This book aims to present a study on the actuality and empirical value of Freuds dream theory, even if through the analysis of a specific part of it - the hypotheses about childrens dreams. It provides a systematic description of Freuds observations on child dreaming and presents the results obtained from four empirical studies on childrens dreams that the author conducted during the span of a decade. These studies (two conducted in school settings, one in a home setting, and one based on a questionnaire completed by parents) allow an empirical judgment on Freuds main hypotheses on child dreaming: the hypotheses on formal aspect of childrens dreams, the relationship between dream bizarreness and development of the superego functions, and the issue of wish-fulfilment dreams. The author concludes that it is possible to test empirically Freuds hypothesis on the early forms of dreaming and that this test is not irrelevant for an empirical judgment of certain more general statements of Freuds dream theory (e.g. the dream censorship hypothesis).
Introduction: Freud’s dream theory and modern dream research -- An Attempt to Systematically Describe Freud’s Observations on Children’s Dreams -- An overview of Freud’s writings on children’s dreams -- How Freud studied children’s dreams: method and samples -- The characteristics of children’s dreams described by Freud -- Are Freud’s hypotheses on children’s dreams empirically testable? -- Empirical Evaluation of Freud’s Observations on Children’s Dreams -- Dream research in children: general and methodological aspects -- Four studies on children’s dreams -- Formal characteristics of children’s dreams -- Bizarreness in children’s dreams and the development of superego functions -- Wish-fulfilment in children’s dreams -- Child dream development: a longitudinal observation -- Implications for dream research and theory