Dissociative Identity Disorder Among Adolescents: Prevalence in a University Psychiatric Outpatient Unit

Sar V., Onder C. , Kilincaslan A., Zoroglu S. S. , Alyanak B.

JOURNAL OF TRAUMA & DISSOCIATION, vol.15, no.4, pp.402-419, 2014 (Journal Indexed in SSCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 15 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/15299732.2013.864748
  • Page Numbers: pp.402-419


The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of dissociative identity disorder (DID) and other dissociative disorders among adolescent psychiatric outpatients. A total of 116 consecutive outpatients between 11 and 17 years of age who were admitted to the child and adolescent psychiatry clinic of a university hospital for the 1st time were evaluated using the Adolescent Dissociative Experiences Scale, adolescent version of the Child Symptom Inventory-4, Childhood Trauma Questionnaire, and McMaster Family Assessment Device. All patients were invited for an interview with the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Dissociative Disorders (SCID-D) administered by 2 senior psychiatrists in a blind fashion. There was excellent interrater reliability between the 2 clinicians on SCID-D diagnoses and scores. Among 73 participants, 33 (45.2%) had a dissociative disorder: 12 (16.4%) had DID, and 21 (28.8%) had dissociative disorder not otherwise specified. There was no difference in gender distribution, childhood trauma, or family dysfunction scores between the dissociative and nondissociative groups. Childhood emotional abuse and family dysfunction correlated with self-reported dissociation. Of the dissociative adolescents, 93.9% had an additional psychiatric disorder. Among them, only separation anxiety disorder was significantly more prevalent than in controls. Although originally designed for adults, the SCID-D is promising for diagnosing dissociative disorders in adolescents, its modest congruence with self-rated dissociation and lack of relationship between diagnosis and childhood trauma and family dysfunction suggest that the prevalence rates obtained with this instrument originally designed for adults must be replicated. The introduction of diagnostic criteria for adolescent DID in revised versions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, would refine the assessment of dissociative disorders in this age group.