The catcher in the mind: validation of the brief-mentalized affectivity scale for adolescents in the Italian population

Submitted: July 30, 2023
Accepted: November 3, 2023
Published: December 31, 2023
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The concept of mentalized affectivity (MA) encompasses the dimensions of identifying, processing, and expressing emotions and describes the process of making sense of and reevaluating one’s affects in light of autobiographical memory. This construct was developed within the theoretical framework of mentalization and, due to its interpersonal nature, added further complexity to the emotion regulation construct. This research aimed to examine the factor structure and psychometric properties of the Brief-Mentalized Affectivity Scale for adolescents (B-MAS-A) on an Italian sample of young people (aged 13-19 years). Data were collected using non-probabilistic sampling and an online survey. Participants were asked to complete a large battery of instruments, including the B-MAS-A, the Toronto Alexithymia Scale, the Reflective Functioning Questionnaire, the Epistemic Trust, Mistrust, and Credulity Questionnaire, the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, and the General Self-Efficacy Scale. In study 1, factor analyses carried out on a total sample of 566 adolescents identified 3 distinct dimensions of the same components of MA found in the adult population: i) identifying; ii) processing; iii) expressing emotions. The subscales showed excellent internal consistency. Study 2 (involving a subsample of 288 participants) demonstrated good levels of construct and criterion validity. These results confirm that the B-MAS-A represents a valid and robust instrument for assessing the complex and multifaceted characteristics of MA in adolescents. The B-MAS-A can make a significant contribution to clinical practice and research and encourage systematic studies on MA in psychotherapy, taking into account the developmental stage of adolescence.

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How to Cite

Liotti, M., Fiorini Bincoletto, A., Bizzi, F., Tironi, M., Charpentier Mora, S., Cavanna, D., Giovanardi, G., Jurist, E., Speranza, A. M., Lingiardi, V., & Tanzilli, A. (2023). The catcher in the mind: validation of the brief-mentalized affectivity scale for adolescents in the Italian population. Research in Psychotherapy: Psychopathology, Process and Outcome, 26(3). https://doi.org/10.4081/ripppo.2023.709