Original ArticlesAssociation Between Alexithymia and Immature Coping Styles Is Mediated by Self-Inconsistency and Is Correlated to Obsessive-Compulsive SymptomsWu, Chao MD, PhD*; Shi, Chuan MD†; Dong, Wentian MD†; Li, Bing MD†; Wu, Rengang MD‡Author Information *School of Nursing, Peking University Health Science Center †Peking University Sixth Hospital ‡Department of Medical Psychology, Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing, China. Send reprint requests to Chao Wu, MD, PhD, School of Nursing, Peking University Health Science Center, 38 Xueyuan Rd, Haidian District, Beijing 100191, China. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Rengang Wu, MD, Department of Medical Psychology, Peking University Health Science Center, 38 Xueyuan Rd, Haidian District, Beijing 100191, China. E-mail: email@example.com. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: May 2020 - Volume 208 - Issue 5 - p 377-386 doi: 10.1097/NMD.0000000000001133 Buy Metrics Abstract This study aimed to investigate whether a multivariate association between alexithymia and coping styles is affected by self-inconsistency and whether the association contributed to obsessive-compulsive symptoms in 34 patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and 53 healthy participants. Alexithymia, coping styles, self-inconsistency, and obsessive-compulsive symptoms were evaluated using the Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20, the Coping Style Questionnaire, the Self-Consistency and Congruence Scale, and the Vancouver Obsessive-Compulsive Inventory, respectively. We found that self-inconsistency partially mediated the association between alexithymia and immature coping styles in the OCD patients but fully mediated the association in the healthy participants. Moreover, in the two groups, the alexithymia-coping coupling was related to contamination, obsession, indecisiveness, and ritualization, but not the checking symptom dimension. The findings suggest that the disturbance in identifying and describing feelings is associated with immature coping styles through disharmony between self-recognition and experience. The mechanism of the checking symptom seems to be distinct from other obsessive-compulsive symptoms. Copyright © 2020 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.