Uncertainty, alexithymia, suppression and vulnerability during the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy


  • Emanuele Maria Merlo University of Messina
  • Federica Sicari University of Messina
  • Fabio Frisone University of Messina
  • Gaetano Costa University Hospital G. Martino, Messina
  • Angela Alibrandi University of Messina
  • Giuseppe Avena University of Messina
  • Salvatore Settineri University of Messina

Słowa kluczowe:

alexithymia, clinical psychology, COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, perceived vulnerability



The COVID-19 pandemic has expanded to reach many countries, involving healthcare systems facing high numbers of infected patients. The repercussions concern every segment of the population; therefore it is necessary to understand the extent of psychopathological variations.

Participants and procedure

355 subjects aged from 18 to 78 years old (M  =  36.51, SD  =  13.08) with a  prevalence of female subjects (70.3%) were involved in completing the protocol during the early 10 days of lockdown. The module provided for the collection of personal information, such as age, gender, and years of study. The variables considered concerned the administration of the IUS-12, the TAS-20, the PVDQ-15 and the SMQ. Descriptive statistics, correlational and linear regressions analyses were performed in order to highlight significant relationships and dependences among the variables.


Several relationships emerged with reference to the included variables. In particular, uncertainty and alexithymia proved to be indices with an important predictive role in developing psychopathology. The suppression of disturbing and unknown contents represented a defense for overcoming representations, whose impact proved to be negative in terms of adaptation. The results clarified the general tendencies of the population to cope with anguish due to the lack of knowledge in the first 10 days of lockdown.


The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the population is evident. The decision to analyze uncertainty, alexithymia and contamination as relevant issues brought the need to analyze a dynamic of conscious suppression of disturbing contents. The results may represent key points to establish interventions.


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Jak cytować

Merlo, E. M., Sicari, F., Frisone, F., Costa, G., Alibrandi, A., Avena, G., & Settineri, S. (2021). Uncertainty, alexithymia, suppression and vulnerability during the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy. Health Psychology Report, 9(2), 169–179. Pobrano z https://czasopisma.bg.ug.edu.pl/index.php/HPR/article/view/5757