This literature review will go over cross-cultural research articles which study nightmares in children, particularly what could be the cause of some of the nightmares in children. One article studied the relationship between daytime symptomatology (daily effects) and nightmare frequency in school-aged children (Schredl et al., 2009). The article set out to find whether social and personal events were causing nightmares in the children, and furthermore wanted to find whether the children’s parents underestimated the frequency of their children’s nightmares (Schredl et al., 2009). To expand on this research, a second article was reviewed which studied the relationship between negative media children are exposed to in their waking life on children’s dreaming life (Schredl et al., 2008). This study sought to find a correlation between high amounts of television watched, computer games played and higher frequency of nightmares (Schredl et al., 2008). As a final further expansion on the research presented, the third article reviewed addressed some of the limitations the previous studied encountered and studied the same hypothesis: exposure to negative media would heighten nightmare frequency in children (Van den Bulck, 2004). The findings from these articles offered information on the frequency of nightmares in children and how that frequency relates to external and internal events.
The first article reviewed is of Schredl et al. (2009) which produced a study that examined the relationship between daytime symptomatology and nightmare frequency in school-aged children. The study involved eliciting day time symptoms and nightmare frequency directly from the children, with an age range of eight years to eleven years old. In addition to the children’s information, the researchers collected questionnaires by the parents about their children’s dreaming (Schredl et al., 2009). The researchers hypothesized that the parents would show an underestimation of nightmare...
References: Custers, K., Van den Bulck, J. (2012). Fear effects by the media. Eur J Pediatr, 171, 613- 616.
Schredl, M., Anders, A., Hellriegel, S., Rehm, A. (2008). TV viewing, computer game playing and nightmares in school children. Dreaming, 18(2,69-76.
Schredl, M., Fricke-Oerkermann, L., Mitschke, A., Wiater, A., Lehmkuhl, G. (2009). Factors affecting nightmares in children: parents’ vs. children’s ratings. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry, 18, 20-25.
Van den Bulck, J. (2004). Media use and dreaming: the relationship among television viewing, computer game play, and nightmares or pleasant dreams. Dreaming, 14, 43- 49.
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