Journal List > J Korean Acad Psychiatr Ment Health Nurs > v.28(2) > 1128944

Gil and Kim: The Mediating Effect of Alexithymia on the Relationship between Attachment and Depression in Early Adulthood



The purpose of this study was to examine the mediating effect of alexithmia on the relationship between attachment and depression in early adulthood.


A convenience sample of 260 young adults responded to the survey. The collected data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, independent t-test, Pearson's correlation coefficients, and path analyses using bootstrapping.


The path analysis indicated that anxious attachment and alexithymia was positively related to depression, but there was not a significant relationship between avoidant attachment and depression. In a modified path model, alexithymia mediated the positive effects of anxious attachment and avoidant attachment on depression.


Our study findings suggest that early adults who have insecure attachments are vulnerable to alexithymia and depression. Targeted interventions to improve emotional expressive ability may reduce depression in early adulthood.

Figures and Tables

Figure 1

Path model diagram prior to modification.

Figure 2

Modified path model diagram.

Table 1

Sample Characteristics (N=260)

Table 2

Correlations of Anxious Attachment, Avoidant Attachment, Alexithymia, and Depression (N=260)

Table 3

Direct, Indirect, and Total Effects in the Path Model (N=260)


SMC=squared multiple correlations.


This article is article is a condensed form of the first author's master's thesis from University.

This study was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT and future Planning (No. 2015R1A2A2A01004575/No. 2019R1H1A2039669)

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST The authors declared no conflict of interest.


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