Relationships between self-reported potentially traumatizing events, psychoform and somatoform dissociation, and absorption, in two non-clinical populations
SourceAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 39, 11/12, (2005), pp. 982-987
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI KLP
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
SubjectExperimental Psychopathology and Treatment
Objective: Some authors have suggested that the personality characteristic 'fantasy proneness' may mediate the correlation between reported potentially traumatizing events and dissociative symptoms. Other authors question the reported magnitude of this correlation in non-clinical samples, because these are usually derived from student samples and may therefore suffer from a restriction of range. The primary aim of this study is to assess the relationship between a self-report measure of traumatization and psychoform dissociation as well as somatoform dissociation in a non-clinical population, while accounting for the influence of fantasy proneness. Method: Two random non-clinical samples, that is, a student and an adult non-student sample, completed a range of relevant self-report questionnaires. Absorption was used as an index of fantasy proneness. Results: The range of reported potentially traumatizing events was restricted in students, compared to non-students. In both samples a significant correlation was found between reported potentially traumatizing events and dissociation. After partialling out absorption, the relationship between reported potential traumatization and psychoform dissociation diminished substantially in both samples. The magnitude of the correlation with somatoform dissociation decreased to a lesser degree, so that it remained significant in both samples. Conclusions: The correlation between somatoform dissociation and reported traumatization, after partialling out absorption, gives a reliable estimate of the magnitude of the relationships between potentially traumatizing events and dissociation. Findings regarding traumatization and dissociation in students should be generalized to the general population cautiously.
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