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Specific Phobia Among Children - Prevalence and Statistics


Specific phobia involves marked and persistent fear and avoidance of a specific object or situation. This type of phobia includes, but is not limited to, the fear of heights, spiders, and flying.

Specific phobia is a type of disorder in which the affected individual displays a marked and enduring fear of specific situations or objects. Individuals with specific phobias experience extreme fear as soon as they encounter a defined situation or object, a phobic stimulus. For example, an individual with a specific phobia of dogs will become anxious when coerced to confront a dog. The specific phobia triggers a lot of distress or significantly impairs an affected individual.

  1. Specific phobias are common. The prevalence rates of specific phobia in community samples range from 4% to 8%. Over the course of a lifetime, the prevalence estimates in community samples range from 7.2% to 11.3%.
  2. There are twice as many women with specific phobia than there are men with this disorder. The gender ratio variable varies depending upon the type of specific phobia. Approximately 75%–90% of people with the animal, situational, and natural environment types are female. Approximately 55%–70% of people with the blood-injection-injury subtype are female.
  3. According to these phobia facts, the most common specific phobias include the fear of animals, fear of the environment (fear of rain, earthquakes etc.), fear of blood/injury, fear of certain situations (claustrophobia, fear of traveling on bridges etc.), fear of death, fear of certain body sensations and fear of incontinence.
  4. On average, specific phobias begin in childhood, between seven to eleven years with most cases starting before age ten
  5. Approximately 5% of children and 16% of adolescents will have a specific phobia in their lifetime
  6. Girls are more likely to experience a phobia than boys at a rate of 2:1

Specific Phobia Among Children - Prevalence and Statistics

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