Autistic Dreaming: a phenomenological study of dreaming and well-being

PINDAR, Sally-Ann (2019). Autistic Dreaming: a phenomenological study of dreaming and well-being. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

Pindar_2019_PhD_AutisticDreamingPhenomenological.pdf - Accepted Version
Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (2MB) | Preview
Link to published version::


Whilst there have been a handful of studies into autism and dreaming, it remains a potentially under-researched area. Studies that have been carried out with autistic participants have demonstrated that there are differences in the sleep architecture that produces dreams and in the content of those dreams. Research into the dreaming experiences of other atypical groups or loosely affiliated communities have shown that this activity may indicate a change in their underlying conditions or may be used to monitor the effectiveness of any therapeutic intervention. If correlations between dreaming and the impact on well-being of autistic people can be demonstrated then this same potential for therapeutic support could be applied. To investigate this gap in knowledge, a Thematic Analysis (TA) approach was used which was later supplemented with an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Three participants were recruited using a Semi Structured Interview Questionnaire (SSIQ) and the interviews transcribed for analysis. Following a review of the feedback around this initial pilot, the data collection was moved to an on line survey based on the SSIQ. This reached a wider group of potential participants and a further 90 questionnaires were completed. These responses were prepared for a parallel analysis, all the responses were explored in the descriptive TA and 6 of these were selected for the idiopathic IPA. The data provided by the on line questionnaire offered some quantitative data which was used to highlight the qualitative findings. Initial findings have shown an appreciation of the therapeutic benefits of dreaming and links to waking well-being in a variety of ways. An unexpected finding has been the role of dreaming in the construct of a sense of personal identity and how it is perceived in the sense of an autistic self-hood. The study will provide suggestions for further research in the area.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Thesis advisor - Beardon, Luke [0000-0002-7487-3723]
Additional Information: Director of studies: Dr Luke Beardon
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Colin Knott
Date Deposited: 28 Oct 2020 17:22
Last Modified: 03 May 2023 02:04

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics