Gender differences in children’s fears: A meta-analysis study

Erdoğan T., Serim Yıldız B., Burnham J. J., Wind S. A.

British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 2023 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/03069885.2022.2137463
  • Journal Name: British Journal of Guidance and Counselling
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, ASSIA, IBZ Online, Periodicals Index Online, CINAHL, EBSCO Education Source, Educational research abstracts (ERA), ERIC (Education Resources Information Center), Psycinfo, DIALNET
  • Keywords: Gender, fear, children's fears, Fear Survey Schedule for Children (FSSC), meta-analysis
  • TED University Affiliated: Yes


Children’s fears have received scholarly attention for well over 50 years. A considerable amount of literature has focused on such fear variables as fear intensity and fear prevalence scores and age and gender differences. We used meta-analysis to systematically review the findings related to gender differences in children’s fear intensity scores and fear prevalence scores and to examine the moderator effect of sample, year of study, and type of instrument on gender differences. Research studies that used the Fear Survey Schedule for Children (FSSC) or an updated version of the FSSC, were included in this meta-analysis. The findings from 58 intensity and 17 prevalence studies suggest that females have 11.4% higher total fear scores than males and females have 7.2% more fears than males. Results of sub-group analyses indicate that moderator variables of sample, year of publication, and type/version of FSSC cause significant variability in gender differences.