The study upon which this report is based grew out of a twofold interest. On the one hand we wondered if there were any common, perhaps unvoiced emotional preoccupations among the aged. Second, there was the question of whether aging and its associated conditions exerted some consistent influence on flexible affective responsiveness and ways of dealing with emotional conflict.To answer these questions, the dreams of a number of individuals over age 65 were surveyed for common psychological elements. Recalled and reported dreams are regarded as the expression, in symbolic terms, of mental activity during sleep. As such, they are likely to reveal anxiety and other emotions aroused during daily activities and provide clues to characteristic patterns of reacting to these feelings or events. In addition, consecutive dreams may show patterns of affective response and variations in intensity of emotion over a period of
BARAD M, ALTSHULER KZ, GOLDFARB AI. A Survey of Dreams in Aged Persons. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1961;4(4):419–424. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1961.01710100099012
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