The Scientific Legacy of Little Hans and Little Albert: Future Directions for Research on Specific Phobias in Youth

Thomas H. Ollendick*, Peter Muris

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


We review issues associated with the phenomenology, etiology, assessment, and treatment of specific phobias in children and adolescents and provide suggestions for future research and clinical practice. In doing so, we highlight the early case studies of Little Hans and Little Albert and the advances that have been made following the publication of these seminal cases. In recent years, we have witnessed a deeper understanding of the etiology of specific phobias and developed a rich array of evidence-based assessments and treatments with which to address specific phobias in youth. Although much has been accomplished in this area of inquiry, we also note that much remains to be done before we can advance more fully our understanding, assessment, and treatment of specific phobias in youth. It will be important for future work to build more firmly on these developments and to better determine the moderators and mediators of change with our evidence-based treatments and to more vigorously pursue their dissemination in real-word settings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)689-706
JournalJournal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2015

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