, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 439-452

Perceptions of fear in other Children and adolescents: The role of gender and friendship status

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Gender differences in fear were examined in 693 Chinese children and adolescents. Subjects were asked to rate their own fears, the fears of their best friends, and the fears of “other” classmates using the Fear Survey Schedule for Children — Revised (Ollendick, 1983). Consistent with previous investigations in Western and Eastern countries, girls rated themselves as more fearful than boys. In addition, both girls and boys rated their best friends as similar in number, content, and intensity of fears. However, girls rated their classmates as less fearful than themselves or their best friends, while boys rated their classmates as more fearful than themselves or their best friends. Findings are discussed in terms of gender role expectations and similarity-attraction hypotheses.