Link to a list of papers on dissociative disorder.
Beginning in the 1980s, an upsurge of interest in the dissociative disorders spurred efforts to develop measures of dissociative experiences -- partly for use in identifying individuals who might be at risk for dissociative disorders, partly for use in screening potential subjects for research. Kihlstrom, Glisky, & Angiulo (1994) provided a comparative discussion of many of these scales, on which the following material is based.
The paper by Kihlstrom et al., in turn, makes reference to a further manuscript in preparation by Angiulo and Kihlstrom (1993). Owing to Angiulo's untimely death (March 10, 1995, at the age of 43), this paper was never published, but a link to the most recent draft is provided on this website, as a sort of appendix to the 1993 paper. Link to Angiulo & Kihlstrom (1993).
By far the most popular such instrument is the Dissociative Experiences Scale (DES), developed by Bernstein and Putnam (1986; see also Bernstein Carlson & Putnam, 1993).
Ross et al. (1990) collected data using the DES from a large, nonclinical, community sample. Note the prominent skew in the distribution.
In an early study, we modified the DES to use a 4-point Likert scale (Nadon et al., 1991). This normalized the distribution of DES scores somewhat, which was good for the correlational analyses we wanted to perform, but probably misrepresents the true distribution of dissociative tendencies.
In this laboratory, we have almost exclusively relied on a modified version of the DES, using an 11-point Likert-type scale instead of the 10-cm visual analog scale originally employed by Bernstein & Putnam (1986). This scale is tantamount to the "DES-II" provided by Bernstein & Putnam (1993). Unless otherwise noted, the following studies have all used this 11-point scale.
The unpublished study by Angiulo & Kihlstrom (1993), based on data collected at the University of Arizona:
N = 1,367: M = 22.40, SD = 12.73.
Two published studies of dissociative experiences and abnormal eating behavior by Valdiserri & Kihlstrom (1995a, 1995b), also based on data collected at Arizona:
Valdiserri & Kihlstrom (1995a), N = 656: M = 15.29, SD = 11.66 (Spring and Fall of 1992).
Valdiserri & Kihlstrom (1995b), N = 241: M = 12.42, SD = 11.06 (Fall of 1993).
At UC Berkeley, a senior honors thesis by Christina Stevens generated data on the DES for 1163 subjects tested over two semesters and the intervening summer, 2005-2006. In this sample, we also computed DES "Taxon" scores (Waller et al., 1996).
DES, M = 12.64, SD = 11.18.
DES Taxon, M = 8.15, SD = 10.59.
Other investigators have also developed scales to measure dissociative tendencies.
Perceptual Alterations Scale (PAS; Sanders, 1986).
Nadon et al. (1991) administered modified versions of the PAS and DES, both scored on a 4-point scale. A total of 475 University of Wisconsin undergraduates completed these scales in the context of a large "prescreening" survey, and again later in the context of a group hypnosis screening session.
PAS correlated highly with DES on both occasions:
Questionnaire on Experiences of Dissociation (QED; Riley, 1988).
Angiulo & Kihlstrom (1993) found a correlation of r = .91 between modified versions of QED and DES in a sample totaling 1,463 Arizona undergraduates surveyed in the Fall of 1991 (cited in Kihlstrom et al., 1994).
DES, N = 1,367: M = 22.40, SD = 12.73 (see above).
QED, N = 1,335 M = 23.03, SD = 12.32.
Dissociation Questionnaire (Diss-Q; Vanderlinden et al., 1991). We have not used this scale in any research.
Mini-SCID-D (M-SCID-D; Steinberg et al., 1992). Unlike the preceding instruments, the M-SCID-D is closely based on DSM criteria for dissociative disorders. As such, it is more focused on experiences of dissociation per se and less saturated with normal experiences of absorption and imaginative involvement than the DES, QED, or PAS.
In preliminary work for his unpublished doctoral dissertation, Angiulo found a correlation of r = .86 between DES and M-SCID-D in a sample of 1,328 Arizona undergraduates (cited by Kihlstrom et al., 1994).
Data collected Spring 1992.
Data collected Fall 1992, N = 1,328:
Dissociative Processes Scale (DPS; Harrison & Watson, 1992). Unlike the preceding instruments, which are oriented toward pathological forms of dissociation, the DPS is designed to assess dissociative tendencies within the normal range. It consists of three subscales derived from factor analysis: Obliviousness (automaticity and mindlessness), Detachment (depersonalization and derealization), and Imagination (absorption and fantasy). Data from two samples reported by Watson (2001) indicates that the DPS correlates highly with both the DES (rs = .58 and .61) and the QED (rs = .73 and .75).
Angiulo, M.J., & Kihlstrom, J.F. (1993). Dissociative experiences in the college population. Unpublished manuscript, University of Arizona. Available online at http://socrates.berkeley.edu/~kihlstrm/Angiulo1.htm.
Bernstein, E.M., & Putnam, F.W. (1986). Development, reliability, and validity of a dissociation scale. Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease, 174, 727-735.
Bernstein Carlson, E., & Putnam, F. W. (1993). An update on the Dissociative Experiences Scale. Dissociation, 6(1), 16-27.
Carlson, E.B., & Putnam, F.W. (1988). Further validation of the Dissociative Experiences Scale. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, 1988.
Carlson, E.B., & Putnam, F.W. (1990). Comment on 'A factor analytic study of two scales measuring dissociation' by Fischer and Elnitsky. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 33, 133-134.
Carlson, E.B., Putnam, F.W., Ross, C., Anderson, G., Clark, P., Torem, M., Coons, P., Bowman, E.S., Chu, J.A., Dill, D.L., Loewenstein, R.J., & Braun, B.G. (1991, November). A factor analysis of the Dissociative Experiences Scale using multicenter study data. Paper presented at the 8th International Conference on Multiple Personality/Dissociative States, Chicago.
Endicott, J., & Spitzer, R.L. (1978). A diagnostic interview: The Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia. Archives of General Psychiatry, 35, 837-844.
Ensink, B.J., & van Otterloo, D. (1989). A validation study of the Dissociative Experiences Scale in the Netherlands. Dissociation, 2, 221-223.
Fischer, D.G. (1990). Reply to Carlson and Putnam letter. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 33, 134-135.
Fischer, D.G., & Elnitsky, S. (1990). A factor analytic study of two scales measuring dissociation. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 32, 201-207.
Frischholz, E.J., Braun, B.G., Sachs, R.G., Hopkins, L., Shaeffer, D., Lewis, J., Leavitt, F., Pasquotto, J.N., & Schwartz, D.R. (1990). The Dissociative Experiences Scale: Further replication and validation. Dissociation, 3, 151-153.
Glisky, M.L., Tataryn, D.J., Tobias, B.A., Kihlstrom, J.F., & McConkey, K.M. (1991). Absorption, openness to experience, and hypnotizability. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 60, 263-272.
Harison, J.A., & Watson, D. (1992). The Dissociative Processes Scale. Unpublished ms., University of Iowa.
Kihlstrom, J.F. (1991). Dissociative and conversion disorders. In D.J. Stein & J. Young (Eds.), Cognitive science and clinical disorders (in press). San Diego: Academic.
Kihlstrom, J.F., Tataryn, D.J., & Hoyt, I.P. (1990). Dissociative disorders. In P.J. Sutker & H.E. Adams (Eds.), Comprehensive handbook of psychopathology, 2nd Ed (in press). New York: Plenum.
Lewis, J., Frischholz, E.J., Braun, B.G., & Sachs, R.G. (1991, November). The relation between the Dissociative Experiences Scale (DES) and other self-report measures of dissociation. Paper presented at the 8th International Conference on Multiple Personality/Dissociative States, Chicago.
Nadon, R., Hoyt, I.P., Register, P.A., & Kihlstrom, J.F. (1991). Absorption and hypnotizability: Context effects re-examined. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 60, 144-153.
Nemiah, J.C. (1991). Dissociation, conversion, and somatization. In D. Spiegel (Ed.), Dissociative disorders. American Psychiatric Press Review of Psychiatry, 10, 248-275.
Nunnally, J.C. (1978). Psychometric theory. 2nd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Riley, K.C. (1988). Measurement of dissociation. Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease, 176, 449-450.
Robins, L.N., Helzer, J.E., Croughan, J., & Ratcliff, K.S. (1981). National Institute of Mental Health diagnostic interview schedule: Its history, characteristics, and validity. Archives of General Psychiatry, 38, 381-389.
Ross, C.A., Heber, S., Norton, G.R., Anderson, D., Anderson, G., & Barchet, P. (1989). The Dissociative Disorders Interview Schedule: A structured interview. Dissociation, 2, 169-189.
Ross, C.A., Joshi, S., & Currie, R. (1990). Dissociative experiences in the general population. American Journal of Psychiatry, 147, 1547-1552.
Ross, C.A., Joshi, S., & Currie, R. (1991). Dissociative experiences in the general population: A factor analysis. Hospital & Community Psychiatry, 42, 297-301.
Ross, C.A., Miller, D.S., Reagor, P., Bjornson, L., Fraser, G.A., & Anderson, G. (1991). Structured interview: Data on 102 cases of multiple personality disorder from four centers. American Journal of Psychiatry, 147, 596-601.
Ross, C.A., Norton, G.R., & Anderson, G. (1988). The Dissociative Experiences Scale: A replication study. Dissociation, 1, 21-22.
Ross, C.A., Ryan, L., Anderson, G., Ross, D., & Hardy, L. (1989). Dissociative experiences in adolescents and college students. Dissociation, 2, 239-242.
Sanders, S. (1986). The Perceptual Alteration Scale: A scale measuring dissociation. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis, 29, 95-102.
Schwartz, D.R., Frischholz, E.J., Braun, B.G., & Sachs, R.G. (1991, November). A confirmatory factor analytic study of the Dissociative Experiences Scale (DES). Paper presented at the 8th International Conference on Multiple Personality/Dissociative States, Chicago.
Spitzer, R.L., Williams, J.B.W., Gibbon, M., & First, M.B. (1990). User's guide for the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III-R. Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Press.
Steinberg, M., Rounsaville, B., & Cicchetti, D. (1990). The Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III-R Dissociative Disorders: Preliminary report on a new diagnostic instrument. American Journal of Psychiatry, 147, 76-82.
Steinberg, M., Rounsaville, B., & Cicchetti, D. (1991). Detection of dissociative disorders in psychiatric patients by a screening instrument and a structured diagnostic interview. American Journal of Psychiatry, 148, 1050-1054.
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