The relationship between addictions in the family of origin and hypnotic susceptibility

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Counseling Psychology

First Committee Member

Herbert Dandes - Committee Chair


The present study examined the relationship between hypnotic susceptibility, dissociation, abuse in childhood, and growing up in an addictive family (a family where one or both parents were addicted to drugs and/or alcohol). Based on a review of the literature, it was hypothesized that the high incidence of abuse and neglect found in addictive families would be related to greater dissociative tendencies which would then translate into increased hypnotic susceptibility. To test this model, 113 undergraduate psychology students (47 males and 66 females) were administered the Children of Alcoholic's Screening Test (CAST), the Dissociative Experiences Scale (DES), the Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility (HGSHS), and two questions designed to assess the incidence of physical and/or sexual abuse in childhood. Analysis of variance results indicated a significant relationship between being reared in an addictive family and increased hypnotic susceptibility, but no relationship between addictions in the family and dissociation. Abuse was found to be significantly related to the measure of dissociation, but not hypnotic susceptibility. The results were discussed in reference to a review of the literature on the effects of childhood abuse and neglect on dissociation and hypnotic susceptibility as this relates to the behaviors of the addicted parent.


Psychology, General; Psychology, Clinical

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