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International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health

Editor-in-Chief: Merrick, Joav

Editorial Board: Birch, Diana ML / Blum, Robert W. / Greydanus, MD, Dr. HC (Athens), Donald E. / Hardoff, Daniel / Kerr, Mike / Levy, Howard B / Morad, Mohammed / Omar, Hatim A. / de Paul, Joaquin / Rydelius, Per-Anders / Shek, Daniel T.L. / Sher, Leo / Silber, Tomas J. / Towns, Susan / Urkin, Jacob / Verhofstadt-Deneve, Leni / Zeltzer, Lonnie / Tenenbaum, Ariel

CiteScore 2018: 0.79

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.350
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.476

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Volume 30, Issue 1


An exploratory study of fears among adolescent students from an urban cohort in India

Aditi Acharya / Ganpat K. Vankar / Avinash De Sousa
Published Online: 2016-04-18 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2016-0003



Normal fear is an adaptive response to a real or imagined threat. Fears occur in children and adolescents at varying levels while they negotiate different developmental phases.


The present study aimed at assessing the types of fears in children and adolescents between the ages of 11 and 19 years. Age and gender based differences in these fears were also studied.

Materials and methods:

The study sample consisted of 2010 adolescents from an urban setting between the ages of 11 and 19 who filled in a proforma questionnaire for socio-demographic details and also filled in the Fear Survey Schedule for Children-Revised (FSSC-R). Statistical analysis of the data was done along with the use of descriptive statistics.


The prevalence of fears among adolescents was found to be 85.17% in the total sample. Girls reported a significantly greater number of fears (p<0.0001) and greater levels of fear (p<0.0001) than boys. Age however, did not affect the number of fears reported. Girls scored significantly higher on all the subscales of the FSSC-R. ‘Failing a test’ emerged as the most common fear expressed by the sample. Girls expressed a greater fear for snakes and earthquakes than boys.


Girls expressed fears to a greater extent than boys and adolescents demonstrated a high level of fears in general. There is a need for further studies in this direction to elucidate the nature of fears in this population.

Keywords: adolescents; fears; fear survey schedule for children; gender


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About the article

Corresponding author: Avinash De Sousa, Carmel, 18, St. Francis Road, Off S.V. Road, Santacruz West, Mumbai, 400054, India, Phone: +91-22-26460002

Received: 2016-01-10

Accepted: 2016-02-28

Published Online: 2016-04-18

Citation Information: International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, Volume 30, Issue 1, 20160003, ISSN (Online) 2191-0278, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2016-0003.

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