Anger and Aggression

Anger and Aggression


While fear is the most commonly expressed emotion in nightmares, anger holds the second place position. These two emotions, combined with anxiety, are twice as likely to occur in a dream than more pleasant feelings. Once other negative emotions are added into this equation—failure, sadness, and aggression—the rate of occurrence rises to around sixty-six percent. It has been suggested that violence or aggression in a dream is a direct result of anger and frustration in our waking lives.

There have been numerous studies on the different factors influencing the frequency of aggression in dreams—factors such as age, gender, birth order, social class, and even geographical location. The most prevalent of these is gender. As a rule, females of all ages remember dreams more often than their male counterparts; their dreams are also longer and more detailed. More friendly interactions occur in female dreams as compared to males. When it comes to aggression in dreams, males report slightly more aggressive encounters, even though they remember a significantly lower number of their dreams than women.

For children, the statistics concerning aggression in dreams are less conclusive on the role of gender. Most studies indicate that for boys and girls between the ages of two and twelve the level of aggressiveness in dreams is about the same. However, at the age of twelve, these levels begin to drop for girls. In males these levels do not drop until their thirties, at the earliest, and on occasion they have been known to remain high until they are in their seventies or eighties.

Gender is not the only factor that has been studied with respect to aggression in dreams. A study was done on a group of working mothers with preschool children and stay-at-home mothers with children of the same age. The working mothers reported more male characters in their dreams, fewer indoor environments, and experiencing more unpleasant feelings such as failure, aggression, and anger. The stay-at-home mothers had more friendly encounters in their dreams, but they dealt with more misfortune and hostility. It was also discovered that mothers with dual roles—mother and provider—experienced more work-related dreams than working fathers.

Another factor is birth order. Although men typically experience more aggressive dreams, this is not always true if the male is the first born. In this case he would typically see himself in a more positive manner than his younger siblings of the same gender, and therefore has more positive encounters in his dreams. First-born females tend to have more aggressive characters in their dreams. They are also more likely to be more aggressive than other females of the same age group who are not first born.

Yet another factor that affects the aggression in our dreams is geography. In an East Coast survey, forty percent of the total study group reported being the initiator of a violent act in their dreams. The same study was done on the West Coast and in the Midwest. On the West Coast that figure dropped to twenty-two percent, and it dropped to ten percent in the Midwest.

One final factor that has been studied is social class. Members of lower social classes reported more violently aggressive dreams than those in the middle or upper classes. They also experienced more dreams of anger and misfortune. A study found that lower-class high school girls experienced more angry and aggressive dreams than their male or female counterparts, regardless of social class.

References in periodicals archive ?
These data suggest that Korean Americans experience stress when adjusting to immigration, which provokes anger and aggression, leading to HB.
What is supported is that within general populations and within typical aspects of anger and aggression, men and women may not differ as much as sometimes thought.
Secondly, the mediators were measured only at intake and post treatment, simultaneous to measurements of anger and aggression outcome.
Aggression Replacement Training begins by giving a brief history of ART, an understanding of anger and aggression in youth, and an evolution of prosocial and anger management systems.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy for anger and aggression in children.
Using cognitive restructuring and behavioral modification, we can help our clients recognize their addiction to anger and aggression, and help them learn new responses to old triggers.
Other factors that contribute to anger and aggression in PTSD are also discussed, including depression and alcohol use, as well as disruptions in core schemas related to trust, self-esteem, and power and control.
A series of studies showed that people who were provoked by insulting comments from a stranger showed less anger and aggression soon afterwards if they prayed for another person in the meantime.
Anger and aggression in people with intellectual disabilities: Treatment and follow-up of consecutive referrals and a waiting list comparison.
Of relevance to the current manuscript has been empirical research examining anger and aggression in Chinese individuals and their comparison with American and British peoples (Maxwell, 2007; Maxwell, Moores, & Chow, 2007; Maxwell & Siu, 2008; Maxwell, Sukhodolsky, & Sit, in press; Visek, Hurst, Maxwell, & Watson, 2008; Visek, Watson, Hurst, Maxwell, & Harris, in press).
Anger and aggression often, but not always, go hand in hand.