Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 217–225 | Cite as

Intergenerational Associations Between Trauma and Dissociation

  • Annmarie C. Hulette
  • Laura A. Kaehler
  • Jennifer J. Freyd
Original Article


The purpose of this study was to investigate intergenerational relationships between trauma and dissociation. Short and long term consequences of betrayal trauma (i.e., trauma perpetrated by someone with whom the victim is very close) on dissociation were examined in a sample of 67 mother–child dyads using group comparison and regression strategies. Experiences of high betrayal trauma were found to be related to higher levels of dissociation in both children and mothers. Furthermore, mothers who experienced high betrayal trauma in childhood and were subsequently interpersonally revictimized in adulthood were shown to have higher levels of dissociation than non-revictimized mothers. Maternal revictimization status was associated with child interpersonal trauma history. These results suggest that dissociation from a history of childhood betrayal trauma may involve a persistent unawareness of future threats to both self and children.


Child maltreatment Dissociation Intergenerational transmission Interpersonal trauma 



We are grateful to our participants and colleagues at the University of Oregon and appreciate the support from the Trauma and Oppression Research Fund at the University of Oregon.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Annmarie C. Hulette
    • 1
  • Laura A. Kaehler
    • 1
  • Jennifer J. Freyd
    • 1
  1. 1.1227 University of OregonEugeneUSA

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