[Fear in dreams of 9- to 11-year-old children]

Prax Kinderpsychol Kinderpsychiatr. 2004 Jan;53(1):19-38.
[Article in German]


The present study investigated anxiety dreams in 9- to 11-year-old children. 103 children completed a dream questionnaire, in which they were asked about their anxiety dreams and their coping with these dreams. Furthermore, they completed an anxiety inventory to measure their trait anxiety. Girls reported a higher frequency of anxiety dreams than boys, although they could not remember their dreams more often. Girls dreamt more often than boys of the loss of another person, of falling, of socially disturbing situations and small animals, of animals as aggressors, of family members (mainly siblings) and other female persons of known identity. Thus, the dreams clearly reflect the importance of social relationships in girls' lives. Stress from anxiety dreams could only partly be explained by their frequency. Girls and more anxious children of both sexes turned out to be stressed the most. Further studies may concentrate on children's inner experience, if they want to find out the meaning of anxiety dreams in children's emotional development. This could be important for the prevention of affective disorders.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Anxiety / diagnosis
  • Anxiety / psychology*
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dreams / psychology*
  • Fear*
  • Female
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Personality Inventory
  • Psychoanalytic Interpretation
  • Sex Factors