Fear responses to media entertainment
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Malden : Wiley-Blackwell
InCalvert, S.L.; Wilson, B.J> (ed.), The Handbook of Children, Media and Development, pp. 334-352
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Calvert, S.L.; Wilson, B.J> (ed.), The Handbook of Children, Media and Development
Most experts on childhood fears agree that some fears are necessary for the healthy cognitive and emotional development of children (e.g., Fraiberg, 1959; Sarafino, 1986). But they also agree that being confronted with shocking events that go beyond a child’s processing ability can have a negative effect on children’s development (Cantor, 1998). In this chapter, we will examine the role of fictional entertainment media, particularly film and television portrayals, in the development of fear responses (see Smith, Pieper, & Moyer-Guse, this volume, Chapter 10, for children’s fear responses to news and non-fictional portrayals). We focus on fear as an outcome of media exposure, not on the underlying reasons that explain why some children seek scary content.
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