Dissertation Research - 'Cotton Wool Kids: fear of fear itself?'

Victoria - posted on 03/09/2016 ( 1 mom has responded )




Good evening everyone:)
My name is Victoria Elliott and I am a university student from Essex, England. I am currently in my final year of completing an 'Early Years Education' bachelors degree and require your support so that I can gather a variety of opinions on the issues I have been studying. I am trying to examine the effects that the media can have on parent's development of fears for their children's safety, such as the wording of newspapers when discussing child abuse/ abduction incidents which cause deep, emotional reactions. I wish to discover if such fears should be relevant to our lives, or if in fact, society is causing us to spend many sleepless nights worrying that our children are at risk every time they leave our sight. I would also love to learn about the most significant fears that parents face when they are not able to supervise their children, and want to find out just how common, or uncommon, it is for these fears to become a reality.
I would greatly appreciate it if a few mothers could please spare me 5 minutes of their time, and complete a questionnaire which will help me to achieve the high grade I aspire for.
All responses will be anonymous, no personal information will be requested, and if anybody is uncomfortable with the questions provided they can withdraw from the study at any point. Furthermore, you will be able to request your information back, and I can then assure you that it will no longer be used for my research.

Thank-you kindly, in advance.
I look forward to your feedback, and will post my questionnaire shortly.


Victoria - posted on 03/09/2016




1. Do you have a child/children?

Yes No

2. What age is your child/are your children?

3 – 4 5 – 6 7-8 9 – 10 11 – 12 13 +

3. Do you believe that strangers are the people most likely to abduct a child?

Yes No Uncertain

4. In 2002, the statistics for successful child abductions committed by strangers amounted to 9% of ALL child abduction reports. This was recorded to be 68 victims. How do you believe stranger abduction statistics have changed (if at all) between 2002 and 2009/10?

Have slightly increased

Have dramatically increased

Have remained the same

Have slightly decreased

Have dramatically decreased

No opinion

5. If your children/child were to walk to school without an adult which of the following options would scare you the most? Please only select one.


Accidental injuries

Abduction by a stranger

My child getting lost

My child being bullied

Peer pressure to take risks

Other adults criticising the absence of a parent

None of the options provided

6. Are newspapers and online news websites your main source of information for current affairs?

Yes No One of a variety of sources

7. Once you have been exposed to media reports concerning child abduction, which of the following are you likely to do? Please choose as many options as you wish.

Discuss the story with my friends

Research further online

Make changes to my parenting

Read comments on online forums

Join discussion on online forums

Share the news via social media

Keep my opinions to myself

Discuss the news with my children

I do not have an interest in the news

8. Do child abuse and child abduction stories in the media cause you to limit your children’s freedom outside the home?

Yes No Uncertain

9. Can you please justify your answer to question 8? E.g Why does the media make you feel this way/ why does it not alter your views?

10. Do the values of other parents influence you when you are deciding which responsibilities your child should and should not have?

Yes No Uncertain

11. Do you regularly teach your children about stranger danger?

Yes No Only occasionally

12. Can you please justify your answer for question 11? E.g. Why do you think it is necessary to remind children of stranger awareness/why do you not?

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