Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : The aim of this study is to explore network structures of the Toronto Alexithymia Scale in a large sample of 1925 French-speaking Belgian university students and compare results with previous studies from different samples and tools to identify potential targets for clinical intervention. We estimated network models for the 20 items of the Toronto Alexithymia Scale and for its three domains difficulty identifying feelings, difficulty describing feelings, and externally oriented thinking. We explored item connectivity through node predictability (shared variance with other network components). We performed an exploratory graph analysis to explore the dimensionality of our data set and compare results with the original three-factor model; because a different model was proposed, we estimated an additional network structure on the new structure. Items from the Toronto Alexithymia Scale connect both within and between domains. The three-domain network identifies difficulty describing feelings as the most connected domain. The exploratory graph analysis reported that three items from externally oriented thinking form a new domain, distraction. In the new four-domain network, difficulty describing feelings remains the most interconnected domain; however, two negative connections are found. Our findings support the relative importance of identifying and describing feelings as a meaningful target for intervention.