Genetic and Environmental Basis of the Relationship Between Dissociative Experiences and Cloninger’s Temperament and Character Dimensions – Pilot Study

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Abstract

Dissociation is commonly regarded as a disruption in the normally integrated functions of memory, knowledge, affect, sensation or behavior. The present study utilized behavioral genetics’ methodology to investigate genetic and environmental basis of the relationship between dissociation and Cloninger’s temperament and character traits. A sample of 83 monozygotic and 65 dizygotic twins were administered self-report measures which assessed dissociative experiences along with personality dimensions. Significant correlations and high loads of common genetic variance between dissociative experiences and personality traits of novelty seeking, self-directedness, cooperativeness and self-transcendence were identified. Heritability of dissociative experiences was estimated at 62%. The study shows that there exists a considerable amount of genetic variance overlap between dissociation and personality dimensions. It also supports the hypothesis that propensity to dissociate is highly heritable

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