Monday, October 22, 2012

In a 2004 study of Greek children, public speaking wasn’t in the Top 13 Fears

Back at the beginning of February I blogged about surveys of children’s fears. There was another large survey that I did not discuss then.

In 2004 Robert Mellon, Emmanouil Koliadis and Theodoros D. Paraskevopoulus published a long article in Anxiety Disorders magazine titled Normative development of fears in Greece: Self-reports on the Hellenic Fear Survey Schedule for Children. You can read the abstract here.

They studied 3200 public school students (1546 girls and 1654 boys) in Grade 2 (age 7 or 8) through Grade 6 (age 11 or 12). Students took the Hellenic Fear Survey Schedule for Children. It is a Greek-language adaptation of the Fear Survey Schedule for Children - Revised (FSSC-R) that has 80 items to be ranked for intensity. Table 6 of the article listed the rankings for the most fear-eliciting items in the survey.

The top 13 fears are shown above in a table. (Click on it to see a larger, clearer version). The scale also included an item (#46) on public performance or oral presentation (public speaking), but it did not appear in the top 13 overall or for boys or girls. Eight of the same fears in the top ten were listed by both boys and girls, although they were ranked differently.

On February 2nd I blogged about the Top ten fears of children in the United States, Australia, China, and Nigeria. Greek children overall had seven of the same top ten fears as for that pooled sample: hit by a car or truck, bombing attacks, not able to breathe, fire - getting burned, falling from a high place, having my parents argue, and failing a test.

On February 15, 2011 I blogged about When does fear of public speaking start? In that post I showed a graph that indicated only 50% of those German young people feared public speaking by age 13. It’s not surprising that these Greek children didn’t rank the fear in their top 13.

The image of children from Cappadocia in traditional costume came from Zoriusert at Wikimedia Commons.

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