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Children’s Dreaming and the Development of Consciousness

Children’s Dreaming and the Development of Consciousness

David Foulkes

ISBN 9780674009714

Publication date: 09/15/2002

David Foulkes is one of the international leaders in the empirical study of children’s dreaming, and a pioneer of sleep laboratory research with children. In this book, which distills a lifetime of study, Foulkes shows that dreaming as we normally understand it—active stories in which the dreamer is an actor—appears relatively late in childhood. This true dreaming begins between the ages of 7 and 9. He argues that this late development of dreaming suggests an equally late development of waking reflective self-awareness.

Foulkes offers a spirited defense of the independence of the psychological realm, and the legitimacy of studying it without either psychoanalytic over-interpretation or neurophysiological reductionism.


  • He is to be congratulated for promoting a stimulating theory about the development of dreaming. Written in a clear manner and in a style accessible to a wide audience, Foulkes’s book combines empirical data and cognitively oriented ideas about the development of dreaming.

    —Giannis Kugiumutzakis, Child Psychology and Psychiatry


  • David Foulkes was Director of the dream research laboratories at the University of Wyoming and at the Georgia Mental Health Institute (GMHI) in Atlanta.

Book Details

  • 212 pages
  • 0-5/8 x 5-1/16 x 7-15/16 inches
  • Harvard University Press