An initial validation of behavioral models of dissociation

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Cathey, Angela J.
Lewis, Rhonda K.

The current study examined the relationship of rule-governed verbal behavior and anxiety sensitivity to dissociative symptoms. Dissociative symptoms are experienced by nonclinical and clinical populations and remain poorly understood. In clinical populations, dissociative symptoms are associated with poorer prognosis and treatment outcomes. Current treatments designed to address dissociative symptoms in the clinical context tend to rely on the reduction of fear and avoidance of these symptoms. The current study utilized a cross-sectional design of non-clinical participants obtained from online study advertisements. The present study is an applied validation of a proposed contextual behavioral science models for dissociative symptom etiology and maintenance. Hierarchical regression analyses supported hypotheses that schema consistency and Schema Flexibility are, together, stronger predictors of dissociation frequency than anxiety sensitivity, panic symptoms, and trauma status independently. Research and clinical implications of the findings are discussed, along with the design.

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Thesis (Ph.D.)-- Wichita State University, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Dept. of Psychology