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Somatoform Dissociation and Adverse Childhood Experiences in the General Population

Maaranen, Päivi MD; Tanskanen, Antti MD; Haatainen, Kaisa MHSc; Koivumaa-Honkanen, Heli MD; Hintikka, Jukka MD; Viinamäki, Heimo MD

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: May 2004 - Volume 192 - Issue 5 - p 337-342
doi: 10.1097/01.nmd.0000126700.41047.83
Original Articles

Childhood trauma has been associated with psychological dissociation, but there is evidence that trauma may also result in somatoform dissociation. We performed a general population study with 1739 subjects, using the Somatoform Dissociation Questionnaire, measures of adverse childhood experiences, and sociodemographic background. The prevalence of high somatoform dissociation (Somatoform Dissociation Questionnaire ≥30) was 9.4% in the Finnish general population. Unemployment, a reduced working ability, and a poor financial situation were associated with high somatoform dissociation. Of the adverse childhood experiences, high somatoform dissociation was strongly linked to physical punishment but not associated with domestic violence, including sexual and physical abuse. The odds of high somatoform dissociation were also increased among men by a poor relationship between their parents, and among women by alcohol abuse in their childhood home. We found a strong, graded relationship between an increasing number of adverse childhood experiences and high somatoform dissociation.

Department of Psychiatry, Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, Finland.

Send reprint requests to Dr. Päivi Maaranen, MD, Research and Development Unit, Department of Psychiatry Kuopio University Hospital, P. O. Box 1777, FIN-70211, Kuopio, Finland.

© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.