The DSM-5 dissociative-PTSD subtype: Can levels of depression, anxiety, hostility, and sleeping difficulties differentiate between dissociative-PTSD and PTSD in rape and sexual assault victims?

Cherie Armour, Ask Elklit, Dean Lauterbach, Jon D. Elhai

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The DSM-5 currently includes a dissociative-PTSD subtype within its nomenclature. Several studies have confirmed the dissociative-PTSD subtype in both American Veteran and American civilian samples. Studies have begun to assess specific factors which differentiate between dissociative vs. non-dissociative PTSD. The current study takes a novel approach to investigating the presence of a dissociative-PTSD subtype in its use of European victims of sexual assault and rape (N = 351). Utilizing Latent Profile Analyses, we hypothesized that a discrete group of individuals would represent a dissociative-PTSD subtype. We additionally hypothesized that levels of depression, anger, hostility, and sleeping difficulties would differentiate dissociative-PTSD from a similarly severe form of PTSD in the absence of dissociation. Results concluded that there were four discrete groups termed baseline, moderate PTSD, high PTSD, and dissociative-PTSD. The dissociative-PTSD group encompassed 13.1% of the sample and evidenced significantly higher mean scores on measures of depression, anxiety, hostility, and sleeping difficulties. Implications are discussed in relation to both treatment planning and the newly published DSM-5.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)418-426
JournalJournal of Anxiety Disorders
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014



  • PTSD
  • Dissociation
  • Dissociative PTSD
  • Rape
  • Latent Profile Analysis
  • LPA

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