Assessing dissociation as a risk factor for PTSD: a study of the adult offspring of Holocaust survivors

Sarah L. Halligan, Rachel Yehuda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Dissociative symptoms are frequently present in trauma survivors with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, the possibility that dissociative symptoms may comprise a risk factor for the development of PTSD has not been examined. The current research investigates this possibility by evaluating dissociative symptoms in a group of adult offspring of Holocaust survivors, whom we have previously shown to be at increased risk of PTSD. Eighty-seven Holocaust survivor offspring and 39 comparison participants completed the Dissociative Experiences Scale, and assessments of trauma exposure, psychopathology, and parental PTSD. Dissociative symptoms were elevated in individuals with current PTSD, but not in those with past PTSD or with the risk factor of parental PTSD. Dissociative symptoms were also associated with forms of psychopathology other than PTSD. The results suggest that dissociative symptoms are related to current psychiatric symptomatology, including PTSD, rather than representing an enduring trait or preexisting risk factor for the development of PTSD.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-436
JournalJournal of Nervous and Mental Disease
Volume190
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2002

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