Date of Award
Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences
The purpose of this research was to determine how environmental stressors that occur during the early childhood years can lead to the development of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) and diagnosis in the adult years. Over the years, childhood trauma has become increasingly prevalent worldwide and despite this increase, continues to remain a significantly unaddressed public health issue (Beilharz et al., 2020). The trauma experienced can include physical, sexual, emotional, and either physical or emotional neglect from a caregiver (Beilharz et al., 2020). Over the years, DID has been the center of controversy in the field of psychology. There have been many theories postulated to explain the etiology, manifestation, and presentation of DID. Despite the growing research related to not only DID but other dissociation disorders, there has still been some speculation as to if DID is a true condition. Regardless of the differences, there have been some consistencies amongst the various theories and research, with the main one being some form of trauma experienced in the early childhood/adolescent years.
In order to gather information on DID and childhood trauma, many different review articles, journal articles, and psychology books were utilized. While research about DID is still ongoing, there is still much unknown about this condition, especially as it relates to children.
Despite the many different theories for the development of DID, there is still not much known about the disorder as it presents in the childhood years, making it challenging for early diagnosis and treatment. However, since DID has been shown to be exacerbated through trauma, future research should begin to evaluate how COVID and the associated traumas that could stem as a result of COVID, could exacerbate the symptoms of DID in young children. In the future, a clear diagnosis at an earlier age could result in treatment prior to the adolescent or adult years.
Conway, Jazmin, "The Role of Environmental Stressors Experienced During Childhood in the Development of Dissociative Identity Disorder" (2021). PCOM Capstone Projects. 32.