Undergraduate Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 4-5-2014

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Paul A. Frewen

Abstract

A recent framework known as the 4D-Model of Trauma-related Dissociation (Frewen & Lanius, 2014) differentiates between symptoms of clinically significant distress based on whether the symptoms do or do not intrinsically exemplify trauma-related altered states of consciousness (TRASC). Undergraduate students (n = 342) participated in an online survey and completed several measures assessing childhood experiences and psychological symptoms. Female PTSD patients (n = 25) completed similar measures before entering treatment. Within the student sample, NWC symptoms were endorsed as occurring more frequently than TRASC symptoms. On average, symptoms of NWC were more strongly intercorrelated than symptoms of TRASC. Symptoms of TRASC were more strongly correlated with Traumatic Dissociation Scale (TDS) total scores; however, this difference was not significant. The four dimensions of TRASC incremented over the four NWC dimensions in predicting total scores of the TDS, and the reverse was not true. NWC and TRASC symptoms were both weakly correlated with Dissociative Experiences Scale-Brief scores. Although symptoms of TRASC were more strongly correlated with CARTS scores, only the Body dimension (i.e., depersonalization) was significant. Support for the 4D-Model was not as strong within the patient sample. Symptoms of NWC were endorsed as occurring more frequently than TRASC symptoms. However, in contrast to the student sample, symptoms of NWC were not more highly intercorrelated than TRASC symptoms, TRASC symptoms were not correlated stronger with TDS total scores, and TRASC symptoms were not correlated stronger with CARTS subscale scores than were NWC symptoms. Limitations, future directions, and implications are discussed.

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