The mediator roles of trait anxiety, hostility, and impulsivity in the association between childhood trauma and dissociation in male substance-dependent inpatients

Cuneyt Evren, Ozgul Cınar, Bilge Evren, Muge Ulku, Vahap Karabulut, Gokhan Umut
Comprehensive Psychiatry 2013, 54 (2): 158-66
The aim of this study was to investigate the mediator roles of negative affect, aggression, and impulsivity in the association between childhood trauma and dissociation in male substance-dependent inpatients. In addition, the effect of some variables that may be related with childhood trauma and dissociation among treatment-seeking substance dependents, such as substance of choice (alcohol/drug), mean of current age, and age at regular substance use was controlled. Participants were consecutively admitted 200 male substance-dependent inpatients. Patients were investigated with the Dissociative Experiences Scale, the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire, the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale, the Buss-Perry Aggression Questionnaire, the Beck Depression Inventory, and the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. Seventy-seven patients (38.5%) with pathologic dissociation were compared with 123 nondissociative patients (61.5%) classified by dissociative taxon membership. The dissociative group had lower age, age at regular substance use, duration of education, and higher rate of drug dependency rather than alcohol dependency. Beside higher scores on anxiety, depression, childhood trauma, aggression, and impulsivity, a larger proportion of dissociative group reported suicide attempts and self-mutilation than did the nondissociative group. Results of regression analyses suggest that severity of chronic anxiety, aggression (particularly hostility), and impulsivity were found to be mediators of association between childhood trauma and dissociation. Results suggest that, to reduce the risk of dissociation and related behavior such as suicide attempt and self-mutilation among substance dependents, chronic anxiety together with the feelings of hostility and impulsivity must be the targets of evaluation and treatment among those with history of childhood trauma.

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