The Development of Children’s Phobias

Write a 7 pages paper on the development of children’s phobias. It is considered an adaptive response that is necessary for survival. Fears are normally age-specific with the nature and content of these fears change as the children grow older (King & Ollendick, 1989). Fear, when excessive and persistent, becomes a phobia. Phobias are characterized by a compulsive and persistent dread with an object of fear. Most of the time though, the child realizes that the danger is small in proportion to the dread, but there is no feeling of reassurance and thus, avoidance of the object or situation is foremost always on his mind (Augustyn, 2009). However, in this essay, the words phobia and fear are interchanged loosely.Infants’ and toddlers’ fears are multitude and are related to separation from parents, animals, loud noises and the dark. From age 6 to 11 years of, fear of bodily injury and low school achievement persist. Although the number of children with age-specific fears are high, and there are significantly fewer children with phobic disorders, the data on school phobias is nil (King & Ollendick, 1989). It is also possible that anxiety disorders and phobias are not recognized earlier and could be undiagnosed in children (Emslie, 2008).The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, (DSM-IV-TR) classifies phobias under anxiety disorders. The DSM-IV-TR identifies and describes three phobia types: specific phobia or simple phobia, social phobia, and agoraphobia (American Psychiatric Association, 2000). The three general classifications of phobias are all observed in children, albeit at significantly different levels as they go through the different stages of childhood (Kendler, Gardner, Annas, Neale, Eaves, & Lichtenstein, 2008).Social phobia, according to the DSM-IV-TR, is a form of an anxiety disorder manifested by an intense and persistent fear of social or performance wherein an individual perceives that he will be subjected to embarrassment, such as speaking in front&nbsp.of an audience.&nbsp.

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