Adolescents’ dreams under Covid-19 isolation
Based on the continuity hypothesis of dreaming, we have studied the effects of quarantine/isolation on the dreams of Italian adolescents during the time of the Covid-19 pandemic. A sample of 235 subjects (73.2% girls; ages 12-18 years, M = 16.08, SD = 1.7) was involved. Participants were asked to complete the MADRE Questionnaire, as well as to report their Most Recent Dream by responding to specific questions related to this dream content (e.g., positive vs. negative emotions, realism/bizarreness, and presence of sensory impressions). Results indicated that girls recall, share, and record dreams more often than boys, in addition to reporting higher emotional intensity, predominantly negative emotions, and more nightmares, including recurrent ones. Results also indicated that participants who more frequently recall their dreams attribute significantly higher meaning to them, and are more interested in dreaming and in dream-related interpretations. Finally, the most recent dreams were set in both internal and external settings, with many family members and friends present. They were marked by strong negative emotions, especially related to dangerous, violent, and frustrating situations. In sum, the findings of this study indicate that the method of quali-quantitative dream content analysis is a very informative approach for studying the effects of significant contextual and catastrophic events on people’s inner lives.