Le rôle de l’alexithymie dans les comportements violents : Une révision des études disponibles à la lumière du modèle de traitement de l’information sociale - Université de Lille Accéder directement au contenu
Article Dans Une Revue Annales Médico-Psychologiques, Revue Psychiatrique Année : 2023

Le rôle de l’alexithymie dans les comportements violents : Une révision des études disponibles à la lumière du modèle de traitement de l’information sociale

Résumé

The literature highlights the prevalence of shortcomings in processing emotional information, especially the identification of emotions in the context of violent behavior. Alexithymia is the inability to recognize and describe emotional states and external oriented thinking. The social information processing approach offers a theoretical framework to understand how alexithymia deficiencies are linked to violence. Furthermore, this approach allows us to determine which stages of processing are associated with specific kinds of deficiencies in order to adapt treatment programs targeting violent behavior. The primary goal of this narrative review is to define and present the relationship between alexithymia and violent behavior. In addition, this review will attempt to illustrate that deficiencies caused by alexithymia are related to different stages of social information processing. This review presents an explanation of the links between violent behavior and alexithymia according to the social information processing theory as a theoretical framework. There are numerous studies that demonstrate the relationship between violent behavior and alexithymia in different populations (general, psychiatric, or incarcerated) and for different kinds of violence (physical, homicidal or sexual). In particular, the deficiencies caused by alexithymia primarily involved the (in)ability to identify emotional states. Indeed, the more people have difficulties in identifying their own internal emotional states, the higher the probability that they will engage in dysfunctional behavior such as violence. According to the social information processing model, these shortcomings are present in the initial stages of processing. Errors in detection and perception of social cues could produce a misinterpretation of other's intentions and could lead to a hostile attribution bias. This bias exhibits itself as a tendency to interpret the actions of others as hostile, particularly in ambiguous situations and is often linked to impulsive and reactive aggression. Due to these links between alexithymia, misinterpretation, and violent behavior, it seems essential to develop treatment programs designed to reduce the effects of alexithymia. One study demonstrated that a specific treatment program reduced alexithymic related deficiencies among individuals who had committed sexual offences. This program was based on developing the capacity to identify emotions and to use emotive language to verbalize emotional states. These results suggest that it is possible to improve emotional competence and reduce the effects of alexithymia, which could lead to a reduction in errors in social information processing and could be a major protective factor with respect to violent behavior. The social information processing model allows us to understand the relationship between violent behavior and alexithymia based on the deficiencies in specific processing stages. In other words, this is an approach which examines the varying stages of social information processing which are dysfunctional and their relationship to the various dimensions of alexithymia. Importantly, it seems that the two explanatory hypotheses of alexithymia may be more complementary rather than diametrically opposed. Indeed, these two hypotheses allow us to explain particular kinds of deficiencies based on different stages of social information processing. This heuristic framework promises the possibility of understanding the study of alexithymia depending on both the nature of the shortcomings and on which social information processing steps are involved. Accordingly, it could become easier to accurately understand which processes are involved in order to adapt the treatment of these deficiencies, particularly in relation to violent behavior.
La littérature souligne la prévalence des difficultés à traiter les informations émotionnelles dans le cadre des comportements violents. La perspective du traitement de l’information sociale pourrait permettre d’identifier plus spécifiquement les étapes du traitement associées aux déficits reliés à l’alexithymie. Cette revue de la littérature propose une approche des liens entre comportements violents et l’alexithymie selon le modèle du traitement de l’information sociale. Plusieurs études soulignent les liens entre comportements violents et l’alexithymie. Particulièrement, les déficits portent sur la capacité des individus à identifier leurs états émotionnels. Selon le modèle du traitement de l’information sociale, ces déficits interviennent aux étapes initiales du traitement. Des erreurs dans la détection et la perception des indices sociaux peuvent générer une mésinterprétation des intentions d’autrui et conduire à un biais d’attribution hostile. Une prise en charge spécifique et adaptée à la nature des déficits permet une réduction significative des difficultés dans l’identification des émotions mais également l’amélioration du contenu émotionnel du discours. Le modèle de l’information sociale, comme cadre heuristique de l’alexithymie, offre la possibilité d’appréhender les déficits alexithymiques dans une approche globale et de spécifier la nature des dimensions impliquées pour les différentes étapes du traitement.
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Dates et versions

hal-04186351 , version 1 (23-08-2023)

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Citer

Maxime Escarguel, Massil Benbouriche. Le rôle de l’alexithymie dans les comportements violents : Une révision des études disponibles à la lumière du modèle de traitement de l’information sociale. Annales Médico-Psychologiques, Revue Psychiatrique, 2023, Annales Médico-Psychologiques, Revue Psychiatrique, ⟨10.1016/j.amp.2023.03.004⟩. ⟨hal-04186351⟩

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