When trauma is stigmatized: Disidentification and dissociation in people affected by adverse childhood experiences
Survivors of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) can experience dissociation because of their trauma. Those survivors can also experience stigma stemming from their traumatic experiences, which may encourage disidentification from the stigmatized group (i.e., other survivors of ACEs). However, the relationships between disidentification and dissociation have not been empirically tested. Using a social identity framework, we examined whether stigmatized trauma perceptions (the degree to which a trauma is perceived as a stigmatized experience) predicted dissociative symptoms and disidentification using cross-sectional survey data. An online community sample of ACEs survivors (N = 181) completed measures of disidentification and dissociation. Stigmatized trauma perceptions were measured greater dissociation. The findings demonstrate a link between social disidentification and personal dissociation.Further research can explore this link in other types of stigmatized traumas (e.g., suicide)by respondents rating the extent to which they perceived ACEs are a stigmatizing experience. Path analysis revealed higher stigmatized trauma perceptions predicted more disidentification which resulted in greater dissociative symptoms, after controlling for ACEs and gender. The results show that survivors are more likely to disidentify from people with similar experiences when they feel their trauma is stigmatized. This disidentification was associated with The findings demonstrate a link between social disidentification and personal dissociation. Further research can explore this link in other types of stigmatized traumas (e.g., suicide)
A Social Identity Model of Trauma and Identity Change: A Novel Theory of Post-Traumatic Stress, Resilience and Growth
European Research CouncilFind out more...
PublicationJournal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, pp. 1–16
PublisherWiley and Sons Ltd
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