Research Article
Investigating Childhood Fears during Preschool Period in terms of Child, Mother and Teacher Opinions

Alev Onder, Gulsen Ilci Kusmus, Ozge Cengiz

APA 6th edition
Onder, A., Kusmus, G.I., & Cengiz, O. (2018). Investigating Childhood Fears during Preschool Period in terms of Child, Mother and Teacher Opinions. European Journal of Educational Research, 7(4), 973-983. doi:10.12973/eu-jer.7.4.973

Onder A., Kusmus G.I., and Cengiz O. 2018 'Investigating Childhood Fears during Preschool Period in terms of Child, Mother and Teacher Opinions', European Journal of Educational Research , vol. 7, no. 4, pp. 973-983. Available from:

Chicago 16th edition
Onder, Alev , Kusmus, Gulsen Ilci and Cengiz, Ozge . "Investigating Childhood Fears during Preschool Period in terms of Child, Mother and Teacher Opinions". (2018)European Journal of Educational Research 7, no. 4(2018): 973-983. doi:10.12973/eu-jer.7.4.973


In this study, it is aimed to discover childhood fears of 60-72-month-old children through the opinions of preschool children, preschool teachers and mothers. Study group of the investigation consists of 52 participants; 18 children aged 60-72 months, 16 teachers and 18 mothers with preschool children, in Istanbul. An “Interview Form” which consists of 9 questions, was developed by the researchers. According to the findings, there are not significant differences in fear types among preschool children in different socioeconomic levels. In general, the most common fear types among all children are animals, robbery, natural events and nightmares. According to the mothers in lower and middle socioeconomic levels, children are mostly afraid of the dark and loneliness and to the mothers from upper socioeconomic level, they are afraid of strangers and unfamiliar settings, animals and loneliness. According to the teachers working in lower socioeconomic level schools, children are mostly afraid of animals; to the teachers from middle socioeconomic level schools, children are mostly afraid of the dark, strangers and unfamiliar settings; and according to the teachers working in high socioeconomic level schools, children are mostly afraid of separation, strangers and unfamiliar settings and loneliness.

Keywords: Early childhood, preschool years, 60-72 months children, childhood fears, opinions of childhood fears


Angelino, H., Dollins, J., & Mech, E. V. (1956) Trends in the fears and worries of school children as related to socio-economic status and age. The Journal of Genetic Psychology, 89(2), 263-276.

Bauer, D. H. (1976). An exploratory study of developmental changes in children's fears. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 17, 69-74.

Bernstein, D. A., Penner, L. A., Clarke-Stewart, A., & Roy, E. (2012). Psychology: Foundations and frontiers. Canada: Cengage Learning.

Bogdan, R. C., & Biklen, S. K. (1992). Qualitative research for education: An introduction to theory and methods. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

Burnham, J. J. (2005). Fears of children in the United States: An examination of the American    Fear Survey Schedule with 20 new contemporary fear items. Measurement and     Evaluation in Counseling and Development, 38, 78–91. doi:10.1080/07481756.2005.11909770.          

Burnham, J. J. (2009). Contemporary fears of children and adolescents: Coping and resiliency in the 21st Century. Journal of Counseling & Development, 87, 28-35.

Buyukozturk, S., Akgun, O.E., Karadeniz, S., Demirel, F., & Kilic Cakmak, E. (2016). Scientific research methods. Ankara: Pegem Akademi Publishing.

Craig, K. J., Brown, K. J., & Baum, A. (1995). Environmental factors in the etiology of    anxiety. In F.E. Bloom & D.J. Kupfer (Eds.), Psychopharmacology: The fourth generation of progress (pp.1325-1339). New York: Raven Press.

Creswell, J. W. (2007). Qualitative inquiry & research design (Choosing among five     approaches). United States of America: Sage Publications.

Derevensky, J. (1974). What children fear. McGill Journal of Education, 9, 77–85.

Eksi, A. (2011). I'm not sick. Nobel Medicine Publishing: Istanbul.

Erol, N., & Sahin, N. (1995). Fears of children and the cultural context: The Turkish norms.       European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 4(2), 85-93. doi: 10.1007/BF01977736.

Gilmore, L., & Campbell, M. (2008). Scared but loving it: Children’s enjoyment of fear as a diagnostic marker of anxiety? The Australian Educational and Developmental Psychologist, 25(1), 24-31. doi:10.1375/aedp.25.1.24.

Gravetter, J. F. & Forzano, L. B. (2012). Research methods for the behavioral sciences (4th edition). USA: Linda Schreiber-Ganster.

Graziano, A. M., De Giovanni, I. S., & Garcia, K. A. (1979). Behavioral treatment of children's fears: A review. Psychological Bulletin, 86(4), 804-830. doi: 10.1037/0033-2909.86.4.804

Gullone, E. (1996). Developmental psychopathology and normal fear. Behaviour Change, 13(3), 143-155.

Gullone, E., & King, N. J. (1993). The fears of youth in the 1990s: Contemporary normative data. The Journal of Genetic Psychology: Research and Theory on Human Development, 154(2), 137-153. doi: 10.1080/00221325.1993.9914728

Gullone, E., & King, N.J. (1997). Three-year follow-up of normal fear in children and adolescents aged 7 to 18 years. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 15(1), 97-111. doi:10.1111/j.2044-835X.1997.tb00727.x        

Hall, G. S. (1897). A study of fears. The American Journal of Psychology, 8(2), 147-249. doi:10.2307/1410940

Jersild, A.T., & Holmes, F. B. (1933) A study of children’s fears. The Journal of Experimental Education, 2(2), 109-118.

Jersild, A.T., & Holmes, F. B. (1935). Methods of overcoming children's fears. The Journal of    Psychology, 1(1), 75-104. doi:10.1080/00223980.1935.9917243

Kalatzkaya, N. N. (2010). Childhood fears and ways of their correction for school children. Vestnik of Scientific Center of Children’s Life-safety 4, 44-48.

Kalatzkaya, N. N. (2015). The content of childhood fears of primary school children living in urban and rural areas. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 191, 2291-2295. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.04.158

Kavakli A. (1992). Growth and development in childhood, Istanbul: Hilal Publishing.

Kildan, A. O. (2012). The views of preschool teachers and parents on scolionophobia among preschool children. The Journal of Turkish Educational Sciences, 10(1), 49-73.

 King, N. J., Gullone E., & Ollendick, T. H. (1990). Fears in children and adolescents with chronic medical conditions.  Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 19(2), 173-177.

Konkabayeva, A. E., Dakhbay, B. D., Oleksyuk, Z. Y., Tykezhanova, G. M., Alshynbekova, G. K., & Starikova, A.Y. (2016). Research of fears of preschool age children.      International Journal of Environmental & Science Education, 11(15), 8517-8535.

Lentz, K. A. (1985). The expressed fears of young children. Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 16(1), 3-13. doi:10.1007/BF00707766

Mauer, A. (1965). What children fear. The Journal of Genetic Psychology, 106(2), 265-277.

Merriam, S.B., & Tisdell, E.J. (2015). Qualitative Research. United States of America: PB Printing.

Miles, M. B., & Huberman, A.M. (1994). Qualitative Data Analysis. United States of America: Sage Publications.

Moracco, J. C., & Camilleri, J. (1983). A study of fears in elementary school children. Elementary School Guidance and Counseling, 18(2), 82–87.

Muris, P., Merckelbach, H., & Collaris, R. (1997). Common childhood fears and theirs origins. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 35(10), 929-937. doi: HYPERLINK ""10.1016/S0005-7967(97)00050-8

Muris, P., Merckelbach, H., Ollendick, T.H., King, N.J., & Bogie, N. (2001). Children’s    nighttime fears: Parent–child ratings of frequency, content, origins, coping behaviors and severity. Behaviour Research and Therapy, (39), 13-28. 

Muris, P., Meesters, C., & Knoops, M. (2005). The relation between gender role orientation and fear and anxiety in nonclinic-referred children. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 34(2), 326-332.

Oghii, O. (2015). Fears of Preschool and Primary School Children with Regard to Gender, Age and Cultural Identity: Crosscultural Study (Unpublished master’s thesis). Middle East Technical University Institute of Educational Sciences, Ankara, Turkey.

Owen, P. (1998). Fears of Hispanic and Anglo Children: Real World Fears in the 1990s. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences 20(4), 483-486. 

Serim-Yildiz, B., Erdur-Baker, O., & Bugay, A. (2013). The common fears and their origins among Turkish children and adolescents. Behaviour Change, 30(3), 198-209.

Shore, G.N., & Rapport, M. D. (1998). The fear survey schedule for children-revised (FSSC-HI): Ethnocultural variations in children’s fearfulness. Journal of Anxiety Disorders 12 (5), 437-461. 

Steimer, T. (2002). The biology of fear- and anxiety-related behaviors. Dialogues in Clinical     Neuroscience 4(3), 231-249.

Sylvers, P., Lilienfeld, S. O., & LaPrairie, L. (2011). Differences between trait fear and   trait anxiety: Implications for psychopathology. Clinical Psychology Review, 31(1), 122-137. doi: 10.1016/j.cpr.2010.08.004.

Turkish Language Society (2017). Turkish language society current Turkish dictionary.             Retrieved from

Yildirim, A., & Simsek, H. (2016). Qualitative research methods in the social sciences. Ankara: Seckin Publishing.

Yorukoglu, A. (2011). Child mental health. Istanbul: Ozgur Publishing.

Zill, N. (1977). National Survey of children. New York: Foundation for Child Development.

Zobov, A. S. (1983). Features of strong-willed regulation of emotional behavior in the environment. Saint Petersburg.: PhD Abstract.