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A comparison of the dreams of male and Female Abstinent Alcoholics compared to Non Alcoholic Controls: Are the differences significant?

Parker, Jennifer ; Alford, Chris

In: International Journal of Dream Research, 2 (2009), Nr. 2. pp. 73-84

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Most of the research looking at addiction and the relationship with dreams has focused on newly abstinent alcoholics, or given no evidence of motivation to remain abstinent. This study compared the dreams of abstinent alcoholics in Stage II recovery from alcoholism with non-alcoholic controls. Nine female abstinent alcoholics 9 abstinent men, 11 non-alcoholic women and 9 non-alcoholic men kept dream diaries for 2 weeks. Waking personality, mood, and daily waking emotional experience were taken to ensure comparable waking personality and mood. A structured dream dairy was used to measure sleep behaviour, cognitions and self-appraisal, overall dream experience, and dream emotionality during a two week period. Results showed that male and female abstinent alcoholic’s dreams were more unpleasant, contained less self-esteem, and more unpleasant emotions than non-alcoholics. Within-group differences between waking and dreaming emotion were identified with all groups reporting significant increases in fear and anger during dreams. Based upon the emotional experience of dreams, we concluded that despite being more than one year away from active alcoholism, abstinent alcoholics dream reflected disturbed dreaming. The implications of these finding are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: International Journal of Dream Research
Volume: 2
Number: 2
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2009 12:00
Date: 2009
Page Range: pp. 73-84
Faculties / Institutes: The Faculty of Behavioural and Cultural Studies > Institut für Sport und Sportwissenschaft
Subjects: 300 Social sciences
Uncontrolled Keywords: Alcoholism; emotions; self-esteem; methodology
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