CHILDREN'S FEARS: A SURVEY OF ITALIAN CHILDREN AGES 6 TO 10 YEARS1

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to explore children's fears. The article reports on average factor scores of a study carried out in Italy using the Fear Survey Schedule for Children (here, the “Fear Survey”; Ollendick, 1983) with normal 6- to 10-yr.-old children (931 girls, 914 boys). Participants were 1,845 children, recruited in mainstream classrooms. Respondents were asked to complete the schedule indicating their fears and the intensity of such fears. A principal components analysis yielded a four-factor structure (1: Death and Danger, 2: Injury and Animals, 3: Failure and Criticism, 4: Fear of the Unknown). Average factor scores showed significant differences across the factors and according to sex and age. Girls reported significantly higher fearfulness than boys. Age differences were found on some factors.

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