Gender differences in retrospective nightmare frequency among young adults: Effects of nightmare distress and affective distress
Females, as a group, retrospectively report more nightmares than males. This difference largely has been attributed to socialization factors whereby females experience more negative affect and have associated nightmares. It is also possible that females recall more nightmares because they find nightmares more distressing and, therefore, more salient. The current study examined the effects of nightmare distress and general affective distress on the gender difference in nightmare frequency among 221 young adults. Nightmare distress accounted for the gender difference in nightmare frequency more strongly than affective distress. The results and recommendations for future research are discussed.