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April 1975

Developmental Aspects of Aging in WomenA Comparative Study of Dreams

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, Yale University, New Haven, Conn.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1975;32(4):429-435. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1975.01760220041005

Changes with age in the nature of women's inner experience were investigated through a comparison of the manifest dreams of a group of older women (ages 40 to 85 years) with the dreams from two groups of younger women (ages 18 to 26 and 16 to 17 years).

The major comparative findings include a narrowing down of internal personal investments, a decrease in concerns about aggression, a decrease in the dreamer's sense of herself as pivotal, and, strikingly, an augmented amount of internally represented robust and locomotor activity for the older women. These results seem to correspond with other reports in the literature on the experience of aging women.