Media coverage increasing youth anxiety of terrorism

New research has found that media coverage of terror attacks and extremism can leave young people anxious and with an exaggerated fear of becoming victims.

Childwise revealed that more than two-thirds of 11 to 16-year-olds expressed fears about the threat of terrorism, finding that terrorism was seen as a bigger worry than issues such as bullying, racism, cruelty to children or worries about getting a job.

A survey of more than 1,500 young people across the UK showed ‘staggeringly high’ levels of concern, with almost four in 10 young people afraid because they thought they themselves could be victims of terror.

Research director Helena Dare Edwards suggested young people might hear about the effects of a terror attack or hear security warnings, but lack the wider understanding that an adult might have, to put it into context. This then creates an element of the ‘fear of the unknown’.

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