Factor structure of the dissociative experiences scale: An examination across sexual assault status


The Dissociative Experiences Scale (DES) has a long history within the literature, with conflicting reports concerning its underlying components and stability across different samples. This study examined the DES factor structure using advanced analytic procedures. Additionally, the impact of sexual victimization on the underlying components of the DES was explored, in order to examine whether sexual trauma influenced the scale's structure. In Study 1, exploratory factor analysis suggested the possibility of either a 1- or 2-factor structure in DES data obtained from an unselected sample of college females. Comparison of these models using an independent validation sample in Study 2 observed a clear advantage of a 2-factor structure. Study 3 explored whether sexual assault status influenced the structure of the 2-factor DES model, using samples drawn from Studies 1 and 2. A multiple group confirmatory factor analysis supported a robust 2-factor structure for the DES irrespective of sexual assault status. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Publication Title

Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment