Temperament, character, and dissociation among detoxified male inpatients with alcohol dependency



The aim of this study was to determine possible relationships of pathological dissociation with temperament, character, and concurrent psychopathological features in a consecutive series of male alcohol-dependent patients. Fifty-eight patients with pathological dissociation were compared with 118 nondissociative patients classified by dissociative taxon membership. Beside higher scores on anxiety, depression, and alcoholism scales, a larger proportion of dissociative group reported childhood abuse, suicide attempts, and self-mutilation than did the nondissociative group. They also had higher scores of novelty seeking and harm avoidance, but lower scores of persistence, self-directedness, and cooperativeness. Trait anxiety, depression, and severity of alcoholism predicted dissociative experiences; however, none of the temperament or character measures did. Rather than being a derivative of temperament or character features, dissociative experiences of male alcohol-dependent patients are associated with overall concurrent psychopathology. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Clin Psychol 64:717–727, 2008.