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Observations placeholder

Nightmares and trauma



Type of Spiritual Experience


Hate inflicted

A description of the experience

Z Kinder Jugendpsychiatr Psychother. 2013 Sep;41(5):309-17; quiz 316-7. doi: 10.1024/1422-4917/a000246. [Prevalence and intensity of nightmares in traumatized versus non-traumatized children and adolescents]. [Article in German] Ossa FC, Bering R, Pietrowsky R. Institut für Experimentelle Psychologie, Abteilung für Klinische Psychologie, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf.

OBJECTIVE: Nightmares may be seen as a symptom of traumatization in both children and adults. Nightmares are assumed to be more frequent and more distressing among traumatized children and adolescents than among those without trauma. A total of 38 traumatized and 40 nontraumatized children and adolescents were surveyed.

METHOD: Nightmare-induced stress was measured with a questionnaire comprised of nine items (some of which concerned nightmare frequency and perceived intensity).

RESULTS: Traumatized children and adolescents overall report a significantly higher number of nightmares, which they perceive in a more intense and frightening way than their control group counterparts. Traumatized children and adolescents reported an average of 9.7 nightmares per month compared to 1.7 in nontraumatized participants. The number of nightmares in traumatized girls was twice that in traumatized boys.

CONCLUSIONS: Traumatized children and adolescents report fears of dream repetitions as well as feelings of helplessness during the nightmares and are thus influenced during the daytime significantly more often. Traumatized patients have more life-threatening and violent dreams. An increased frequency of nightmare and distress is also a specific feature in traumatized children and adolescents.

PMID: 23988833

The source of the experience


Concepts, symbols and science items




Science Items

Activities and commonsteps