Childhood Trauma Is Associated with the Spirituality of Non-Religious Respondents

Kosarkova, A., Malinakova, K., Koncalova, Z., Tavel, P. & van Dijk, J. P., 17-Feb-2020, In : International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 17, 4, 11 p., 1268.

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Childhood trauma experience (CT) is negatively associated with many aspects of adult life. Religiosity/spirituality (R/S) are often studied as positive coping strategies and could help in the therapeutic process. Evidence on this is lacking for a non-religious environment. The aim of this study was to assess the associations of different types of CT with R/S in the secular conditions of the Czech Republic. A nationally representative sample (n = 1800, mean age = 46.4, SD = 17.4; 48.7% male) of adults participated in the survey. We measured childhood trauma, spirituality, religiosity and conversion experience. We found that four kinds of CT were associated with increased levels of spirituality, with odds ratios (OR) ranging from 1.17 (95% confidence interval 1.03-1.34) to 1.31 (1.18-1.46). Non-religious respondents were more likely to report associations of CT with spirituality. After measuring for different combinations of R/S, each CT was associated with increased chances of being "spiritual but non-religious", with OR from 1.55 (1.17-2.06) to 2.10 (1.63-2.70). Moreover, converts were more likely to report emotional abuse OR = 1.46 (1.17-1.82) or emotional neglect with OR = 1.42 (1.11-1.82). Our findings show CT is associated with higher levels of spirituality in non-religious respondents. Addressing spiritual needs may contribute to the effectiveness of psychotherapeutic treatment of the victims.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1268
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 17-Feb-2020


  • childhood trauma, abuse, neglect, spirituality, religiosity, conversion, POSTTRAUMATIC GROWTH, ADULT SURVIVORS, HEALTH, STRESS, VALIDATION, ATTACHMENT, ADJUSTMENT, DISTRESS, VERSION, ABUSE

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