Original ArticlesAlexithymia, Human Relationships, and Mobile Phone UseMattila, Aino K. MD, PhD*†; Luutonen, Sinikka MD, PhD‡§; Ylinen, Mikko MD*; Salokangas, Raimo K. R. MD, PhD, MA‡§¶; Joukamaa, Matti MD, PhD*†Author Information *Tampere School of Public Health, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland; †Department of Psychiatry, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland; ‡Department of Psychiatry, University of Turku, Turku, Finland; §Psychiatric Clinic, Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland; and ¶Turku Psychiatric Clinic, Turku, Finland. Send reprint requests to Aino Mattila, MD, PhD, Tampere School of Public Health, University of Tampere, Tampere 33014, Finland. E-mail: email@example.com. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: October 2010 - Volume 198 - Issue 10 - p 722-727 doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e3181f4ab50 Buy Metrics Abstract Alexithymia is a personality trait associated with difficulties in identifying feelings, difficulties in describing feelings to other people, constricted imaginal processes, and an externally oriented cognitive style. It has been found to be associated with personality features that may cause interpersonally avoidant behavior and other interpersonal problems. The present study explored, in a sample of primary care patients (N = 491), whether alexithymia is associated with mobile phone usage, and whether the perceived quality and quantity of human relationships mediate its effect. Even controlling for sociodemographic variables and symptoms of depression, mania and psychoses, alexithymia, measured by the 20-Item Toronto Alexithymia Scale, was associated with less frequent mobile phone use. Not having enough relationships or a close friend, and relationships being less satisfactory mediated the effect of alexithymia on less frequent mobile phone use. The results support the findings of earlier studies that have linked interpersonal problems with alexithymia. © 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.