The Structure of the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20): A Meta-Analytic Confirmatory Factor Analysis
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Description: Alexithymia is defined as the inability of persons to describe their emotional states, to identify the feelings of others, and a utilitarian type of thinking. The most popular instrument to assess alexithymia is the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20). Despite its widespread use, an ongoing controversy pertains to its internal structure. The TAS-20 was originally constructed to capture three different factors, but several studies suggested different factor solutions including bifactor models and models with a method factor for the reversely keyed items. The present study examined the dimensionality of the TAS-20 using summary data of 88 samples from 62 studies (total N = 69,722) with meta-analytic structural equation modeling. We found support for the originally proposed three-dimensional solution, whereas more complex models produced inconsistent factor loadings. Because a major source of misfit stems from translated versions, the results are discussed with respect to generalizations across languages and cultural contexts.