The association between traumatic experience, paranoia and hallucinations: a test of the predictions of psychological models

Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2007 Oct;116(4):280-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.2007.01011.x.


Objective: The current study investigated the relationship between trauma and predisposition to hallucinations and to paranoia in a non-clinical sample.

Method: A total of 228 students completed online measures of trauma, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), schematic beliefs, perceptual anomalies, and predisposition to hallucinations and paranoia.

Results: Associations were found between negative schematic beliefs, PTSD and predisposition to both paranoia and hallucinations. PTSD reexperiencing-symptoms were most strongly associated with a predisposition to hallucinations. Negative beliefs about self and others were most strongly associated with a predisposition to paranoia.

Conclusion: The results provide support for the prediction that there may be two routes between trauma and predisposition to psychosis. Clear support was found for a link between trauma and psychosis mediated by negative beliefs about self and others. There may also be a direct association between re-experiencing symptoms and hallucinations.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child Abuse / psychology
  • Crime Victims / psychology
  • Culture
  • Delusions / diagnosis
  • Delusions / psychology
  • Female
  • Hallucinations / diagnosis
  • Hallucinations / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Life Change Events*
  • Male
  • Models, Psychological*
  • Paranoid Disorders / diagnosis
  • Paranoid Disorders / psychology*
  • Personality Inventory
  • Psychotic Disorders / diagnosis
  • Psychotic Disorders / psychology
  • Reference Values
  • Risk Factors
  • Self Concept
  • Social Perception
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / diagnosis
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology*
  • Students / psychology