Nearly half of children 6 to 12 years of age display multiple fears of sufficient severity to prompt comment by their mothers. Fears of the dark, of strangers, and of animals are found frequently among young children, as are fears of separation, bodily injury, and supernatural beings (e.g., ghosts, monsters). Many of these fears are age- or stage-specific, relatively mild in severity, and transient in nature. As such they can be viewed as benign developmental phenomena. Some childhood fears, on the other hand, are neither age-related nor mild in severity, and among these some pose continuing adaptive hazards. These fears can be viewed as simple phobias provided that they fit DSM-III criteria and that they do not fall under some other diagnostic category (e.g., overanxious reaction of childhood, separation anxiety disorder).
KeywordsInflated Balloon Participant Modeling Separation Anxiety Disorder Systematic Desensitization Simple Phobia
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