FSD3584 Finnish Memories of Childhood Fears 2020-2021

The dataset is (B) available for research, teaching and study.

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  • Malinen, Antti (Tampere University. Centre of Excellence in the History of Experiences)


anxiety, child development, childhood, children, early childhood, emotional states, fear, memory


The dataset consists of self-administered written texts on childhood fears. Participants were invited to write about their childhood fears and about the places to which their childhood fears were connected. The study aimed to collect data about the places where participants remembered experiencing fear and anxiety during their childhoods. The experiences of fear and anxiety could be unwanted or purposefully sought out. The data were collected as part of two research projects. The first project, which was funded by the Academy of Finland, studied children's abilities to process feelings of insecurity. The second project was funded by Kone Foundation and it investigated the significance of peer relationships in children's lives.

The writing guidelines included questions to facilitate writing. Participants were asked whether they had avoided certain places due to fear, whether someone had warned them against or frightened them about certain places, and whether they had deliberately sought out suspense and fear when they were children. Participants were also invited to describe the ways in which they had tried to cope with the frightening places and situations and to consider whether their gender had affected their childhood experiences of fear.

Background information included the participant's gender, age group, and the type of municipality the participant had lived in during childhood. The data were organised into an easy to use HTML version at FSD.

The dataset is only available in Finnish.

Study description in machine readable DDI 2.0 format

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