The Dissociative Experiences Taxon Is Related to Fantasy Proneness

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Abstract

Abstract:

Some authors have argued that nonpathological dissociation should be distinguished from a taxon form of pathological dissociation, which is indexed by the Dissociative Experiences Scale Taxon (DES-T). We tested to what extent DES-T scores are independent from fantasy immersion and whether DES-T scores are uniquely related to trauma self-reports. To this end, subsamples of undergraduate students (n = 930), healthy adults (n = 20), schizophrenic patients (n = 22), borderline personality disordered patients (n = 20), patients with mood disorder without psychosis (n = 19), and women with a history of childhood sexual abuse (n = 55) completed the Dissociative Experiences Scale and a measure of fantasy immersion. DES-T scores were related to absorption and fantasy immersion to a lesser extent than the original DES. However, the fact that nontrivial percentages within all groups, except for the healthy adults, were classified as taxon members casts doubts on the assumption that DES-T is a reliable index of pathological dissociation. Also, we found that the DES-T was not exclusively related to reports of childhood sexual abuse.

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