Does dissociation mediate the relationship between childhood abuse and auditory hallucinations? An investigation using clinical samples with schizophrenia and dissociative identity disorder.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
Previous research has found that the relationship between childhood trauma and auditory hallucination is mediated by dissociation (Perona-Garcelan et al., 2012a, 2014) and that the specific types of dissociation that mediate this relationship are depersonalisation and absorption (Cole et al., 2016; Perona-Garcelan et al., 2012a, 2014). The current study aimed to extend this literature base by testing dissociation as a mediator of the relationship between childhood abuse and auditory hallucination frequency and associated distress using two diagnostic groups; DID (n = 50) and schizophrenia (n = 50). In addition, this study aimed to test whether dissociation is a mediator of the relationship between childhood abuse and non-auditory hallucinations. The battery of quantitative questionnaires included those assessing childhood abuse, different manifestations of dissociation (e.g., pathological dissociation, depersonalisation), auditory hallucination frequency and distress and non-auditory hallucinations In the DID group depersonalisation mediated between childhood abuse and distress associated with auditory hallucinations. Childhood abuse and auditory hallucination frequency was mediated by pathological dissociation in the DID group and was mediated by depersonalisation in the schizophrenia group. Also, childhood abuse and non-auditory hallucinations were mediated by dissociation in all modalities in the schizophrenia group and all except gustatory in the DID group. This study builds on the research demonstrating that in essence auditory hallucinations are dissociative and adds that non-auditory hallucinations can also be conceptualised as dissociative.