Assessment of anhedonia in psychological trauma: development of the Hedonic Deficit and Interference Scale

Frewen, Paul A.; Dean, Jasmine A.; Lanius, Ruth A.
January 2012
European Journal of Psychotraumatology;2012, Vol. 3, Special section p1
Academic Journal
Symptoms of anhedonia, or deficits in the ability to experience positive affect, are increasingly recognized as an outcome of traumatic stress. Herein we demonstrate a phenomenon of "negative affective interference", specifically, negative affective responses to positive events, in association with childhood trauma history. Young adults (n = 99) completed a Hedonic Deficit & Interference Scale (HDIS), a self-report measure developed for this study, as well as a modified version of the Fawcette-Clarke Pleasure Capacity Scale that assessed not only positive but also negative affective responses to positive events. The two assessment approaches demonstrated convergent validity and predicted concurrent individual differences in trait positive and negative affect, and extraversion and neuroticism. Histories of childhood emotional and sexual abuse were differentially associated with negative affective responses to positive events. Future research and clinical directions are discussed.


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