Phobias – Age 2-16

I saw the children of different ages actually fear different things. I thought this was interesting.

Age 2-4: fear of animals, loud noises, being left alone, inconsistent discipline, toilet training, bath, bedtime, monsters and ghosts, bed wetting, disabled people, death and injury.

Age 4-6: fear of darkness and imaginary creatures. Also animals, bedtime, monsters and ghosts. Other fears, such as of strangers seem to be persistent. ‘Stranger fear’ would probably be called ‘shyness’, while fear of snakes tends not to decrease much, if at all, during this period. Children at this age may also fear loss of a parent, death, injury and divorce.

8 year-olds will probably have fragments of earlier fears but additional ones will tend to be more rationally based and will possibly include fear being late for school, social rejection, criticism, new situations, adoption, burglars, personal danger and war

9 and 10 year-olds are also likely to fear divorce, personal danger and war and these three are very likely to continue as fear problems into the mid teens. This age group might also fear blood and injury

11 and 12 year-olds might fear animals, kidnapping, being alone in the dark and injections. Marks states that beyond this age boys lose their fears more readily than girls

13 year-olds seem to fear heights as well as the three mentioned above

14-16 year-olds will tend to have a wide range of rational or almost rational fears which might include: injury, kidnapping, being alone in the dark, injections, heights, terrorism, plane or car crashes, sexual relations, drug use, public speaking, school performance, crowds, gossip and divorce.


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