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Title: Trauma, sub-clinical dissociation, and psychosis : a study of self-reported trauma and its psychological consequences in a student population
Author: Owens, Mark
ISNI:       0000 0004 2732 921X
Awarding Body: University of Ulster
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2012
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Summary: This thesis relates to the study of trauma, psychosis, and dissociative experiences in a non-clinical student population (N=202). Profound human experiences in the form of psychosis and dissociation have been difficult for orthodox psychiatry to conceptualise and classify. The neo-Kraepelinian models of orthodox psychiatry view psychoses as strict dichotomous entities with a biological aetiology, whereas dissociation is reduced to the role of a pseudo-psychosis as it does not have a biological aetiology. Historically, psychosis and dissociation were considered as orthogonal constructs. More recently research has shown that not only are psychosis and dissociation not orthogonal, but that both constructs are related and are features of a range of psychopathology with traumatic antecedents. This study is underpinned with the idea that all profound human experience lies along a continuumfrom the subclinical up to the clinical level and where traumata is viewed as a main aetiological component. Empirical quantitative scientific methods in the form of regression analysis, confirmatoryfactor analysis (CFA), and latent class analysis (LCA) have been utilised and applied to the observed data. Three latent factors of the Dissociative Experiences scale (DES) were identified in chapter three. In chapter four the three latent factors of the DES eo-varied with demographic and psychological variables thereby validating the tools overall construct validity. Three latent classes of trauma were identified in chapter five with a low trauma class, an intermediate trauma class, and a complex trauma class. In chapter six CF A was used to identify the optimum models specifications for the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Subscales-2I (DASS-2I), the Alcohol Use Disorders Identifications Test (A UDIT) and the Lunay-Slade Hallucination Scale revised (LSHS-R) as applied to the observed data. Chapter seven outlines a pathway model of psychosis proneness mediated by dissociative experiences with traumatic antecedents that was developed in a three step regression whilst controlling for the effects of alcohol use and negative affect. This thesis will outline that trauma, dissociation, and psychosis proneness are not orthogonal in this non-clinical sample. Psychosis proneness lies along a continuum with dissociative experiences and are propelled by traumatic antecedents. The .findings add to the growing body of literature supporting the idea that trauma is an aetiological component of adverse psychological experiences. Furthermore, a reconceptualization of profound human experiences is advocated. Moreover, when these profound psychological phenomena are deconstructed and viewed as existing along a continuum, psychiatric diagnoses as strict dichotomous entities are rendered meaningless.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available