An examination of waking day stress, personality and emotions in relation to the prediction of nightmare frequency and distress: A pilot study
The purpose of the study was to identify how influential waking day stress, personality, and emotions can be on the frequency and distress of nightmares. It was hypothesized that higher ratings of waking day stress, neuroticism, and negative emotions would be associated with increased frequency and distress of nightmares. Participants included 52 individuals who filled out questionnaires such as the Perceived Stress Scale (Cohen, Kamarck, & Mermelstein, 1983) and the Big Five Inventory (John & Srivastava, 1999). The study found that waking day stress, neuroticism, and negative emotions were significantly positively correlated with nightmare distress. In contrast, extraversion was significantly negatively associated with nightmare frequency, whereas openness to experience had a significant positive correlation with nightmare frequency. This study used self-report data in order to understand which aspects of waking day life can have an impact on nightmare frequency and distress. Limitations and future directions are also addressed.