Anxiety, Alexithymia, and Interpersonal Communication Styles among Pakistani University Teachers
Purpose: Major objective of the study was to investigate relationships between the symptoms of anxiety and alexithymia among university teachers. We also examined preferred communication styles of the teachers how face symptoms of anxiety and alexithymia. Comparison between the female and male teachers regarding the presence of anxiety and alexithymia as well as preferred communication styles was accepted as secondary objectives of this inquiry. Methodology: 120 university teachers including Assistant Professors and Lecturers selected from two prominent public sector universities of Pakistan participated in the study. Three different tools were adapted to measure the participants’ preferred communication styles and prevalence of the symptoms of depression and anxiety. Collected data were analyzed using inferential statistics to reach on conclusions. Results: Significant and positive correlation between the symptoms of alexithymia and anxiety among university teachers was found (r=0.287; p<0.005). Results demonstrate that male university teachers experience comparatively higher level of alexithymia than their female colleagues (t=5.534; p<0.001). The results show that male university teachers comparatively scored higher on communication style of verbal aggression than their female colleagues (t=30.886; p<0.001). The female university teachers, on the other side, scored comparatively higher on expressive communication styles than their male colleagues (t=30.490; p<0.001). Conclusions: The study concluded that teachers with comparatively higher symptoms of alexithymia were more likely to prefer verbal aggression in their communication. On the other side, university teachers with higher symptoms of anxiety were more likely to prefer expressive communication styles.