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J Psychiatr Res. 2007 Apr-Jun;41(3-4):222-8. Epub 2006 Apr 27.

Childhood traumas and hallucinations: an analysis of the National Comorbidity Survey.

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Psychiatric Epidemiology Research Unit, University of Ulster at Magee College, N. Ireland, UK.


Data from the National Comorbidity Survey were used to estimate the relationship between occurrences of childhood trauma and self-reported experiences of hallucinations. Variables representing (1) childhood neglect, (2) childhood physical abuse, (3) rape under the age of 16, and (4) molestation under the age of 16 were used to predict experiences of visual, auditory and tactile hallucinations. After controlling for background variables (sex, age, depression, family history of depression, urbanicity, income, drug, and alcohol dependence), a history of childhood rape and molestation were significantly associated with visual, auditory and tactile hallucinations. Additionally, neglect was associated with visual hallucinations and physical abuse with tactile hallucinations. Experiencing multiple types of trauma was associated with increases in the likelihood of reporting each of the three types of hallucinations. Hallucinatory experiences are possible indicators of a traumatic childhood history.

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