The Common Fears and Their Origins Among Turkish Children and Adolescents

SERIM-YILDIZ B., Erdur-Baker O., Bugay A.

BEHAVIOUR CHANGE, vol.30, no.3, pp.199-209, 2013 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 30 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Doi Number: 10.1017/bec.2013.18
  • Journal Name: BEHAVIOUR CHANGE
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.199-209


The present study aimed to investigate the common fears and their origins among children and adolescents from different age, gender, and socioeconomic levels (SES). The sample was comprised of 642 females (48.8%) and 673 males (51.2%) with a total of 1,315 participants aged between 8 and 18 (M = 13.15; SD = 3.18). The Fear interview was utilised to examine the common fears and the role of conditioning, modelling and negative information in the development of children's fears. The result showed that the most common fear in Turkey was 'God', followed by 'losing my friends' and 'going to Hell'. In addition, the findings revealed that Turkish students are more likely to learn fears by modelling rather than negative information transmission and conditioning. The results also indicated that negative information transmission had a more intensifying effect on the children and adolescents' existing fear rather than modelling and conditioning. Furthermore, multinomial logistic regression was conducted to examine the effects of age, gender and SES on the origins of fear. Results showed that age and gender were significant predictors of origins of fear.