A comparison of graduated exposure, training in verbal coping skills : and a combination of those procedures in treating fear of the dark in four- and five-year old children

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
David V. Sheslow (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Rosemery Nelson

Abstract: While a great deal of effort by behavioral researchers and therapists has been directed at demonstrating the success of their treatment techniques in modifying adult fears (Marks, 1974), relatively little effort has been devoted to the treatment of fears and phobias in children. Reports of previous research with childhood populations have suggested therapeutic effects for treatment procedures based on the graduated exposure to the fearful stimulus or situation (Jones, 1924a; Lazarus, 1960), training in verbal coping skills (Kanfer, Karoly, & Newman, 1975), and a combination of verbal skill acquisition and graduated exposure (Jersild & Holmes, 1935). However, no systematic research comparing these treatment approaches with children has been reported. The purpose of the present study was to compare the effectiveness of a graduated exposure procedure, a verbal coping skill procedure, and a combination of the two procedures, in the treatment of fear of the dark behavior in 4- and 5-year-old children using both behavioral and subjective measures of fearfulness. Thirty-two children attending a private day care center were selected on the basis of their minimal dark tolerance as measured by two Behavioral Avoidance Tests. Children who failed to remain in total darkness for 30 seconds on both behavioral tests were operationally defined as dark fearful and eligible for treatment.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1978
Fear of the dark
Fear in children

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