The effects of verbal information on children's fear beliefs about social situations

Lawson, Joanne, Banerjee, Robin and Field, Andy P (2007) The effects of verbal information on children's fear beliefs about social situations. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 45 (1). pp. 21-37. ISSN 0005-7967

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Two experiments explored the role of verbal information in changing children’s fearrelated beliefs about social situations. In Experiment 1, 118 6- to 8- and 12- to 13-year-olds heard positive, negative, or no information about individuals’ experiences of three social situations. Fear beliefs regarding each situation were assessed before and after this manipulation. Verbal information had no significant influence on children’s fear beliefs. In Experiment 2, the same paradigm was used with 80 12- to 13-year-olds, but the information took the form of multiple attitude statements about the situations expressed by groups of peers, older children, or adults. An affective priming task of implicit attitudes was used to complement the explicit questions about fear beliefs. Negative information influenced both explicit and implicit fear beliefs. The source of information and the child’s own social anxiety did not moderate these effects. Implications for our understanding of the socialisation of childhood fears are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Fear Social anxiety Verbal information Children
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Depositing User: Andy Field
Date Deposited: 07 Aug 2014 09:57
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2019 18:18
Google Scholar:18 Citations

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