, cannabis dependent group scored significantly low on score of EI than the normal control group. Relationship between alexithymia and EI was found to be negatively correlated. Conclusion: Our study suggests an association among low EI, high alexithymia, and cannabis dependence, and the prevention and treatment of cannabis dependence should lay focus on these factors. Present findings are generating and passing out relevant knowledge, which would be helpful and beneficial in reducing cannabis consumption, its harmful health effects, as well as in developing new treatments for cannabis dependency.

Last modified: 2013-12-28 20:08:31