Date of Submission
Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)
Arthur Freeman, Ed.D., ABPP
Robert A. DiTomasso, Ph.D., ABPP, Chairperson
Barbara Golden, Psy.D., ABPP
Catherine G. Fine, Ph.D.
Professional skepticism about DID and lack of knowledge about DID has been documented in the adult literature on dissociative pathology (Hayes and Mitchell, 1994). Although 100% of adult DID cases are thought to have originated in childhood as sequelae of trauma, to date no studies about professional skepticism of and knowledge about DID have been done with psychologists who specialize in assessing children and adolescents. This study was designed to investigate the beliefs about DID and knowledge of DID that has been garnered by psychologists who specialize in assessing and treating adolescents. This study consisted of a convenience sample of 34 participants recruited from the American Psychological Association's Division 53 and from participants surveyed via the Internet. This research replicates the study done by Hayes and Mitchell (1994) utilizing the Skepticism and Knowledge Scale designed by them. The abysmal response rate of 2.7% allowed for descriptive analysis but reduced power in calculating correlations between variables. Results indicated an inverse correlation between the Skepticism and the Knowledge variables. Unlike similar studies in the adult literature about dissociative pathology, participants lacked skepticism about DID and were knowledgeable about DID. Yet only 17.6% of the sample accurately diagnosed the DID vignette. The findings of this study reinforce other research findings (Putnam, 1991) that DID, the paradigmatic Dissociative Disorder, is seldom diagnosed in childhood and adolescence. The limitations of this study suggest that findings should be regarded as exploratory rather than conclusive as those who chose not to participate may have done so because of extreme skepticism as well as lack of knowledge about DID.
Madden, Nancy E., "Psychologists' Skepticism and Knowledge about Dissociative Identity Disorders in Adolescents" (2004). PCOM Psychology Dissertations. 90.