Beliefs in karma and reincarnation among survivors of violent trauma
- 355 Downloads
This survey was designed to examine beliefs in karma and reincarnation among survivors of violent trauma in the general US population.
Two community surveys were conducted in 2001. From a sample of 1,969 respondents, two groups were created based on level of agreement with karmic belief. This sample forms the basis of this report. Information was obtained as to mental and physical health, resilience, exposure to violent trauma, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom severity, and the cohorts were compared on these variables.
Five percent of the sample admitted strong agreement to a belief in karma and reincarnation (n=99), while 77% strongly disagreed with these beliefs (n=1,511). Characteristics associated with agreement included being non-white, unmarried, and in poor physical and mental health. Moreover, agreement was associated with more extensive traumatization, including abuse, rape, and loss of a family member through violent death, as well as more severe posttraumatic stress symptoms.
Few people subscribe strongly to a belief in karma and reincarnation in the US population, but personal experience of trauma may be associated with greater acceptance, as well as certain demographic and health-associated variables. The importance of holding such beliefs, which may represent an important way of coping following violent trauma, deserves further study.
Key wordsspirituality reincarnation trauma
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 1.American Psychiatric Association (1994) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, 4th edition. American Psychiatric Press, Washington, D. C.Google Scholar
- 2.Astin MC, Lawrence KJ, Foy DW (1993) Posttraumatic stress disorder among battered women: risk and resilience factors. Violence Vict 8:17–28Google Scholar
- 3.Connor KM, Davidson JRT (2003) Development of a new resilience scale: the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC). Depress Anxiety 18:76–82Google Scholar
- 4.Connor KM, Davidson JRT, Lee LC (2003) Spirituality, resilience, and anger in survivors of violent trauma: a community survey. J Trauma Stress 16:487–494Google Scholar
- 5.Davidson JRT (1996) The Davidson Trauma Scale. MultiHealth System, Inc., Toronto, OntarioGoogle Scholar
- 6.Drescher KD, Foy DW (1995) Spirituality and trauma treatment: suggestions for including spirituality as a coping resource. Natl Cent PTSD Clin Q 5:4–5Google Scholar
- 7.Khouzan HR, Kissmeyer P (1997) Antidepressant treatment, posttraumatic stress disorder, survivor guilt, and spiritual awakening. J Trauma Stress 10:691–696Google Scholar
- 8.King LA, King DW, Fairbank JA, Keane TM, Adams GA (1998) Resilience-recovery factors in post-traumatic stress disorder among female and male Vietnam veterans: hardiness, postwar social support and additional stressful life events. J Pers Soc Psychol 74:420–434Google Scholar
- 9.Koenig HG, George LK, Peterson BL (1998) Religiosity and remission of depression in medically ill older patients. Am J Psychiatry 155:536–542Google Scholar
- 10.Kornfeld J (1993) A Path with Heart. Bantam Books. New York, p 276Google Scholar
- 11.Lama D (2001) An Open Heart: Practicing Compassion in Everyday Life. Little, Brown and Company, New York, pp 63–72Google Scholar
- 12.Ogland-Hand SM (1992) Post-traumatic stress disorder and religiosity: comparisons between battered and maritally-distressed women. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Graduate School of Psychology, Fuller Theological SeminaryGoogle Scholar
- 13.Purohit S (2001) Bhagavad Gita: Annotated and Explained. Sky Light Paths Publications, Woodstock, VtGoogle Scholar
- 14.Thurman RAF (1995) Essential Tibetan Buddhism. Harpers, San FranciscoGoogle Scholar
- 15.Tsuang MT, Williams WM, Simpson JC, Lyons MJ (2002) Pilot study of spirituality and mental health in twins. Am J Psychiatry 159:486–488Google Scholar
- 16.US Census Bureau (2002) American Community Survey Profile. http://www.consus.gov/Google Scholar