Childhood Trauma and the Development of Paranormal Beliefs

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Belief in the paranormal is fairly prevalent in the general population. Previous research has shown a link between several personological characteristics and paranormal beliefs. The current study attempted to further investigate this link by replicating previous models that have shown a link between childhood trauma, fantasy proneness, and paranormal beliefs. In addition, the study attempted to expand on this model by including other variables such as stigma, resiliency, and coping style. The study used a sample of 198 undergraduate students. A significant correlation between trauma and paranormal beliefs was found. Partial correlations and path analyses revealed that fantasy proneness and avoidant coping style fully mediate the relationship between trauma and paranormal beliefs. The results imply that researchers need to take into account how a person responds to trauma via the development of coping strategies to accurately understand any observed relationship between trauma and paranormal beliefs.

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