Spiders, bullies, monsters or terrorists: What scares Australian children?

Gilmore, Linda & Campbell, Marilyn (2007) Spiders, bullies, monsters or terrorists: What scares Australian children? Children Australia, 32(3), pp. 29-33.


In recent times, Australian children have been exposed to a range of frightening images of war and terrorism in the media. To determine the possible impact of such distal events, fears were measured in a sample of 220 children aged 6 to 12 years using the Fear Survey Schedule for Children (FSSC-R) as well as a free option method. On the FSSC-R, the type and intensity of children’s fears were similar to previous studies conducted over the past two decades, with being hit by a car, bombs and being unable to breathe producing the most fear. By contrast, spontaneous responses indicated that children’s greatest fear was of animals. Surprisingly few children mentioned war and terrorism without prompting. The findings suggest that concerns about Australian children becoming more fearful as a result of media coverage of war and terrorism are not supported.

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ID Code: 9877
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: children, fears, worries
ISSN: 1035-0772
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Developmental Psychology and Ageing (170102)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > Schools > School of Cultural & Professional Learning
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 Oz Child
Copyright Statement: Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Deposited On: 03 Oct 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2013 08:17

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