Preventing and reducing fear using positive modelling: A systematic review of experimental research with children.

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Authors: Litza Krause and Chris Askew
Date: Jan. 2022
Publisher: Elsevier Science Publishers
Document Type: Report; Brief article
Length: 261 words

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Abstract :

Keywords Fear; Anxiety; Specific phobias; Positive modelling; Observational learning; Vicarious; Learning; Fear prevention; Fear reduction Highlights * Preventing or reducing fear development could lessen distress. * Positive modelling procedures can successfully prevent or reduce fear. * The main positive modelling procedures are fear reduction, prevention and reversal. * Positive modelling is underpinned by associative learning mechanisms. Abstract Fear of specific stimuli is thought to develop through associative learning mechanisms and research indicates that a form of observational (vicarious) learning known as positive modelling can counter these effects. This systematic review examined and synthesised the experimental positive modelling literature to establish its efficacy for reducing fear. Psych Info, Medline and the Psychology and Behavioural Science Collection databases were systematically searched until August 2021. Of the 1,677 papers identified, 18 experiments across 14 articles met the inclusion criteria. In the majority of these, positive modelling was found to lower fear levels in one or more of three procedures: fear prevention, fear reduction and fear reversal. Procedures inform prevention and treatment initiatives for specific phobias in several ways. The overall efficacy of positive modelling techniques and the ease in which they can be implemented highlight the importance of further research to evaluate their inclusion in prevention and treatment interventions. More research is required to establish the longevity and transferability of positive modelling. Author Affiliation: School of Psychology, University of Surrey, United Kingdom * Corresponding author. University of Surrey, Guildford, GU2 7XH, United Kingdom. Article History: Received 26 August 2020; Revised 11 October 2021; Accepted 25 October 2021 Byline: Litza Krause, Chris Askew [c.askew@surrey.ac.uk] (*)

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A687615523