Document Detail

The causal link between self-reported trauma and dissociation: a critical review.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11227807     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The idea that traumatic experiences cause dissociative symptoms is a recurrent theme in clinical literature. The present article summarizes evidence that cast doubts on the commonly voiced view that the connection between self-reported trauma and dissociation is a simple and robust one. It is argued that: (1) the correlations between self-reported traumatic experiences and dissociative symptoms reported in the literature are, at best, modest; (2) other factors may act as a third variable in the relationship between trauma and dissociation; and (3) high scores on the Dissociative Experiences Scale are accompanied by fantasy proneness, heightened suggestibility, and susceptibility to pseudomemories. These correlates of dissociation may promote a positive response bias to retrospective self-report instruments of traumatic experiences. Thus, the possibility that dissociation encourages self-reported traumatic experiences rather than vice versa merits investigation. While attractive, simple models in which trauma directly causes dissociation are unlikely to be true.
H Merckelbach; P Muris
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Behaviour research and therapy     Volume:  39     ISSN:  0005-7967     ISO Abbreviation:  Behav Res Ther     Publication Date:  2001 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2001-02-28     Completed Date:  2001-04-12     Revised Date:  2005-11-16    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0372477     Medline TA:  Behav Res Ther     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  245-54     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Psychology, Maastricht University, The Netherlands.
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MeSH Terms
Dissociative Disorders / diagnosis,  psychology*
Self Disclosure*
Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / diagnosis,  psychology*

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