Open Access Research

The reliability and validity of the Japanese version of the Levels of Emotional Awareness Scale (LEAS-J)

Tetsuya Igarashi1, Gen Komaki1*, Richard D Lane2, Yoshiya Moriguchi1, Hiroki Nishimura1, Hiromi Arakawa1, Motoharu Gondo1, Yuri Terasawa3, Corbet V Sullivan4 and Motonari Maeda5

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Psychosomatic Research, National Institute of Mental Health, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, 4-1-1 Ogawa-higashi Kodaira-City, Tokyo, 187-8553, Japan

2 Department of Psychiatry, University of Arizona, 1501 N. Campbell Ave., Tucson, AZ 85724-5002, USA

3 Centre for Advanced Research on Logic and Sensibility, Keio University, 2-15-45 Mita, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-8345, Japan

4 Language Education and Research Center, Kyushu Sangyo University, 2-3-1 Matsukadai, Higashi Ku, Fukuoka 813-8503, Japan

5 College of Art and Design, Joshibi University of Art and Design, 1900 Asamizodai, Sagamihara-City, Kanagawa 228-8538, Japan

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BioPsychoSocial Medicine 2011, 5:2  doi:10.1186/1751-0759-5-2

Published: 31 January 2011

Abstract

Background

The Levels of Emotional Awareness Scale (LEAS) was developed to assess five levels of emotional awareness: bodily sensations, action tendencies, single emotions, blends of emotion, and combinations of blends. It is a paper and pencil performance questionnaire that presents 20 emotion-evoking scenes. We developed a Japanese version of the LEAS (LEAS-J), and its reliability and validity were examined.

Methods

The LEAS-J level was independently assessed by two researchers who scored each response according to the LEAS scoring manual. High inter-rater reliability and internal consistency were obtained for the LEAS-J. Measures were socioeconomic status, LEAS-J, Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20 (TAS-20), Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI), and NEO Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI). TAS-20, IRI and NEO-FFI were the measures used to explore the construct validity of LEAS-J, as it was predicted that higher scores on the LEAS-J would be related to fewer alexithymic features, greater empathetic ability, and a greater sense of cooperation with others. Questionnaires were completed by 344 university students.

Results

The criterion-referenced validity was determined: a significant negative relationship was found with the externally-oriented thinking scores of TAS-20, and positive relationships were found with fantasy, perspective taking, and empathic concern on IRI and with extraversion, openness to experience, and agreeableness on NEO-FFI.

Conclusions

Consistent with our expectations, the findings provide evidence that the LEAS-J has good reliability and validity. In addition, women had significantly higher scores than men on LEAS-J, showing that the gender difference identified in the original LEAS was cross-culturally consistent.