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J Nerv Ment Dis. 2003 Mar;191(3):182-9.

Dissociative disorders and traumatic childhood experiences in transsexuals.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Muenster, D-48129 Muenster, Germany.


In this first prevalence study of dissociative symptoms and different forms of childhood experiences among transsexuals, 41 transsexuals and 115 psychiatric inpatients were compared by means of the Interview for Dissociative Disorders (SCID-D-R), the Dissociative Experiences Scale (DES), and the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ). The total score for the dissociative symptoms revealed no significant differences between the transsexuals and the psychiatric inpatients. However, the higher DES score among transsexuals compared with a normal population was found to be due largely to one item. A surprisingly high prevalence of emotional maltreatment was recorded. The results suggest that both the DES and the SCID-D-R have limited validity as instruments for screening and diagnosing dissociative disorders in transsexuals. Psychiatrists should be mindful of the possible existence of dissociative disorders in transsexual patients. Further investigations are needed to clarify the effects of traumatic childhood experiences on sexual identity in transsexuals and to throw more light on the phenomenological correlation between transsexualism and dissociative identity, using taxometric analyses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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