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ABSTRACT Studies have reported high rates of childhood abuse in people with psychiatric illness. This study examined whether dissociative symptoms are specific to patients with histories of abuse. Ninety-eight female psychiatric inpatients completed self-report instruments that focused on childhood history of trauma, dissociative symptoms, and psychiatric symptoms in general. Sixty-three percent of the subjects reported physical and/or sexual abuse. Eighty-three percent had dissociative symptom scores above the median score of normal adults, and 24% had scores at or above the median score of patients with posttraumatic stress disorder. Subjects with a history of childhood abuse reported higher levels of dissociative symptoms than those who did not.