Peritraumatic Versus Persistent Dissociation in Acute Stress Disorder
The DSM-IV definition of acute stress disorder (ASD) regards dissociation that occurs during a trauma (peritraumatic dissociation) comparably to persistent dissociation. This study investigated the relative contributions of peritraumatic dissociation and persistent dissociation to acute posttraumatic stress reactions. Civilian trauma (N = 53) survivors with either acute stress disorder (ASD), subclinical ASD, or no ASD were administered modified versions of the Peritraumatic Dissociative Experiences Questionnaire that indexed both dissociation during the trauma and dissociation at the time of assessment. Persistent dissociation was more strongly associated with ASD severity and intrusive symptoms than peritraumatic dissociation. These results are consistent with the proposition that persistent, rather than peritraumatic, dissociation is associated with posttraumatic psychopathology.