Dissociation and fantasy proneness as mediators of the effects of childhood trauma on frequency, vividness and distress of nightmare.
H. Tanabe1, K. Gotow2, K. Matsuoka3, H. Okada4, E. Matsuda5 (1Shizuoka JP; 2Nagoya JP; 3Morioka JP; 4Koshigaya JP; 5Tokyo JP)
Previous studies have shown that fantasy proneness, dissociation (Matsuoka & Okada,2004;2005), depersonalisation, and schizotypy (Okada & Matsuda,2015) have relationship to frequency and distress of nightmare. This study examined such the effects of fantasy proneness and dissociation with analysis including childhood trauma as an explanatory variable. 425 Japanese college-age participants anonymously completed web-based survey questionnaire, which was composed with measures of frequency, vividness, and distress of nightmare (NDQ; Nightmare Distress Questionnaire; Belicki,1992; Okada & Matsuda,2014), fantasy proneness (CEQ; Creative Experiences Questionnaire; Merckelbach et al.,2001; Okada et al.,2004), dissociation (DES; Dissociative Experiences Scale; Bernstein & Putnam,1986; Tanabe & Ogawa,1992), and childhood trauma (CATS; Child Abuse and Trauma Scale; Sanders & Giolas,1991; Sanders & Becker-Lauren,1995; Tanabe,1996); the same data-set have differently analysed and reported elsewhere (Tanabe,2016). Results of current analysis showed, 1) CATS had effect on DES and CEQ, both of which mediated the effects on NDQ (Sobel’s test: z =5.25; 5.31, ps<.001) and no significant direct effect of CATS remained, 2) DES or “Depersonalisation & Identity Alteration” component contributed more to nightmare frequency, while CEQ or “Vivid Fantasy” component more to dream/nightmare vividness, and thus they would lead to nightmare distress. It seems that not the “Fantasy Absorption/Absentmindedness”, but the “Depersonalisation & Identity Alteration (kind of perceptual and subjectivity alteration)” and the “Vivid Fantasy” components may be the core features of the mediators between trauma and nightmare, which might share some neuro-cognitive deficit (or distinctive feature), as schizotypy. These results have certain limitations as a cross-sectional (retrospective), analogue, measurement study.