Dreaming or Daydreaming During COVID-19 Lockdown: A Comparison Between Maladaptive and Nonmaladaptive Daydreamers

Giorgia Margherita, Alessia Caffieri, Rachele Mariani, Maria Filosa, Tommaso Manari, Vittorio Lenzo, Maria C. Quattropani, Elena Vegni, Lidia Borghi, Gianluca Castelnuovo, Emanuela Saita, Maria Francesca Freda, Giorgia Varallo, Christian Franceschini, Alessandro Musetti

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista


Starting from the idea that dreaming could be considered an index of the psychological health of individuals regarding the COVID-19 outbreak, a major risk of psychological maladjustment has been registered for maladaptive daydreamers (MDers; i.e., people with a compulsive fantasy activity associated with distress and psychological impairment). Nevertheless, there is a gap in literature about dreaming in MDers in general and particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of this study was to investigate differences in dreaming and dream content between probable MDers and non-MDers during the COVID-19 lockdown in Italy. A total of 3,857 Italian adults (664 probable MDers), completed the Maladaptive Daydreaming Scale (MDS-16) and the Mannheim Dream Questionnaire (MADRE). Among them, 1,095 participants (222 probable MDers) decided to recount their dreams, subsequently analysed through a cluster analysis performed by T-LAB software. Significantly higher levels of dream recall, emotional intensity of dreams, nightmare frequency, nightmare distress, recurring nightmares about daytime, lucid dreams, interest toward dreams, problem solving and creative dreams, and dreams affecting daytime mood emerged in probable MDers compared to non-MDers. No differences were observed in the emotional tone of dreams. From the quali-quantitative analysis of dream narratives, similar themes emerged in probable MDers and non-MDers, except for a cluster named Dreaming the loss of others, where the non-MDers variable is highly represented. Our results highlight some significant differences between probable MDers and non-MDers with respect to dreaming activity. The massive use of dream activity as an affective regulator emerges for both probable MDers and non-MDers during lockdown.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)1-12
Numero di pagine12
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2022


  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • dreaming
  • maladaptive daydreaming
  • mixed method
  • narrative study


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