The Desire to Dissociate Scale: factor analysis, cross-cultural findings, and links to substance-induced dissociation

Alicia Klanecky, Antover P. Tuliao, Bernice Vania N. Landoy, Dennis E. McChargue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Past research identified that a desire for dissociative experiences, rather than dissociative tendencies, mediate the relationship between early sexual abuse and problem drinking in college students. Desire to dissociate was conceptualized as a mechanism facilitating substance-induced dissociation or the use of substances to achieve dissociative-like experiences and was measured using a modified version of the Dissociative Experiences Scale-II. The validity and cross-cultural generalizability of the modified scale are not yet known. Objectives: The current study examined the psychometric properties of the modified scale, exploring findings across U.S. and Filipino college samples, and explored how the desire to dissociate construct related to other variables linked to substance-induced dissociation. Methods: Participants were recruited across two U.S. samples and one Filipino sample (N = 2404; 72% female). Instead of asking “how often do you experience” dissociative items, 14-items from the original scale were selected and individuals were asked “how often would you like to experience” items. Results: Results supported the validity of the Desire to Dissociate Scale (DDS) with a bifactor model best fitting the data in U.S. and Filipino samples. The bifactor model identified that the DDS primarily measured a general ‘desire to dissociate’ factor and two specific factors comprised smaller portions of the variance. DDS scores were positively correlated with trauma-related and alcohol use variables including drinking to cope, variables conceptually consistent with theories of substance-induced dissociation. Conclusion: Clinical implications address avoidant coping patterns and differences in specific factor findings between U.S. and Filipino samples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)390-400
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 3 2020


  • Desire to Dissociate Scale
  • Dissociation
  • alcohol
  • college
  • cross-cultural
  • substance-induced dissociation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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