The present research explored the relationship between alexithymia, self-reported depression and trait anxiety and dreaming experience in a non-clinical sample. Characteristics of the alexithymia trait, such as the deficit in the symbolic representation of emotions and the limited imaginative ability, can have an impact on the richness and quality of dream experience. Depression and trait anxiety are both reported to be related to alexithymia and dreaming. A group of 30 non-clinical subjects (20 females) participated in the study. Alexithymia was assessed with the Toronto Structured Interview for Alexithymia (TSIA), an observer-report instrument composed of 24 questions that assesses a general subjective level of alexithymia and 4 dimensions of alexithymia: Identifying emotional feelings (DIF), Describing emotional feelings (DDF), Imaginal Processes (IMP); and Externally oriented thinking (EOT). The subjective dreaming experience was assessed with the Mannheim Dream Questionnaire (MADRE), an instrument that was designed to elicit some form of dream history including dream recall frequency, use and correlates of dream, attitude towards dream and presence of different kinds of dreams experience, such as nightmares, lucid dreams, and déjà-vu. The BDI-2 and the STAIY2 were administered to evaluate negative affect. Two multivariate multiple regression analysis were carried on. Results showed that alexithymia was related to dream correlates and to attitude towards dream. Trait anxiety was found to be related to nightmares frequency and self-reported depression to déjà-vu event. In the future, it would be interesting to use a larger and more representative sample. The use of clinical population, such as nightmare sufferers or patients with sleep and/or mental disorders, could possibly disclosure further meaningful relationships among affect dysregulation, affect modulation and self-reported retrospective dream characteristics.

Alexithymia, Depression, Trait-anxiety and Their Relation to Self-reported Retrospective Dream Experience

Ornella Montebarocci;Sara Giovagnoli
2019

Abstract

The present research explored the relationship between alexithymia, self-reported depression and trait anxiety and dreaming experience in a non-clinical sample. Characteristics of the alexithymia trait, such as the deficit in the symbolic representation of emotions and the limited imaginative ability, can have an impact on the richness and quality of dream experience. Depression and trait anxiety are both reported to be related to alexithymia and dreaming. A group of 30 non-clinical subjects (20 females) participated in the study. Alexithymia was assessed with the Toronto Structured Interview for Alexithymia (TSIA), an observer-report instrument composed of 24 questions that assesses a general subjective level of alexithymia and 4 dimensions of alexithymia: Identifying emotional feelings (DIF), Describing emotional feelings (DDF), Imaginal Processes (IMP); and Externally oriented thinking (EOT). The subjective dreaming experience was assessed with the Mannheim Dream Questionnaire (MADRE), an instrument that was designed to elicit some form of dream history including dream recall frequency, use and correlates of dream, attitude towards dream and presence of different kinds of dreams experience, such as nightmares, lucid dreams, and déjà-vu. The BDI-2 and the STAIY2 were administered to evaluate negative affect. Two multivariate multiple regression analysis were carried on. Results showed that alexithymia was related to dream correlates and to attitude towards dream. Trait anxiety was found to be related to nightmares frequency and self-reported depression to déjà-vu event. In the future, it would be interesting to use a larger and more representative sample. The use of clinical population, such as nightmare sufferers or patients with sleep and/or mental disorders, could possibly disclosure further meaningful relationships among affect dysregulation, affect modulation and self-reported retrospective dream characteristics.
Ornella Montebarocci-Sara Giovagnoli
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/708955
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