Comparison of dissociative experiences between rhythmic gymnasts and female dancers

Thomson, Paula; Kibarska, Lilia Alexieva; Jaque, S. Victoria
September 2011
International Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology;Sep2011, Vol. 9 Issue 3, p238
Academic Journal
The prevalence of pathological and nonpathological dissociation (as defined in the DSM-IV) was assessed in two elite populations, international rhythmic gymnasts (RGs) from the Bulgarian and US National Rhythmic Gymnastics Teams and professional concert dancers from Bulgaria, Canada and United States. The Dissociative Experience Scale�II was used to measure type and frequency of dissociation. Dissociative tendencies among RGs and dancers were similar, and different from controls. Dancers endorsed significantly more experiences of feeling their body did not belong to them. RGs had significantly greater ability to ignore pain and claimed increased experiences of ease when performing difficult tasks. Individuals from the two elite populations, and not the control group, scored in the pathological range for dissociative disorders. The results confirmed the need for further clarification of degree and severity of dissociation among elite populations; populations that place very high demands on their body and hold high expectations for success.


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