Dream content and its relationship to trait anxiety
Although numerous dream content findings support the view that dreams reflect the dreamer’s waking experiences, thoughts and concerns, research on the relation between dream content and various personality dimensions has yielded mixed results. The present study investigated the relationship between trait anxiety and everyday dream content in healthy women. Thirty adult women completed a standardized measure of trait anxiety and kept a home dream log for two to three weeks. A total of 502 dream reports were collected and scored on various content scales, including aggressive interactions, failures, misfortune, and dream report length. There was a significant positive correlation between trait anxiety and dream report length but no significant relationships were found between trait anxiety and any of the other dream content variables. These findings suggest that while higher levels of trait anxiety in women are associated with more detailed dream recall they do not significantly impact the actual content of everyday dreams. More refined measures of anxiety may be required, however, to better capture the multidimensional nature of anxiety and its potential relation to dream content.