- Extending the Rorschach Trauma Content Index and Aggression Indexes to dream narratives of children exposed to enduring violence: An exploratory study
- Journal of Personality Assessment
- Volume | Issue number
- 90 | 6
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
In this study, we compared dream narratives of children and adolescents living under conditions of enduring interpersonal violence (n = 220) versus those living in peaceful surroundings (n = 99) on content variables that have been associated with traumatic experiences in Rorschach (Exner, 1995) imagery. As predicted, children and adolescents living in circumstances of enduring violence reported a higher proportion of content scorable by Armstrong and Loewenstein's (1990) Trauma Content Index and a much higher proportion of aggressive objects in their dreams (AgC; Gacono & Meloy, 1994). In support of discriminant validity, no consistent group differences were observed for the relative frequencies of Animal (A), Clothing (Cg), or Cooperative movement (COP) content. The modest association between manifest dream content and psychological symptom scales suggests that the former may alternatively reflect adaptive or psychopathological processes. Our findings suggest that content analysis of dreams may be a valuable adjunct in tapping the psychological state of children traumatized by violence.
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