Alexithymia, emotional dysregulation, and recovery from alcoholism: Therapeutic response to assessment of mood

Amy R. Krentzman, Margaret M. Higgins, Karen M. Staller, Emily S. Klatt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


This study is a secondary analysis of a randomized controlled trial that tested the effects of a gratitude intervention on well-being in a sample of individuals in outpatient treatment for alcohol use disorder (AUD). Follow-up qualitative interviews unexpectedly revealed that participants found the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) to be helpful to their recovery in the ways that it asked them to identify and rate their emotions. Participant statements were purposively sampled and analyzed using grounded theory methods to produce a conceptual framework illustrating the process of mood identification and its sequelae. Evidence of existing alexithymia and emotional dysregulation, dominance of negative mood, and increasing ability to identify, accept, and regulate mood as part of recovery was found. Findings suggest that emotion regulation is a compelling topic for those in recovery from AUD, and may deserve a more prominent role in treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)794-805
Number of pages12
JournalQualitative Health Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 6 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and publication of this article: This work was supported by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health (Grant 2UL1TR000433).

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2015.


  • addiction / substance use
  • alcohol / alcoholism
  • emotions / emotion work
  • grounded theory
  • qualitative
  • recovery


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