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Psyiological Arousal and Dissociation in Acute Trauma Victims During Trauma Narratives


Nixon, RDV and Bryant, RA and Moulds, M and Felmingham, KL and Mastrodomenico, J, Psyiological Arousal and Dissociation in Acute Trauma Victims During Trauma Narratives, Journal of Traumatic Stress, 18, (2) pp. 107-113. ISSN 0894-9867 (2005) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

2005 International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies The final publication is available at

DOI: doi:10.1002/jts.20019


The aim of the present study was to examine whether the finding of suppressed physiological activity in dissociative rape-trauma victims (Griffin, Resick,&Mechanic, 1997) was replicable in a nonsexual assault trauma group. A sample of 17 high-dissociating (HD) participants and 18 low-dissociating (LD) participants who had experienced a motor vehicle accident or physical assault described their trauma while skin conductance, heart rate activity, and self-reported mood were recorded. HD individuals demonstrated a trend for elevated heart rate during the experiment compared with LD participants, but both groups displayed comparable skin-conductance levels. Curve estimation analysis indicated that the two groups had a similar pattern of physiological responding during the trauma narratives. These findings challenge the notion that dissociative reactions are associated with reduced psychophysiological arousal after trauma.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Clinical and health psychology
Research Field:Health psychology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Felmingham, KL (Professor Kim Felmingham)
ID Code:72138
Year Published:2005
Web of Science® Times Cited:31
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2011-08-22
Last Modified:2011-09-13
Downloads:2 View Download Statistics

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