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.