The Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) is a 20-item self-report scale assessing emotional and social competency impairments like difficulty identifying feelings (DIF), difficulty describing feelings (DDF) and externally-oriented thinking (EOT). Despite strong validity and predictive utility in North American and European samples, its validity in Non-Western cultures is still in need of verification. An Arabic version of the TAS-20 was given to a sample (n = 2221) of young adults from 3 Arabic-speaking countries (Algeria, Gaza and Oman), as well as English speaking young adults from Canada (n = 2220). Confirmatory factory analysis indicated good fit of the data from both samples, suggesting that the alexithymia construct can be extended to Arabic populations. The Arabic sample scored significantly higher on the total TAS-20 as well as all subscales and in total TAS-20 scores. This trend was consistent for both men and women and suggests important cultural differences exist in the communication of emotional information.
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