Original Article

Child Psychiatry & Human Development

, Volume 41, Issue 2, pp 204-213

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

“You Might Belong in Gryffindor”: Children’s Courage and Its Relationships to Anxiety Symptoms, Big Five Personality Traits, and Sex Roles

  • Peter MurisAffiliated withInstitute of Psychology, Erasmus University Rotterdam Email author 
  • , Birgit MayerAffiliated withInstitute of Psychology, Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • , Tinke SchubertAffiliated withInstitute of Psychology, Erasmus University Rotterdam


This study describes a first exploration of the construct of courage in youths. Children aged 8–13 years were invited to report on the most courageous action that they had ever performed during their life. In addition, the Courage Measure for Children (CM-C) was construed as an index of children’s level of personal courage, and this scale was administered in two samples of school children (Ns being 168 and 159) along with a number of other questionnaires. Results indicated that children were familiar with the concept of courage as more than 70% reported to have carried out a courageous action during their life. In addition, self-reported courage as indexed by the CM-C was positively correlated with scores on a vignette measure of courage, parent ratings of children’s courage, extraversion, openness/intellect, and a masculine sex role, whereas a negative correlation was observed with anxiety symptoms. The implications of these findings and potential directions for future research are briefly discussed.


Courage Fear and anxiety Personality traits Sex roles Children