The impact of dissociation, shame, and guilt on interpersonal relationships in chronically traumatized individuals: a pilot study

J Trauma Stress. 2010 Oct;23(5):653-6. doi: 10.1002/jts.20564.


The aim of this study was to systematically examine the impact of shame, guilt, and dissociation on interpersonal relationships. Study 1 assessed 81 participants attending a trauma-related treatment service with the Structured Interview for Disorders of Extreme Stress and the Community and Interpersonal Connectedness Scale. Study 2 assessed 21 traumatized participants from the same service with the above measures, as well as the Dissociative Experiences Scale. Lifetime shame and current dissociation made significant contributions to relationship disconnectedness, with dissociation having the most significant impact in all analyses. Both dissociation and shame appear to have a severing effect on interpersonal relationships.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dissociative Disorders*
  • Female
  • Guilt*
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Shame*
  • Wounds and Injuries / psychology*
  • Young Adult