Recurrent Dreams and Psychosocial Adjustment in Preteenaged Children

Aline Gauchat, Antonio Zadra, Richard E. Tremblay, Philip David Zelazo, Jean R. Séguin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Research indicates that recurrent dreams in adults are associated with impoverished psychological well-being. Whether similar associations exist in children remains unknown. The authors hypothesized that children reporting recurrent dreams would show poorer psychosocial adjustment than children without recurrent dreams. One hundred sixty-eight 11-year-old children self-reported on their recurrent dreams and on measures of psychosocial adjustment. Although 35% of children reported having experienced a recurrent dream during the past year, our hypothesis was only partially supported. Multivariate analyses revealed a marginally significant interaction between gender and recurrent dream presence and a significant main effect of gender. Univariate analyses revealed that boys reporting recurrent dreams reported significantly higher scores on reactive aggression than those who did not (d = 0.58). This suggests that by age 11 years, the presence of recurrent dreams may already reflect underlying emotional difficulties in boys but not necessarily in girls. Challenges in addressing this developmental question are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-84
Number of pages10
JournalDreaming
Volume19
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2009

Keywords

  • aggression
  • children's dreams
  • psychosocial adjustment
  • recurrent dreams

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