Childhood Disorders

 email page    print page

All Topic Reviews
12 and HoldingA Guide to Asperger SyndromeA Lethal InheritanceA Mother's Courage: Talking Back to AutismA Parent's Guide to Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning AutismA Special EducationA Toss Of The DiceA Tribe ApartA User Guide to the GF/CF Diet for Autism, Asperger Syndrome and AD/HDA Walk in the Rain With a BrainABC of Eating DisordersADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your LifeADHD Grown UpADHD in the Schools: Assessment and Intervention StrategiesADHD NationAdolescence and Body ImageAdolescent DepressionAggression and Antisocial Behavior in Children and AdolescentsAll Alone in the UniverseAlpha GirlsAmericaAnother PlanetAntisocial Behavior in Children and AdolescentsAsperger Syndrome and Your ChildAsperger Syndrome, Adolescence, and IdentityAsperger's and GirlsAssessment of Childhood DisordersAttention Deficit DisorderAttention-Deficit Hyperactivity DisorderAttention-Deficit/Hyperactivity DisorderAutism - The Eighth Colour of the RainbowAutism and MeAutism's False ProphetsAutistic Spectrum DisordersBad GirlBeen There, Done That? DO THIS!Before I DieBetween Two WorldsBeyond AppearanceBig Mouth & Ugly GirlBipolar ChildrenBipolar Disorder in Childhood and Early AdolescenceBipolar DisordersBipolar KidsBlackwell Handbook of Childhood Cognitive DevelopmentBody Image, Eating Disorders, and ObesityBody Image, Eating Disorders, and Obesity in YouthBoy AloneBrain-Based Therapy with Children and AdolescentsBreaking PointBreathing UnderwaterBringing Up ParentsBullying and TeasingBullying PreventionBut I Love HimCan't Eat, Won't EatCaring for a Child with AutismCatalystChild and Adolescent PsychiatryChild and Adolescent Psychological DisordersChild and Adolescent PsychopathologyChild NeuropsychologyChild Well-BeingChildren and SexualityChildren Changed by TraumaChildren with Emerald EyesChildren with Sexual Behavior ProblemsChildren, Sexuality and SexualizationChildren’s Dreaming and the Development of Consciousness City of OneCommunication Issues In Autism And Asperger SyndromeConcepts of NormalityConcise Guide to Child and Adolescent PsychiatryConquering the Beast WithinConsuming KidsContesting ChildhoodCount Us InCrackedCrossesCutCyber-Safe Kids, Cyber-Savvy TeensDamageDemystifying the Autistic ExperienceDescartes' BabyDilemmas of DesireDirtyDisconnected KidsDoing SchoolDon't Bother Me Mom--I'm Learning!Don't Pick On MeDying to Be ThinEarly Intervention Programs and PoliciesEating an ArtichokeEducating Children With AutismEight Stories UpElijah's CupEmerald City BluesEmotional and Behavioral Problems of Young ChildrenEpilepticEthical Dilemmas in PediatricsEvery Girl Tells a StoryExiting NirvanaExploiting ChildhoodEye ContactFacing BipolarFamily HistoryFast GirlsForever YoungFreaks, Geeks and Asperger SyndromeFreewillFrictionGirl CultureGirl in the MirrorGirlfightingGirlhoodGirlWiseHandbook of Evidence-Based Therapies for Children and AdolescentsHandbook of Preschool Mental HealthHealing ADDHelping Children Cope With Disasters and TerrorismHelping Hyperactive KidsHelping Parents, Youth, and Teachers Understand Medications for Behavioral and Emotional ProblemsHelping Students Overcome Depression and AnxietyHelping Teens Who CutHollow KidsHope's BoyHow Infants Know MindsHow to Keep Your Teenager Out of Trouble and What to Do If You Can'tHurry Down SunshineI Am Not Joey PigzaIdentifying Hyperactive ChildrenIf Your Adolescent Has an Eating DisorderIn the Company of CraziesIncorporating Social Goals in the ClassroomIntegrated YogaIntrusive ParentingIssues for Families, Schools and CommunitiesJake RileyJoey Pigza Loses ControlJoey Pigza Swallowed the KeyJuvenile-Onset SchizophreniaKim: Empty InsideLearning and Behavior Problems in Asperger SyndromeLearning Disorders and Disorders of the Self in Children and AdolescentsLearning Outside the Lines Let Kids Be KidsLiberation's ChildrenLife As We Know ItLisa, Bright and DarkLook Me in the EyeLoserLove and SexLove That DogMad at SchoolMaking ADD WorkMaking American BoysManicMastering Anger and AggressionMaverick MindMedicating ChildrenMind FieldsMind to MindMommy I'm Still in HereMore Than a LabelMy Flesh and BloodMyths of ChildhoodNew Hope for Children and Teens with Bipolar DisorderNew Look at ADHD: Inhibition, Time, and Self-ControlNo Child Left DifferentNo Two AlikeNon-Drug Treatments for ADHDNot Much Just Chillin'NurtureShockOdd Girl OutOdd Girl Speaks OutOne Hot SecondOne in ThirteenOphelia SpeaksOphelia's MomOur Journey Through High Functioning Autism and Asperger SyndromeOut of the WoodsOvercoming ADHDOvercoming School AnxietyParenting a Child Who Has Intense EmotionsParenting Children With ADHDParenting Your Out-Of-Control TeenagerPediatric PsychopharmacologyPediatric PsychopharmacologyPediatric PsychopharmacologyPeople with HyperactivityPhobic and Anxiety Disorders in Children and AdolescentsPINSPlease Don't Label My ChildPraising Boys WellPraising Girls WellProblem Child or Quirky Kid?Problem GirlsPsychotherapy for Children and AdolescentsPsychotherapy with Children and AdolescentsPurgeRaising a Moody ChildRaising BlazeRaising Generation RxRaising Resilient ChildrenReady or Not, Here Life ComesReclaiming Our ChildrenRedressing the EmperorReducing Adolescent RiskRemembering Our ChildhoodResilience in ChildrenRethinking ADHDReweaving the Autistic TapestryRitalin is Not the Answer Action GuideRitalin NationRunning on RitalinRunning with ScissorsRutter's Child and Adolescent PsychiatrySeeing EzraSex and the American TeenagerSex, Therapy, and KidsSexting and Young PeopleSexual Teens, Sexual MediaShort Term 12Should I Medicate My Child?SmashedSnapshots of AutismSongs Without WordsSophie Spikey Has a Very Big ProblemSpeakStaying Connected to Your TeenagerStick FigureStraight Talk about Psychiatric Medications for KidsStraight Talk about Psychological Testing for KidsStraight Talk about Your Child's Mental HealthStrange SonStudent DepressionSuicidal Behavior in Children and AdolescentsSurvival Strategies for Parenting Children with Bipolar DisorderSurviving OpheliaTaking Charge of ADHD, Revised EditionTaming the Troublesome ChildTemple GrandinThe American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook Of Child And Adolescent PsychiatryThe Anti-Romantic ChildThe Bipolar ChildThe Boy Who Loved Too MuchThe Boy Who Loved WindowsThe Boy Who Was Raised as a DogThe Buffalo TreeThe Bully Action GuideThe Bully, the Bullied, and the BystanderThe Burn JournalsThe Color of AbsenceThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-TimeThe Depressed ChildThe Developing MindThe Dragons of AutismThe Einstein SyndromeThe EpidemicThe Evolution of ChildhoodThe Explosive ChildThe Eyes of van GoghThe Fasting GirlThe Field of the DogsThe Flight of a DoveThe Hidden Gifts of the Introverted ChildThe Horse BoyThe Identity TrapThe Inner World of a Suicidal YouthThe Inside Story on Teen GirlsThe Kindness of StrangersThe Last Normal ChildThe Little MonsterThe Medicated ChildThe Myth of LazinessThe New Gay TeenagerThe Nurture AssumptionThe OASIS Guide to Asperger SyndromeThe Other ParentThe Perversion of YouthThe Philosophy of AutismThe Psychoanalytic Study of the ChildThe Real Truth About Teens and SexThe Ride TogetherThe Rise and Fall of the American TeenagerThe Science of ADHDThe Sex Lives of TeenagersThe Survival Guide for Kids With LD*The Unhappy ChildThen Again, Maybe I Won'tTherapy with ChildrenThings I Have to Tell YouThings Tom LikesThrough the Glass WallThumbsuckerTotally WiredTouching Spirit BearTrauma in the Lives of ChildrenTreating ADHD and Comorbid DisordersTreatment of Childhood DisordersTwistedUnder the Wolf, Under the DogUnhappy TeenagersUnstrange MindsWastedWe've Got IssuesWeather Reports from the Autism FrontWhat about the KidsWhat in the World Are Your Kids Doing Online?What Works for Whom?What Would Joey Do?What's Happening to My Body? Book for BoysWhat's Happening to My Body? Book for GirlsWhat's Happening to Tom?When Nothing Matters AnymoreWhen Your Child Has an Eating DisorderWhose America?Why Don't Students Like SchoolWill's ChoiceWinnicott On the ChildWorried All the TimeYou Hear MeYoung Minds in Social WorldsYoung People and Mental HealthYour Child, Bully or Victim?

Related Topics
Children’s Dreaming and the Development of Consciousness Review - Children’s Dreaming and the Development of Consciousness
by David Foulkes
Harvard University Press, 1999
Review by Dan L. Rose, Psy.D.
Apr 7th 2003 (Volume 7, Issue 15)

In a sense, one can see in the politics of contemporary dream research a microcosm of the tensions found in the science of psychology as a whole. The concern with being a “real science” like biology or chemistry is ever present. The near shame at its history is also there, especially embarrassment by those ideas too readily embraced by the public and suffuse with the very subjectivities “hard science” has reportedly left behind. There seems an almost obsessive need to purge speculation and prune theory to its most austere and linear ends. At a glance, one might suspect that such a thing could not hope to survive outside the walls of a well-controlled laboratory. Those tensions inform, direct and ultimately define David Foulkes’ text, Children’s Dreaming and the Development of Consciousness.

The text begins with an explanation for its existence. It seems Foulkes’ earlier works were too technical for the layperson and relegated to the academic ghetto by his peers. Foulkes claims that, as a result, the importance of his findings were overlooked.  More popular (and erroneous by Foulkes’ data) theories hold sway in both the public and academic arenas, the former still stupid over the likes of Freud and Jung and the latter by Hobson and his neurological reductionism. Foulkes’ new book is geared to make his results more bite sized for the public and a call to recognition to his apparently lost empiricistic brethren.

The first chapter is a summation of his theory concerning what dreams tell us about development and why it is imperative we study them in children. Foulkes posits that dreams are not the bizarre, surreal images (Dali be damned) that folk wisdom would allow. In fact, Foulkes says he has the data to prove that, novel and creative they might be, dreams are actually just as mundane as the thoughts we think during the day. Furthermore, he asserts that infants and very young children do not dream and, he extrapolates, they do not possess consciousness, at least as it is experienced by adults.

Two chapters follow to initiate the reader into the nature of scientific dream study. Foulkes poses questions expected from a skeptical consumer and answers them deftly. His justification for studying children away from home and in the imposing environment of a sleep laboratory is particularly convincing.

The main body of the text is a description of the two studies Foulkes and his crew undertook over several decades. The first is a longitudinal study in which children ages 3 to 15 were followed throughout the course of their development, with dreams collected on REM awakenings and non-REM awakenings. The second is a cross sectional study, redesigned to validate findings in the earlier study, focusing on children ages 5 to 8. Both also used several cognitive tests to determine general intelligence and visual-spatial ability. With great skill and an ironclad empiricism, Foulkes takes the reader through each age group in the study, building a case for his study and rebutting his critics. Along the way he takes a slap or two at the more subjective and less empirical public’s view of dreams.

Foulkes uses the last part of his book to summarize his findings, seal his arguments and, briefly shedding his empirical armor, allow a bit of speculation about the nature of consciousness itself. Key findings on the developmental progression of dreaming are presented, with dreaming moving from single images of animals, a jump to more kinetic images and social interaction, and finally active self presentation, increased frequency and narrative complexity. Using findings from the cognitive tests given, Foulkes reasons that this developmental shift reflects cognitive growth and development. Furthermore, he asserts that it is the dawning of consciousness, of the ability for self-reflection and control, that underpins this development. He speculates that the same cognitive skills used in waking life, namely the creating of cogent, useful narratives, is present in the dream world. However, the unique confines of sleep (no external stimulation and loss of voluntary control) cause difficulty in creating the standard daytime cognitions. Instead, dreams are novel creations of an active, meaning-making mind trapped in sleep.

Foulkes summarizes by targeting the two foes to his ideas, both the neurological reductionism of current dream theory (dreams are in essence brain froth or random firings of subcortical origin and therefore meaningless) and more popular “inflation” of dreaming (Jung and his ilk making too much meaning of what is really the mundane workings of the mind). He rallies with his notion that dreams have meaning, but only the everyday sort of meaning one affords waking thoughts. They are the royal road to studying the mind as conscious agent, not as a reduced automaton or possessor of unconscious Godhead. 

In the struggle to seriously study dreams, be they those of children or adults, this text is a remarkable asset. Foulkes reveals himself to be a cogent, disciplined researcher equipped with obvious experience and seasoned reasoning. His ideas, not so revolutionary as he might argue, are nonetheless startling enough to invoke a reconceptualization of consciousness, the real aim of the text.

Any significant weaknesses are really more reflective of the aforementioned politics surrounding psychology itself and made more prescient by the subjective nature of dreaming. There seems too quick a dismissal of more traditional psychological theories, such as Freud or Jung. One wishes he might have taken the time to properly address and refute them. Instead, he aims his lance at the windmill of brain science. It would be asking too much to hope Foulkes might bridge the two, integrate them. If he could meld meaning and process in the very center of the storm surrounding dream theory, he would find the royal road to a more empirically valid and relevant psychology.


© 2003 Dan L. Rose 

Dan L. Rose, Psy.D. is a Clinical Psychologist involved in direct clinical work and training at Columbus State University and in private practice. His interests include psychoanalysis, neuroscience, religion and literature.


Welcome to Metapsychology. We feature over 8200 in-depth reviews of a wide range of books and DVDs written by our reviewers from many backgrounds and perspectives. We update our front page weekly and add more than twenty new reviews each month. Our editor is Christian Perring, PhD. To contact him, use one of the forms available here.

Metapsychology Online reviewers normally receive gratis review copies of the items they review.
Metapsychology Online receives a commission from for purchases through this site, which helps us send review copies to reviewers. Please support us by making your purchases through our Amazon links. We thank you for your support!

Join our e-mail list!: Metapsychology New Review Announcements: Sent out monthly, these announcements list our recent reviews. To subscribe, click here.

Interested in becoming a book reviewer for Metapsychology? To apply, write to our editor.

Metapsychology Online Reviews

Promote your Page too

Metapsychology Online Reviews
ISSN 1931-5716