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01-02-2013 | Original Paper | Uitgave 2/2013

Journal of Child and Family Studies 2/2013

Gender, Age, and Racial Differences in Self-Reported Fears Among School-Aged Youth

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 2/2013
Auteurs:
Joy J. Burnham, Richard G. Lomax, Lisa M. Hooper

Abstract

Little is known about how self-reported fears differ among racially diverse school-aged populations. Given this gap in the literature base, we examined the extent to which self-reported fears differed among White American, African American, and Hispanic youth (Grades 2–12), using the American Fear Survey Schedule. The study sample included 1,033 youth (Mage = 12.56; SD = 3.02) from two southeastern states. Group differences on self-reported fear scores were analyzed using descriptive discriminant analysis. The results revealed statistically significant differences in five select fears among our racially diverse study sample. Gender differences—with girls reporting greater rates of fears than boys—were evidenced in our study sample as well. Fear differences among the sample included highest animal and death and dying fears for the African American youth, highest school-related fears for White youth, and the least fears—family-related concerns by the Hispanic youth. Another finding was the prominence of fears related specifically to crime, robberies, guns, weapons, and violence. Implications are discussed and potential directions for future research in the schools are presented.

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