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Monsters in children’s picture books and childhood fears

Citation: Zhao, Q. (2023). Monsters in children’s picture books and childhood fears [Masters thesis, Wintec Te Pūkenga]. Wintec Research Archive.

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Fears are typically heightened when people are faced with the unknown entities of the future. Nowadays, media coverage of terrorism and environmental change has increased children's fear of death and the future, and Australian researchers have found that 25% of children fear the world will be destroyed in their lifetime (Rousell & Cutter-Mackenzie-Knowles, 2020, p. 192). Fear is an innate part of the human condition, and,it is a survival mechanism from a standpoint of evolution, as children's fear may help them to prevent physical harm (Muris & Field, 2010, as cited in Maynes, 2020). Fear can also cause negative emotions such as anxiety in children. As people mature, the focus of fear is constantly changing. For example, six-month-old babies fear loud noises, sudden movements, and the inability to get timely demand fulfillment, and three- to four-year-old children are afraid of monsters, dark surroundings, and separation from their parents (Mercurio & McNamee, 2008, p. 30). Children usually display their emotions in different ways to adults and may not be able to express their feelings clearly in words, so adults may not notice children's fears or may underestimate the level of their feeling (Mercurio & McNamee, 2008, p. 30). If children's fears are ignored, they may produce more fear and anxiety (Nicholson & Pearson, 2003, p. 16). Therefore, in addition to the attention from parents, it is important for children to learn how to deal with anxiety and fear themselves.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Additional Information: Supervisor: Dr Vicki Kerr
Uncontrolled Keywords: monsters, children's picture books, fear
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NC Drawing Design Illustration
Divisions: Schools > School of Media Arts
Depositing User: Rachel Axcell
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2024 20:01
Last Modified: 25 Jan 2024 20:17

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