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Types of Trauma in Adolescence and Their Relation to Dissociation: A Mixed-Methods Study

Gusic, Sabina LU ; Cardeña, Etzel LU ; Bengtsson, Hans LU and Sondergaard, Hans Peter (2016) In Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy 8. p.568-576
Abstract (Swedish)
Objective:
To study adolescent traumatization and the impact of various types of trauma on dissociative experiences in a sample of 239 Swedish youngsters, 13 to 20 years of age, with diverse socioeconomic and migration backgrounds. We also evaluated whether the type of worst lifetime trauma was associated with higher rates of dissociation.

Method:
Quantitative and qualitative data on posttraumatic stress, dissociative experiences, and potentially traumatic events (PTEs), including participants' written descriptions of their worst lifetime trauma.

Results:
Most (92%) of the participants had been exposed to at least 1 PTE and 51% to 4 or more, during their life. Number of PTEs correlated with symptoms of... (More)
Objective:
To study adolescent traumatization and the impact of various types of trauma on dissociative experiences in a sample of 239 Swedish youngsters, 13 to 20 years of age, with diverse socioeconomic and migration backgrounds. We also evaluated whether the type of worst lifetime trauma was associated with higher rates of dissociation.

Method:
Quantitative and qualitative data on posttraumatic stress, dissociative experiences, and potentially traumatic events (PTEs), including participants' written descriptions of their worst lifetime trauma.

Results:
Most (92%) of the participants had been exposed to at least 1 PTE and 51% to 4 or more, during their life. Number of PTEs correlated with symptoms of posttraumatic stress and dissociation. There were higher rates of dissociation among economically vulnerable and second-generation war refugee participants. Emotional abuse by others (mostly peers) was the only significant predictor of dissociation when controlling for gender, age, total PTEs, posttraumatic stress, and poverty. Moderation analyses showed that lifetime worst traumas categorized as primarily emotional moderated and amplified the relation between total PTEs and dissociation, but only among girls.

Conclusions:
Our findings indicate that traumatization is very common among adolescents, with greater prevalence of dissociation among vulnerable groups, and that emotional traumas are linked to higher rates of dissociation, especially among girls. Researchers, clinicians, and school personnel need to focus more on immigrant status and low SES as vulnerability factors, and address the consequences of emotional abuse, including bullying, among adolescents. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Trauma, dissociation, Emotional abuse, adolescence
in
Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy
volume
8
pages
9 pages
publisher
Educational Publishing Foundation-American Psychological Assoc
external identifiers
  • scopus:84959865750
ISSN
1942-9681
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
cd8aa0a7-11a7-4d94-91ef-a2cb435c3acd
date added to LUP
2016-08-22 20:57:54
date last changed
2017-09-24 05:00:00
@article{cd8aa0a7-11a7-4d94-91ef-a2cb435c3acd,
  abstract     = {Objective: <br/>To study adolescent traumatization and the impact of various types of trauma on dissociative experiences in a sample of 239 Swedish youngsters, 13 to 20 years of age, with diverse socioeconomic and migration backgrounds. We also evaluated whether the type of worst lifetime trauma was associated with higher rates of dissociation.<br/><br/>Method: <br/>Quantitative and qualitative data on posttraumatic stress, dissociative experiences, and potentially traumatic events (PTEs), including participants' written descriptions of their worst lifetime trauma.<br/><br/>Results: <br/>Most (92%) of the participants had been exposed to at least 1 PTE and 51% to 4 or more, during their life. Number of PTEs correlated with symptoms of posttraumatic stress and dissociation. There were higher rates of dissociation among economically vulnerable and second-generation war refugee participants. Emotional abuse by others (mostly peers) was the only significant predictor of dissociation when controlling for gender, age, total PTEs, posttraumatic stress, and poverty. Moderation analyses showed that lifetime worst traumas categorized as primarily emotional moderated and amplified the relation between total PTEs and dissociation, but only among girls.<br/><br/>Conclusions: <br/>Our findings indicate that traumatization is very common among adolescents, with greater prevalence of dissociation among vulnerable groups, and that emotional traumas are linked to higher rates of dissociation, especially among girls. Researchers, clinicians, and school personnel need to focus more on immigrant status and low SES as vulnerability factors, and address the consequences of emotional abuse, including bullying, among adolescents. },
  author       = {Gusic, Sabina and Cardeña, Etzel and Bengtsson, Hans and Sondergaard, Hans Peter},
  issn         = {1942-9681},
  keyword      = {Trauma,dissociation,Emotional abuse,adolescence},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {568--576},
  publisher    = {Educational Publishing Foundation-American Psychological Assoc},
  series       = {Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy},
  title        = {Types of Trauma in Adolescence and Their Relation to Dissociation: A Mixed-Methods Study},
  volume       = {8},
  year         = {2016},
}