Social problem solving in chronic fatigue syndrome: preliminary findings

Marie Thomas, Gary Christopher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper investigates social problem solving in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), a condition characterized by reduced activity levels and excessive mental fatigue. Although intra- and inter-personal problems are prevalent, no studies have explored social problem-solving skills in this group. Patients were split into two groups: either high or low alexithymia, a condition associated with affect dysregulation. The high alexithymic group viewed problems as threatening, responding either impulsively or avoiding responding altogether; they were poor also in the use of compensatory strategies, which, taken together, increases the likelihood of a negative outcome from attempts at conflict resolution. These findings go some way in successfully identifying potential subgroupings in CFS sufferers and has important implications in terms of the therapy offered
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161 - 169
Number of pages8
JournalStress and Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2009


  • social problem solving
  • alexithymia
  • emotional intelligence
  • chronic fatigue syndrome


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