Emotions and well-being in adolescents

​​​​Description of research

The main aim of the research is to improve the understanding of the connection between emotions and mental and physical well-being. One central interest is alexithymia that denotes a personality feature associated with lacking insight of one’s emotional life.

The main research projects include the following:

  1. FinnBrain Alexithymia work package: aims to explore the development and associations of alexithymia in family context
  2. Emotions, physical well-being and trajectories of mental illnesses: explores the effect of emotions, early
    maladaptive schemas, and physical health on the outcome of psychiatric treatment in adolescents
  3. Alexithymia in young adults (Collaboration with Simo Saarijärvi)

Members of the research group(s) 

FinnBrain Alexithymia work package
Principal investigator
Max Karukivi

Senior researchers
Hasse Karlsson, MD, PhD, MA
Noora Scheinin, MD, PhD

Doctoral candidates
Jani Kajanoja, MD
Hanna Auramo, MD, MHSc

Emotions, physical well-being and trajectories of mental illnesses
Prinicipal investigator
Max Karukivi

Senior researcher
Kirsi-Maria Haapasalo-Pesu, MD, PhD

Alexithymia in young adults
Principal investigator
Simo Saarijärvi

Senior researcher
Max Karukivi, MD, PhD

Doctoral candidates
Tiina Filppu, MD
Suvi Saikkonen, MD

Selected publications

Kajanoja J, Scheinin NM, Karlsson L, Karlsson H, Karukivi M. Illuminating the clinical significance of alexithymia subtypes: A cluster analysis of alexithymic traits and psychiatric symptoms. J Psychosom Res 2017. In press.

Saariaho A, Saariaho T, Mattila AK, Joukamaa MI, Karukivi M. The role of alexithymia: An 8-year follow-up study of chronic pain patients. Compr Psychiatry 2016;69:145−54.

Karukivi M, Jula A, Hutri-Kähönen N, Juonala M, Raitakari O. Is alexithymia associated with metabolic syndrome? A study in a healthy adult population. Psychiatry Res 2016;236:58−63.

Karukivi M, Vahlberg T, Pölönen T, Filppu T, Saarijärvi S. Does alexithymia expose to mental disorder symptoms in late adolescence? A 4-year follow-up study. Gen Hosp Psychiatry 2014;36:748−52.

Karukivi M, Pölönen T, Vahlberg T, Saikkonen S, Saarijärvi S. Stability of alexithymia in late adolescence: results of a 4-year follow-up study. Psychiatry Res 2014;219:386−90.


 Docent Max Karukivi