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Abstract

This longitudinal study tested the continuity hypothesis, which postulates that waking states and concerns are reflected in dreams. The relationship between dream content and negative waking affect was investigated both at fixed points in time and over a 6- to 10-year period. Twenty-eight participants completed measures of psychological well-being (PWB) and kept a dream log at two periods of their lives. Correlational analyses showed that the lower the participants' self-reported levels of PWB, the more their dreams tended to contain aggressive as opposed to friendly interactions, negative emotions as opposed to positive ones, and, to lesser extent, failures and misfortunes as opposed to successes and good fortunes. Similarly, PWB was significantly related to dream content over time. These findings are consistent with the continuity hypothesis. © 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Clin Psychol.