Specific Phobias in Children

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This research paper will discuss specific phobias among pediatric population: the major topics this paper will address will include how children develop a specific- phobia as well as the most effective treatment for phobias in children. Specific phobia is defined as an extreme fear of a specific object or situation (Sue, Sue, Sue, & Sue, 2016). Someone with a specific phobia will react to a stimulus in a way of extreme panic and anxiety in a way that is not equally related to the danger of the stimulus.

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The primary categories of specific phobias are: living creatures, environmental conditions, blood/ injections or injuries, as well as situational factors. The most common fears among children are; spiders, the dark, scary movies and the fear of being teased. The etiology of phobias includes predisposing genetic factors that interact with psychological, social and sociocultural influences. Having history of anxiety within the family and negative relationships during the early ages are major factors into developing a phobia (Sue, Sue, Sue, & Sue, 2016).

In psychology there is a multipath model when talking about mental disorders that directly relates to specific phobias as there are a type of mental disorder. Author Sue, Sue, Sue & Sue (2016) defined this multipath model a model that provides organizational framework for understanding the numerous influences on the development of mental disorders, the complexity of the interacting components, and the need to view disorders from a holistic framework. The biological dimension will look at the etiology of a phobia in the sense that an individual with a specific phobia as an innate tendency to be anxious as well as have strong emotional response to stimuli. Etiology of phobias from the psychological dimension have several different pathways of how a phobia is developed. The four main perspectives of how a phobia develops in the psychological dimension is through; classical conditioning, observational learning, negative information, and the cognitive behavioral. The sociocultural dimension looks at phobias as a level of disgust among different genders, and cultural differences. In the social dimension there is focus on the parental behaviors and these translate to the children. Typically, positive treatment of phobias is through pharmacological treatments by treating anxiety and cognitive behavioral treatments that include Exposure Therapy, Systemic Desensitization, Cognitive Restructuring, and Modeling Therapy.

In psychology there are several different perspectives of the etiologies of all the different mental disorders, this is also true when looking at the etiology of phobias as well as the less severe state known as fear. In general, the perspectives are classified into the four dimensions; biological, psychological, social, and socio-cultural (Sue, Sue, Sue, & Sue, 2016). The etiology of phobias as well as fears over lap since fear is the initial response that initiates a phobia. The perspectives are broken down further into specifics to directly reference phobia etiology;

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