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Papers of the Week

2022 Mar 31

J Genet Psychol

Perceived Parental Styles and Alexithymia in Adult Iranian Migraine Patients: The Mediating Role of Emotional Schemas.


Kalantar Hormozi B, Tavoli A, Abdollahi A
J Genet Psychol. 2022 Mar 31:1-13.
PMID: 35356843.


Migraine, which is a highly prevalent headache, is often comorbid with alexithymia. Parental styles contribute to the development of alexithymia. The core psychological mechanisms that connect parenting to alexithymia and can be targeted in psychotherapy are not yet studied. The objective of this study was to explore the role of emotional schemas as a possible mediator between perceived parental styles and alexithymia in migraine patients. Study participants consisted of 208 (67 males and 141 females) Iranians who completed the Farsi version of Toronto Alexithymia Scale (FTAS-20), Leahy Emotional Schema Scale (LESS II), and Measure of Parental Styles (MOPS) online. For mediation analysis, structural equation modeling was used based on Baron and Kenny's mediation model. The results demonstrated that mother overprotection and mother indifference were significantly related to alexithymia in migraine patients. Emotional schemas and alexithymia were also positively and significantly related. Additionally, mother overprotection and father indifference showed positive and significant covariation with emotional schemas. Data analysis with structural equation modeling revealed that emotional schemas partially mediate the relationship between parental styles and alexithymia in migraine patients. The current study expands our knowledge of possible mechanisms that relate childhood experiences of being parented and alexithymia in migraine patients. Findings of this research imply psychological treatments can benefit from targeting emotional schemas in migraine patients with alexithymia.