DAYDREAMS OF DEPRESSIVE AND AGGRESSIVE CHILDREN
BICK, FRANCES IRENE
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The purpose of this investigation was to compare the daydreams of depressed/withdrawn, aggressive, and normal children. Differences were explored with respect to the level of object representation, daydreaming style, daydreaming frequency, and level of fantasy.;The daydreams were gathered from 53 children in Jewish day schools. All the participants were in the fourth grade and were either 8 or 9 years old.;The children were selected according to teachers' ratings of them on Achenbach's Child Behavior Checklist. The children were administered the Children's Fantasy Inventory. Individually, they were administered questions from the Children's Depression Inventory and the Vocabulary subtest of the WISC-R.;It was hypothesized that there would be differences among the groups in level of object representation, daydreaming style, daydreaming frequency, and level of fantasy. The results indicated no significant differences among symptom groups on any of these factors.;Though significant differences did not emerge with respect to the individual hypotheses, further examination of the data indicated some sex differences in daydreaming styles. Normal girls reported more fanciful daydreams than normal boys. Boys reported more aggressive and vivid daydreams than girls.;Supplementary analyses were completed using the Children's Depression Inventory (CDI). A first analysis showed that children rated as aggressive were significantly more depressed on two of the items. A second analysis looked at children's self-report of depression as compared to teachers' ratings. There was minimal agreement in the ratings. Finally, the original hypotheses were reexamined by groups created according to different definitions of depression. These analyses indicated that the newly defined depressed groups had a lower level of object representation and reported vivid and heroic daydreams.;The results were discussed in terms of compensatory functions of daydreams. Methodological difficulties included the finding that the Jewish day school population was not typical of the larger population in distribution of depressive and aggressive symptoms. In addition, the teachers' rating of children's behavior was insufficient for adequately identifying symptomatology.
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