Depersonalization, fantasies, and coping behavior in clinical context*


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    *Originally published in Volume 55, Number 2, 1999, pages 225–232.


The main purpose of the present study was to determine the relation between specific dissociative experiences (depersonalization, fantasies) and self-reported coping behavior in a clinical (depression, anxiety, schizophrenia) and nonclinical sample (normal adults). Dissociative experiences were assessed with the Questionnaire of Experiences of Dissociation (QED) of Riley (1988) and coping behavior with the Stress-Process Questionnaire (SPQ; Janke, Erdmann, & Boucsein, 1985). A factor analysis of the QED items revealed a two-factor extraction: Factor 1 “depersonalization” and Factor 2 “fantasies/daydreams.” The clinical group scored higher on the QED factor “depersonalization” and had more passive forms of coping behavior (resignation, social isolation, self-compassion, self-blame) than the normal adults. Similar correlation patterns were found for both groups: The QED factor “depersonalization” correlated highly with the coping behaviors “resignation,” “social isolation,” “self-blame,” “self-compassion,” and “rumination.” No correlation between Factor 2 “fantasies/daydreams” and the coping behavior was found. Finally, correlations between depersonalization, trait anxiety, and personal need for structure were reported. © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Clin Psychol, 2003.