What Causes Dissociation?
Mary-Anne discusses the findings from her meta-analysis of over thirty thousand college students, in-depth interviews with 13 in-patients with a severe Dissociative Disorder (DD), and questionnaires completed by 313 participants from an Australian university and 30 individuals in treatment for a DD that explored dissociation (a 60 question version of Dell’s Multidimensional Inventory of Dissociation), adult attachment style (Holmes & Lyons-Ruth’s Relationship Questionnaire), experiences of childhood maltreatment (a revised version of Freyd, Deprince, & Zurbriggen’s Betrayal Trauma Index), and the dynamics between themselves and their parents during their childhood (Kate’s Parent-Child Dynamics Questionnaire). The meta-analysis found that the prevalence of clinical levels of dissociation was consistent with the prevalence of experiencing multiple traumas during childhood , and that scores on the Dissociative Scale varied significantly across the 16 countries and were highest in countries that were comparatively unsafe (not in North America or “Western countries”). In her own primary research, she was able to predict half of a person’s dissociative symptomology based on specific childhood experiences of abuse, negative parent-child dynamics, and the parents’ role in, or reaction to, any abuse experienced, and their adult attachment style. Mary-Anne quantified DD odds ratios, e.g. in females an insecure attachment style was 20 : 1, and if the mother’s role in, or response to, maltreatment was negative it was 45 : 1. In light of her statistical analysis, Mary-Anne uses vignettes from in-patients to describe the pathogenic family environment in which dissociation occurs.
Potential to Distress: No
Upon completion of this webinar participants will be able to:
- Appraise the validity of the Trauma Model and Fantasy Model in light of the findings of the metaanalysis on the prevalence of DDs and dissociation in college populations
- Recognize the specific types of childhood maltreatment that are predictive of dissociation
- Identity the types of parent-child dynamics, attachment style and parents’ role and/or response in relation to the maltreatment experienced, that are predictive of dissociation
- Assess the validity of the Trauma Model and Fantasy Model in light of the findings from questionnaires and interviews with in-patients
- Recognize the risk factors for dissociation and a DD, which may assist participants in identifying children at risk of developing a DD, and children and adults with a DD
Presenter: Mary-Anne Kate, PhD
Presenter Biography: Dr Mary-Anne Kate has a professional background is in the development of national and EU policies and practices to improve quality of life outcomes for vulnerable client groups. Mary-Anne is a Scientific Committee member of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation and has recently been awarded the Chancellor's Doctoral Research Medal and the David Caul Award for her PhD on childhood maltreatment, parent-child dynamics and dissociation. Mary-Anne teaches therapists internationally and locally about trauma and dissociation. Her previous roles have included a diplomatic posting to Cairo to manage Australia’s refugee and migration programmes for North Africa; policy development to improve the regulation, education and training of Allied Health Professionals in Scotland; coordinating Australia’s settlement strategy for migrants and refugees; and policy development for Europe’s most influential think-tank on immigration and equality issues to improve the socio-economic situation of migrants, ethnic minorities, and refugees in Europe. Mary-Anne is currently teaching on the Mental Health Masters course at Southern Cross University and holds an adjunct research position with the University of New England.
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