Although the linkage between traumatic life events and psychotic-like experiences (PLEs) is well established, the knowledge of potential mechanisms of this relationship is scarce. The aim of the present study was to better understand the structure of connections between traumatic life events and PLEs by considering at the same time the role of cognitive biases and depressive symptoms in the population of young adults (18–35 years of age, M = 26.52, SD = 4.74, n = 6772). Our study was conducted within a framework of network analysis. PLEs were measured with the Prodromal Questionnaire (PQ-16), cognitive biases were measured with nine items from the Davos Assessment of Cognitive Biases Scale-18 (DACOBS-18), depressive symptoms were assessed with the Center for Epidemiologic Studies–Depression Scale (CESD-R) and exposure to traumatic life events was measured with a combination of Childhood Experience of Care and Abuse Questionnaire (CECA.Q) and Traumatic Experience Checklist (TEC). The results present a network of all nodes being interconnected within and between domains, with no isolated factors. Exposures to sexual trauma were the most central node in the network. Pathways were identified from trauma to PLEs via cognitive biases and depressive symptoms. However, the shortest pathway between the most central traumatic life event and PLEs was through other traumatic life events, without cognitive biases or depressive symptoms along the way. Our findings suggest the importance of environmental adversities as well as dysfunctional information processing and depression in the network of psychosis risks.

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