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Dissociative Experiences Scale (DES-II)

Title of the Portuguese Version

Escala das experiências dissociativas

Original Version

Bernstein, E. M., & Putnam, F. W. (1986)

Portuguese Version

Espirito Santo, H., & Pio Abreu, J. L. (2008)

General Description

CHARACTERIZATION: self-response instrument based on DSM dissociation characterization with the objective of evaluating dissociative experiences. It is a scale on which the highest score corresponds to the highest dissociation.STRUCTURE AND SCORING: 28 items answered through a Likert scale from 0 to 100. Factors:

  • Depersonalization-derealization (associated with experiences of feeling detached, separate from oneself, body, and other people; items 7, 11, 12, 13, 16, 27, 28);
  • Absorption (related to experiences of involvement in an activity, memory, or fantasy with oblivious to the environment, with the ability to ignore pain, and with the ability to do usually difficult things: iItems 14, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23);
  • Distractibility (includes experiences of loss of part of the information of events, of finding things not remembered doing, and confusion about memories; items 1, 2, 15, 21, 24, 25, 26);
  • Memory Disturbances (involves severe forgetfulness; items 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9).

PSICOMETRIC CHARACTERISTICS: The internal consistency measured by Cronbach’s Alpha model showed a value of 0.94. The factorial analysis of the scale structure revealed a four-dimensional solution that explained 56.3% of the variance. DES has a good ability to detect dissociative pathology in the clinical and non-clinical population. CUTOFF POINT: The analysis of cutoff points through the Receiver Operating Curve confirmed the value of 30 determined by other studies.

  • Bernstein, E. M., & Putnam, F. W. (1986). Development, reliability, and validity of a dissociation scale. The Journal of nervous and mental disease174(12), 727-735.

  • Espirito Santo, H., & Pio Abreu, J. L. (2009). Portuguese validation of the Dissociative Experiences Scale (DES). Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, 10, 69-82. doi:10.1080/15299730802485177 http://repositorio.ismt.pt/handle/123456789/669


Helena Espírito Santo – helenum@gmail.com