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Contacting the spirits of the dead: paranormal belief and the teenage worldview

By Leslie J. Francis and Emyr Williams

Abstract

A number of previous studies have examined both the overall level of belief expressed by young people in the paranormal and the major demographic predictors of such belief. Building on this research tradition, the present study examines how one specific paranormal belief concerning contact with the spirits of the dead integrates with the wider teenage worldview. Data provided by 33,982 pupils age 13 to 15 years throughout England and Wales demonstrated that almost one in three young people (31%) believed that it is possible to contact the spirits of the dead. Compared with young people who did not share this belief, the young people who believed in the possibility of contacting the spirits of the dead displayed lower psychological wellbeing, higher anxiety, greater isolation, greater alienation, less positive social attitudes, and less socially conforming lifestyles. Overall, paranormal beliefs seem to be associated with a less healthy worldview, in both personal and social terms

Topics: BF
Publisher: Routledge
Year: 2009
OAI identifier: oai:wrap.warwick.ac.uk:2878

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