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Fears

  • By: Thomas H. Ollendick
  • In: Encyclopedia of School Psychology
  • Edited by: Steven W. Lee
  • Subject:School/Educational Psychology (general), School Psychology, Educational Psychology

Most children experience fear sometime during their development. In fact, studies show that approximately 75% of normal children between 4 and 12 years of age report being fearful of one thing or another (Ollendick & colleagues, 2002). In general, childhood fears tend to be mild, age-specific, and transitory. For most children, the initial experience of fear occurs during infancy when a loud noise or loss of support produces a startle-like response. Following this, panic-like fear tends to occur in older infants when exposed to new situations, unfamiliar people, or separation from major attachment figures. Later on, children between the ages of 2 and 4 begin to develop fears of imaginary creatures (i.e., ghosts, monsters) as well as animals and the dark. School-related fears tend to ...

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