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Dissociative Identity Disorder is highly controversial as a diagnostic category. It is not studied frequently, and so we still do not know very much about the nature of the disorder. The disorder itself is also relatively uncommon, although it is deeply disabling. Throughout the research that does exist there seems to be a general consensus that extreme childhood sexual abuse (CSA) causes the disorder. Prevalence rates for child sexual abuse amongst DID populations are high, but why this is the case is still unknown. This paper takes this question—why does childhood sexual abuse seem to cause DID—and explores its implications via a literature review. It is concluded within this paper that DID serves as a coping mechanism for the experience of extreme and recurrent child sexual abuse, and therefore the etiology of DID is critical in understanding the disorder itself.
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Lerner, Esther, "Stuck in the Middle With You: Childhood Sexual Abuse as an Etiologic Factor in Dissociative Identity Disorder" (2011). Senior Projects Spring 2011. 236.