DSM5 Severity Measure for Dissociation, Child

The Brief Dissociative Experiences Scale (DES-B)—Modified is an 8-item measure that assesses the severity of dissociative experiences in children ages 11–17. The measure is completed by the child upon receiving a diagnosis of a dissociative disorder (or clinically significant dissociative symptoms) and thereafter, prior to follow-up visits with the clinician. Each item asks the child receiving care to rate the severity of his or her dissociative experiences during the past 7 days.

Total number of questions


Administration method


Standardized cadence

Every week

Age range




Scoring and interpretation

Each item on the measure is rated on a 5-point scale (0=Not at all; 1=Once or twice; 2=Almost every day; 3=About once a day, and 4=More than once a day). The total score can range from 0 to 32, with higher scores indicating greater severity of dissociative experiences. The clinician is asked to review the score of each item on the measure during the clinical interview and indicate the raw score for each item in the section provided for “Clinician Use.” The raw scores on the 8 items should be summed to obtain a total raw score. In addition, the clinician is asked to calculate and use the average total score. The average total score reduces the overall score to a 5-point scale, which allows the clinician to think of the severity of the child’s brief dissociative experiences in terms of none (0), mild (1), moderate (2), severe (3), or extreme (4). The average total score is calculated by dividing the raw total score by number of items in the measure (i.e., 8). The use of the average total score was found to be reliable, easy to use, and clinically useful to the clinicians in the DSM-5 Field Trials.

Reliability and validity

Additional information

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