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The current study investigated the relationship between nightmares and anxiety traits in young children. Nightmare experience was measured through parent and child reports of nightmare occurrence, frequency, and distress. A sample of 37 parent-child pairs completed a demographic questionnaire, parent and child reported nightmare questionnaire, and a parent-reported anxiety scale. Results indicated that children reported significantly more nightmares than their parents, however there was no difference between parent versus child reported nightmare distress . Results indicated that parents who rated their children to have higher anxiety also reported their children to have more frequent nightmares. A similar trend, that was approaching significance, was found across anxiety and child-reported nightmare frequency. Results show a significance difference in anxiety scores of children across child-reported distress, but there was no such difference for parent reported distress. No gender differences were found. Implications and future research are discussed.
Dandurand, Megan A., "Nightmares, Anxiety, and Kindergarten-Aged Children" (2014). Undergraduate Honors Theses. 97.