Exploring the TAS-20


  • Stephanie Karlosky


The Toronto Alexithymia Scale-Revised (TAS-20) is a frequently used questionnaire designed to evaluate the construct of alexithymia. The TAS-20 employs a three-factor model which includes difficulty identifying feeling (DIF), difficulty describing feeling (DDF), and externally oriented thinking (EOT). The purpose of this study is to compare and contrast the application of alternative factor models of the TAS-20 with the original three-factor. A confirmatory factor analysis was completed on a sample of college students enrolled in undergraduate psychology courses at a university located in the southeastern United States (n= 357; 63.1% male, age 18-57 years; M=19.40). Results from the CFA analysis and tests of dimensionality supported the original three-factor model (GFI .901; CFI .907; RMSEA, .058) as the best model fit. Concerns of convergent validity were noted within the subscale AVE analyses (DDF, 0.428; DIF, 0.500; and EOT, 0.141). Further analysis of the EOT scale revealed concerns regarding discriminant validity (AVE, 0.141; MSV, 0.134). Factor loadings were replicated for fifteen of the original items. This study's findings conclude the usage of the TAS-20 provides greater understanding of alexithymia and its constructs (subscales). The use of the TAS-20, specifically the consideration of the subscale scores, within clinical settings may provide clinicians with greater insight working with clients.






Education-Counseling and Psychology