Facing the beast apart together: fear in boys and girls after processing information about novel animals individually or in a duo

P. Muris, S. Rijkee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

In this experimental study, we made an attempt to examine gender-related peer influences on childhood fear. Nine- to 12-year-old boys and girls were provided with ambiguous and positive information about novel animals and then asked to provide a subjective fear rating of the animals under two conditions: fear of one animal was assessed individually by the child on its own, whereas fear of the other animal was measured after a brief discussion on fear-related issues with a same-gender peer. Results indicated that children who completed the FBQ after a discussion with a same-gender peer displayed lower fear beliefs scores than children who completed the questionnaire fully on their own. This fear-suppression effect was mainly evident in boys after hearing ambiguous information about the novel animals. The implications of these findings are briefly discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)554-559
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Volume20
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • ADOLESCENTS
  • BELIEFS
  • CHILD ANXIETY
  • Children
  • Fear
  • GENDER-ROLE ORIENTATION
  • Gender role
  • Information transmission
  • PROSPECTIVE PARADIGM
  • Peer influences
  • RACHMANS INDIRECT PATHWAYS
  • RELIABILITY
  • SURVEY SCHEDULE
  • VALIDITY
  • VERBAL INFORMATION

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