TV news induced fears of children based on the reports of children and their mothers

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, Faculty of Education, Department of Educational Sciences, Turkey

Approval Date: 2011




The thesis aims to examine the fear responses of 8 to 13 years old children to content of TV-news. To reach this aim, study investigated; a) relationship between mothers’ and children’s responses about children’s TV-news induced fears, b) nature of TV-news induced fears among 8-13 years old girls and boys, c) most common fearful coverages of TV-news, d) threatful parts of TV-news, and e) behaviors of children shown as reactions to TV-news. To examine the nature and severity of TV-news induced fears of children, Television Induced Fright Scale (TIFS-Valkenburg, Cantor & Peeters, 2000) was adapted into Turkish. TIFS was administered to 186 (95-girls, 91-boys), 8 to 13 year olds and their mothers. In addition, “mother survey” examined the threatful parts of TV-news, and behavioral manifestations of children, and a demographic information form were administrated to mothers. According to findings, differences were found between children’s responses and mothers’ opinions. TV-news coverages about “children who get hurt”, “children who are kidnapped”, “starving children in poor countries”, and “animals who get hurt” were found as the most fearful for children. In all coverages of TV-news, girls got higher fear scores than boys. According to results, the images, and sounds of human beings and animals were the most threatful parts of TV-news for children. As reaction to fearful TV-news, girls mostly experienced difficulty sleeping, whereas boys behaved irritably. Both girls and boys also experienced obsessive thoughts about events in TV-news. The results of the present theses are expected to shed light on understanding the relationship between fears of children and TV-news.