Personality, psychopathology and nightmares in young people

Jan Roberts, C. J. Lennings*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


The current study investigated the relationship between nightmare experience, psychopathology and personality in a sample of 148 Australian school students aged between 12 and 18 years. In this sample, adolescents who experienced high levels of nightmare sleeping distress also tended to experience high levels of nightmare waking distress. Adolescents who experienced higher frequency of nightmares also tended to experience higher levels of nightmare waking distress. Frequency of nightmares was not associated with nightmare sleeping distress. No significant difference for gender was found on any of the nightmare measures. All psychopathology scores intercorrelated strongly and psychopathology was associated with all three nightmare measures. Anxiety was the most commonly reported correlate of all three nightmare measures. The hypothesis that nightmare sleeping distress was predicted by personality and psychopathology was partially supported. Nightmare sleeping distress was more likely to be associated with high levels of neuroticism and with lower levels of psychoticism, but not with extraversion. However, other hypotheses predicting a mediational model for personality and psychopathology with nightmare frequency and nightmare waking distress were not supported.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)733-744
Number of pages12
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescence
  • Nightmares
  • Personality
  • Psychopathology


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