Medical College of Pennsylvania, Eastern Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute, Philadelphia 19129, USA.
This study examines the relationship between posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and dissociative experiences in a sample of 158 recent female assault victims (74 rape, 84 nonsexual assault) and 46 comparison subjects who had not been assaulted within the last year. Results indicated that victims had elevated scores on Dissociative Experiences Scale (DES) as compared to the comparison subjects, but that this elevation was not as high as for other traumatized samples. The level of dissociation reported by assault victims declined significantly over the three month course of the study. DES scores were related to PTSD diagnosis and symptom severity, but only among nonsexual assault victims. In rape victims, there was no correlation between dissociation and PTSD. Recent victims with a history of childhood sexual abuse were significantly more dissociative than those who did not report such a history. These results are discussed with regard to vulnerability factors for developing PTSD subsequent to a criminal assault.
PMID: 8731546, UI: 96301513