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Dissociation From a Cross-Cultural Perspective: Implications of Studies in Brazil

Maraldi, Everton de Oliveira PhD*; Krippner, Stanley PhD; Barros, Maria Cristina Monteiro MSc‡§; Cunha, Alexandre MSc§

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: July 2017 - Volume 205 - Issue 7 - p 558–567
doi: 10.1097/NMD.0000000000000694
Original Articles

A major issue in the study of dissociation concerns the cross-cultural validity of definitions and measurements used to identify and classify dissociative disorders. There is also extensive debate on the etiological factors underlying dissociative experiences. Cross-cultural research is essential to elucidate these issues, particularly regarding evidence obtained from countries in which the study of dissociation is still in its infancy. The aim of this article was to discuss Brazilian research on the topic of dissociation, highlighting its contributions for the understanding of dissociative experiences in nonclinical populations and for the validity and relevance of dissociative disorders in the contexts of psychiatry, psychology, and psychotherapy. We also consider the ways in which dissociative experiences are assimilated by Brazilian culture and religious expressions, and the implications of Brazilian studies for the sociocultural investigation of dissociation. We conclude by addressing the limitations of these studies and potential areas for future research.

*Inter Psi-Laboratory of Anomalistic Psychology and Psychosocial Processes, Department of Social and Work Psychology, Institute of Psychology, University of São Paulo, Brazil; †Department of Humanistic and Clinical Psychology, Saybrook University, Oakland, California; and ‡Program of Health, Spirituality and Religiosity (ProSER), and §LIM23, Institute of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of São Paulo, Brazil.

Send reprint requests to Everton de Oliveira Maraldi, PhD, Department of Social and Work Psychology, Institute of Psychology, University of São Paulo, 1721 Prof. Mello Moraes Avenue, São Paulo 05508-030, Brazil. E-mail:

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