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ABSTRACT Wilson and Barber (1981) identified a “personality type” characterized by an extensive and deep involvement in fantasy that they termed “fantasy prone personalities” This study investigated the developmental antecedents of fantasy proneness as part of a larger research project designed to examine the construct validity of the fantasy prone personality Fantasy prone (n= 21, upper 4% of college population), medium range (n= 20) and nonfantasy prone persons (n= 18, lower 4% of college population) were selected with the Inventory of Childhood Memories and Imaginings (Wilson and Barber, 1981) Subjects completed quantitative pencil and paper measures of early life experiences and participated in individual semi structured interviews Strong support for the construct validity of fantasy proneness and confirmation of previous findings regarding the developmental antecedents of extensive adult fantasy involvement were secured While six fantasy prones reported being severely physically abused during childhood, abuse was not reported in other groups Fantasy prones also reported greater frequency and severity of physical punishment, greater use of fantasy to block the pain of punishment, more thoughts of revenge toward the person who punished them, greater loneliness, and a preference for punishing their own children less severely than did the comparison groups, suggesting compensatory and adaptive functions of fantasy involvements