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DREAM LIFE AND INTRAPSYCHIC BOUNDARIES IN THE ELDERLY

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Abstract:

Sixty-one mentally healthy elderly Swiss subjects (mean age: 71.8 5.5 years) participated in a 1998 investigation into the effects of “dream-telling”. Along with a number of questions about their living situation and other tests, the Hartmann Boundary Questionnaire (BQ) was administered twice, at the beginning and again at the end of the twenty-six week study period. Retest reliability of the questionnaire was acceptably high (r = 0.872). The study presented here examines some relationships between factors as measured by two screening questions and by follow-up questions and the BQ scores. In the screening questions, for example, it was found that those who had had psychotherapy or had taken dream courses had significantly thinner boundaries than those who had not. This relationship did not hold, though, for those who said they paid attention to their dreams. Further questions in the follow-up phase showed also that those with thinner boundaries were more concerned with dreams. It was not clear, however, why indecisive persons in this elderly population sample should have thinner boundaries nor why those with thinner boundaries are more discontented with their bodily situations and/or with their family situations.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2001.29.6.557

Publication date: 2001-01-01

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