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NUCLEAR WAR ANXIETY AND EDUCATION

: CAN
A NUCLEAR CURRICULUM DECREAS E
NUCLEAR WAR ANXIETY ?
b y
ANNMARIE ALBERT
A THESI S
Presented to the Department of Psy cholog
y
and the Honors College of the University of Orego n
in partial fulfillment of the requirement s
for the degree o f
Bachelor of Art s
June 1989
Mary K. Rothbart
APPROVED:
11
iii
An Ab stract of the Thesis o f

Annmarie Alb ert

for the degree of

Bachelor of Arts
in the Department of Psy chology to b e taken in June 198 9
Title : NUCLEAR WAR ANXIETY AND EDUCTATION
: CAN A NUCLEAR
CURRICULUM DECREASE NUCLEAR WAR ANXIETY ?

Approved :

Mary K . Rothb art


Junior high school students who had taken a class o
n
nuclear war issues. were tested to see whether they woul
d
differ from students who hadn't . Students were compared wit
h
regard to levels of optimism, active hope, pessimism
,
powerlessness, and repression
. In general, the two group s
did not differ from one another, although there was a tren
d
for those who had taken the class to show less repression .
iv
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
S
I would like to express my sincere thanks to th
e
following
: The students who participated in my study , an
d
the students in my Senior Seminar who helped me
come up with
this idea
. Also my utmost appreciation goes to Forrest Smit
h
for
all his
interest and enthusiasm in my project and m
y
thesis committee
: Mary Rothb art, Dennis Todd and Andre
w
Thompson
. Thanks to Michael Davis for his much-needed (an
d
much-appreciated) help and support
. Finally , I would like t
o
extend a
special note of thanks to Mary Widdoff from Planne
d
Parenthood of Lane County , for her hard work at informin
g
students and parents ab out some very touchy
issues .
Chapter
TABLE OF CONTENTS
v
Pag e
I . INTRODUCTION
1
Learning to cope
2
Talking
3
Sy stematic desensitization
4
Nuclear war education
6
II .
METHODS
7
The sub jects

9
The questionnaire

1 0
III .
RESULTS
1 4
IV .
DISCUSSION
1 6
Suggestions for further research
18
V
. REFERENCES
19
APPENDIX
QUESTIONNAIRE
2 1
A .
B .
PERSONAL DATA SHEET

2 5
vi
LIST OF TAB LE
S
Tab le Page
1 .
Calculated Average Ranking fo
r
Ten Future Prob lems

8
2 .
Sex Distrib ution and Grade Distrib utio
n
of Sub jects
1 0
3 .
Answer and Coding Scal
e
for Questionnaire
1 1
4 .
Means and Standard Deviation s
for Positive Scales
15
5 .
Means and Standard Deviation
s
for Negative Scales

15
NUCLEAR WAR ANXIETY AND EDUCATION

1
The threat of nuclear war strikes fear in the hearts o
f
every one
. In general, people from every part of the worl
d
tend to worry ab out the future b ut manifestations of th
e
anxiety differ according to cultural and generationa
l
b ackground (Tizard, 1985 ; Bower, 1985 )
. Also, some peopl
e
seem b etter equipped to handle their fears than others
.
There are prob ab ly many factors involved with the ab ility o
r
inab ility to cope with fears ab out nuclear war, b ut som
e
important ones to consider are personality characteristics
,
life circumstances and the quality and quantity of forma
l
education on the sub ject .
Recent research has shown that in the past 15 y ears th
e
degree of anxiety experienced for children and adolescent
s
has tremendously increased (Bachman, 1983
; Gray & Valentine
,
1985
; and Offer, 1982 )
. In relation to this phenomenon, som
e
researchers have found that nuclear war anxiety level s
increase with age, reaching a peak at 11-13 y ears
. After the
peak, anxiety levels decrease for high school and colleg
e
age adolescents (Raundalen, 1986
; Doctor, Goldenring, an
d
Powell, 1987
; Chavez, Hamilton, and Keilin, 1986 )
. It makes
sense that as one matures and gains more experience in th
e
world, one might b ecome b etter at learning to cope wit
h
nuclear war anxiety , b ut it doesn't explain why the anxiet
y
seems to b e so high during early pub erty (age 11-13 )
. One
possib le reason is that at pub erty many phy sical an
d
psy chological changes are happening which, comb ined wit
h
worry ing ab out the future and a possib le nuclear war,
NUCLEAR WAR ANXIETY AND EDUCATION

2
increase the amount of fear experienced
. Another possib ility
is that these adolescents are just b eginning to gain a sens
e
of the world around them and their scope of knowledge i
s
b roadening
. During childhood and pre-adolescence, y oungster
s
are unab le to think ab out political and social issues i
n
ab stract terms (Bower, 1985 )
. So when teenagers finally gai
n
an adult concept of these issues, world issues undoub tedl
y
have a profound effect on them
.
Learning
to cope
In a review of the literature on children and nuclea
r
war, done b y Stewart Reifel (1984 ), suggestions for way s t
o
help children deal with their fear of nuclear war wer
e
given
. 1) Adults should try to come to terms with their ow
n
fears b efore try ing to help others
. 2 ) Be aware of ho w
children learn ab out nuclear war
. Television, movies, b ooks
and newspapers are some of the most common forms
. 3 ) Try to
stay updated on the latest news, television programs, an
d
movies which have nuclear themes . 4 ) Teach children non
-
comb ative
skills to help resolve conflicts . Reifel ha s
termed this last suggestion coping strategies. Teachin
g
children coping strategies will help them understand tha t
comb ative and retaliatory solutions are not an acceptab l e
way of dealing with others, and may even help encourage the m
to take a stand against nuclear weapons in the future .
NUCLEAR WAR ANXIETY AND EDUCATION

3
Talking
In addition to Reifel's suggestions ab out teachin
g
children how to cope with nuclear war anxiety ,
I would like
to add one more very important one
: talking . Discussing
a
prob lem with children in an open and informal manner is on
e
of the b est way s to help them cope with their feelings an
d
understand the prob lem more clearly (Matthews, 1984 )
.
Certainly , this is not as easy as it sounds
.
Talking ab out nuclear war and the arms b uildup in a
n
every day manner can b e somewhat difficult for children an
d
adolescents
. Researchers have found that children of al
l
ages experience a "wall of silence" when asking adult
s
questions ab out nuclear war (Escalona, 196 5
; and Schweb el ,
1982 )
. Yet the prob lem seems to exist in reverse as well
.
That is, teenagers prefer not to discuss their anxiety ab ou
t
nuclear war openly in order to protect their parents fro
m
worry ing too much (Bower, 1985 )
. Although keeping silent ma y
indeed reduce the parents' worry for their children, it doe
s
nothing for the children themselves .
In most cases of fear-related prob lems, talking o
r
thinking ab out the prob lem has b een found to b e effective i
n
reducing anxiety
. Some of the earliest treatment involvin g
talking as a way to treat anxiety was done b y Freu d
(Lewinsohn & Zeiss, 1986 ) . Freud used a technique calle d
"free association" in which the patient was instructed to
talk ab out whatever came to mind .
NUCLEAR WAR ANXIETY AND EDUCATION

5
Because this method has b een so effective in treatin
g
clinical anxiety , it might seem logical to try it as
a
treatment for nuclear war anxiety . However, it is prob ab l
y
not the b est way . This is due, in part, to the fact tha t
nuclear war anxiety is very different from other ty pes o f
anxiety . It is a very rational and objective fear, whil e
other anxieties are b ased on irrational
and
subjective fear
s
(Beardslee and Mack, 1982 ) . They involve ob jects that are
not normally fearful . An example of a rational, ob jectiv e
fear would b e the feeling most people experience upon seein
g
a hungry tiger running toward them
. An irrational ,
sub jective fear includes all of the clinical anxieties an
d
phob ias, such as acrophob ia (fear of heights) ,
claustrophob ia (fear of closed spaces) and agoraphob ia (fea
r
of open spaces) .
Because nuclear war anxiety is a worldwide prob lem
,
prob ab ly felt b y every one familiar enough with the prob lem ,
existing techniques for treating anxiety and phob i
c
disorders are not sufficient . However, there is one
component in sy stematic desensitization that seems extremely
helpful : exposure . The process of exposure forces th e
anxious patient to confront her/his fears on a direct and
open level . By the same token, it may b e helpful
t
encourage people to b e open ab out their fear of nuclear war .
Of course, this sort of openness would b e the persona
l
responsib ility of every person and every institution in ou
r
society and one way to create it is through education
.
NUCLEAR WAR ANXIETY AND EDUCATION

6
Nuclear war educatio
n
Unfortunately , a majority of our society feels tha
t
education ab out controversial topics (ie
. sexual
reproduction, b irth control, and drug ab use) should b e lef
t
up to the family
. In most American primary and secondar
y
schools, sex education for instance, is not required an
d
often b anned (M
. Widdoff, personal communication, May 4
,
1989)
. Use of the common phrase
: "What y ou don't know won'
t
hurt y ou," shows support of this somewhat over-protectiv
e
b elief
. However, as any teenager who has b een pregnant, mad
e
someone pregnant or b een addicted to drugs can tell y ou-
-
"What y ou don't know
can hurt you! "
To some extent, this may apply to nuclear war educatio
n
as well
. In keeping with the suggestion that school-oriente
d
education ab out serious sub jects like sexual reproductio
n
and drug ab use can only help a person (Widdoff, 1989), i
t
makes sense to
say that school-oriented education ab ou
t
nuclear war and the nuclear arms b uildup can only hel
p
teenagers cope with their fears
. Keeping in mind that there
will b e considerab le controversy over this issue, it i
s
necessary to provide factual information through scientifi
c
studies supporting the need for a nuclear curriculum
. Thes e
studies should directly test the effectiveness of nuclea r
education in reducing students' anxiety and teaching them
coping skills .
I have designed a survey study which will address th e
prob lem at hand
. I expect to find that students who have
NUCLEAR WAR ANXIETY AND EDUCATION

7
received education ab out nuclear war in a school settin
g
will b e b etter adept at coping with nuclear war anxiety an
d
will show a more positive attitude toward the future tha
n
students who haven't received any school oriented educatio
n
on nuclear issues .
METHOD S
The measure used to test my hy pothesis was
a
questionnaire . The measure was derived from a study carrie
d
out b y Norwegian researchers, Magne Raundalen and Ole Joha
n
Finney {1986 )
. These researchers studied Norwegian childre
n
and adolescents aged 11-19 . They developed a three par
t
essay questionnaire which asked the sub jects to
: 1) rank a
list of ten future prob lems from 1-10 , 1 b eing the mos
t
serious, 10 b eing the least
; 2 ) write in greater detai
l
ab out the prob lem they ranked as most serious
; 3 ) describ e
their thoughts and reactions when they heard ab out nuclea
r
weapons (Raundalen & Finney , 1986 )
. Listed b elow is th e
calculated average ranking for all ten future prob lems, wit
h
1 b eing the prob lem of most concern, and thus given th e
highest possib le ranking
.
NUCLEAR WAR ANXIETY AND EDUCATION

8
Tab le 1
Calculated Average Ranking for Ten Future Problems
Item
Rank order
of proble m
1 . Nuclear weapons 2 .3 1
2 . Unemployment 3 .8 4
3 . Drugs
4 .0 8
4 . Pollution 4 .8 7
5 . Scarcity of food
4 .8
8
6 . USSR 5
.4
8
7 . World population growth 6
.4 4
8 . USA
6 .7 1
9 . Medical experiments
7 .5 5
10 . Bringing up children 8
.81
From the results of their study , Raundalen and Finne y
discovered a pattern of reactions that could b e divided int
o
five distinct categories
. They lab eled these categorie s
Optimism, Active Hope, Pessimism, Powerlessness, an d
Repression . Using these five definitive categories alon g
with the b rief definitions provided b y Raundalen and Finney ,
I formulated a questionnaire for my study .
I divided my sub jects into three groups, all of whom
received the same questionnaire . Below is a description o f
each group .
Group I consisted of students who had taken a class
discussing issues such as nuclear armament and nuclear powe
r
(referred to as the "Nuclear Issues Course" from now on) .
Although the class did not address the sub ject of nuclea
r
war directly , I am assuming that exposure to informatio
n
ab out nuclear weapons and nuclear power proved to b e
indirectly therapeutic . All of the students in this grou
p
NUCLEAR WAR ANXIETY AND EDUCATION

9
were taught b y the same teacher
. The class was only offere
d
as an elective
. It was of an informative ty pe, with lecture
s
and assigned readings .
Groups II and III
were designed as control groups
.
(Note
: A control group is a group that does not receive th
e
treatment stated in the hy pothesis and is used to compar
e
whether the treatment group differs enough to support th
e
hy pothesis
.) These groups were similar to Group I wit
h
respect to age, y ear in school, and sex distrib ution
. Two
main differences were that students in Groups II and III
: 1 )
did not take the Nuclear Issues Course, and 2 ) were aske
d
whether they would take the Nuclear Issues Course b y choic
e
as an elective, or only if they had to as a requirement (se
e
Appendix B)
. Memb ers of Group II said that they would tak
e
the class b y choice, while memb ers of Group
III stated that
they would take the class only if it were required
.
The subject
s
Originally , there were 6 0 sub jects"in my sample
.
However,
several of the sub jects had to b e dropped fo
r
various reasons
. Some of the sub jects were too y oung, other
s
gave amb iguous answers on the Personal Data Sheet (se
e
Appendix B) and finally several sub jects had b een previousl
y
selected for a control group which later proved to b
e
incompatib le with other, pre-selected groups
.
After the changes were made, I ended up with 3
6
sub jects
. They ranged in age from twelve to fourteen
. The
NUCLEAR WAR ANXIETY AND EDUCATION

1 0
majority of the sub jects were 8th graders {2 7 ), while th
e
rest were 7 th graders (9)
. All sub jects were enrolled at th
e
same school
. The school was an average sized junior high
,
located in Eugene, Oregon
. There were 2 1 girls and 15 b oy
s
in the study .
Tab le
2
Sex Distribution and Grade Distribution of Subject
s
7 th graders
8th graders
Tota l
Girls
7
14
2 1
Boy s
2 13
15
Total 9
2 7
36
The questionnair
e
Because of extenuating circumstances, I did no
t
distrib ute the questionnaire personally
. It was distrib ute
d
b y the teacher who taught the Nuclear Issues class
.
The questionnaire consisted of 2 1 questions derive
d
from a study done b y Raundalen and Finney (1986 )
. The
answers were judged on a 5 -point Likert scale ranging fro
m
"strongly agree" to "strongly disagree" (see Tab le 3 )
. Each
of the five scales had at least four or five questions whic
h
ob tained from the corresponding definitions of each scale
.
For example, the Optimism scale had 4 questions that relate
d
to the definition of "Optimism" .
NUCLEAR WAR ANXIETY AND EDUCATION

11
Tab le 3
Answer and Coding Scale for
Questionnaire
Strongly

Disagree

Neutral

Agree

Strongl
y
Disagree

Agree
1

5
Listed b elow are the operational definitions I use
d
for designing scale items
:
Optimism
: Items in this scale refer to optimistic idea
s
ab out the future and express the b elief that the world wil
l
not b e completely destroy ed b y nuclear war
. Scale items
include the idea that further escalation of the arms rac
e
may force solutions
. An example item in this scale is
: " I
don't b elieve that there will b e a completely destructiv
e
war in the future .
"
Active Hope :
Items in this scale assess the b elief tha
t
direct involvement is necessary to create peace
. Items in
this group measure the sub jects' confidence that national
,
international, local and personal efforts to solve th
e
prob lem
. An example of an item in this scale is
: "I b eliev e
that b y working together, we can save the world from glob a
l
annihilation . "
Pessimism
: These items express a general negative attitud
e
ab out the world situation today
. The items examine a
reluctance to plan for the future and an intense desire t
o
escape the horror of what is b elieved to b e inevitab le
; a
NUCLEAR WAR ANXIETY AND EDUCATION

12
nuclear holocaust
. An example item for this scale is
: " I
don't want to plan for the future much b ecause I don't thin
k
the world will last that long
. "
Powerlessness :
Items in this scale express a feeling o
f
hopelessness toward the world's prob lems and assess th
e
b elief that nuclear war is inevitab le
. Items in this scal e
express sub jects' feelings of deprivation and resentment
,
owing to the fact that a nuclear war would take away thei
r
future
. One of the items in this scale was
: ""There i s
nothing I can do ab out b ad things that are happening in ou
r
world today . "
Repression
:
Items for this group assess a reluctance t
o
think ab out world prob lems such as the threat of nuclea
r
war, starvation, and environmental issues
. They also ma y
express the proverb ial "happy -go-lucky " attitude
. This scal e
represents a preference for concentrating on every day lif
e
and positive events rather than dwell on thoughts of a
n
uncertain future
. An example of a repression scale item is :
"I would rather think ab out things that are happening no
w
rather than in the future
. "
From my results, I expected to find that Group I woul
d
have the highest means (overall averages) for the tw
o
positive measures (Optimism and Active Hope) as compared t
o
Groups II and III
. By the same token, I expected Groups I
I
and III to have significantly higher means for the thre
e
negative measures (Pessimism, Powerlessness, and Repression
)
than Group I .
NUCLEAR WAR ANXIETY AND EDUCATION

13
However, I did not expect to find a significan
t
difference b etween Groups II and III, on any of the scales
.
I expected Groups II and
III
to be similar even though they
didn't
share a desire to take the Nuclear Issues class, wit
h
the only thing that would cause the groups to differ woul
d
b e actually taking the course
. All of the ab ove prediction
s
relate to
the underly ing assumption that taking the Nuclea
r
Issues class would have therapeutic effects b y increasin
g
feelings of optimism and active hope and decreasing feeling
s
of pessimism, powerlessness and repression
.
If Group II differs from Group III in the sam
e
direction as Group I, it might indicate that a process o
f
"self selection" had taken place
. In other words, sub ject
s
in Group I may have chosen to take the class simply b ecaus
e
they wanted more information ab out nuclear issues and wer
e
already low in nuclear war anxiety
. If this were true, i
t
would mean that data ob tained from Group I would b
e
insufficient to support the hy pothesis that the Nuclea
r
Issues Class was an effective means in changing student
s
attitudes ab out nuclear issues .
Looking at the differences b etween the three group
s
will provide the pertinent information needed to tes
t
whether my hy pothesis is correct
. Since all groups were
given the same questionnaire and are closely matched wit
h
respect to age, grade, and sex, a likely reason fo
r
differences would
be taking or not taking the class
. Thus ,
the first step in compiling my data will b e to test whether
NUCLEAR WAR ANXIETY AND EDUCATION

1 4
there exists a statistically significant difference amon
g
the groups on any of the scales
. NOTE : a statisticall
y
significant difference is one that is greater than an
y
difference which occurred b y chance
.
RESULT S
To ob tain my results I made statistical comparison
s
b etween all groups using ANOVA (analy sis of variance)
. This
test should tell me whether the three groups diffe
r
significantly from eachother on each of the five scales
.
Means and standard deviations for each group on all fiv
e
scales are included in Tab les 4 and 5
.
Sub jects who took the Nuclear Issues class (Group I
)
did not differ from controls (Groups II and III) for th
e
scales of Optimism (F =
.91, n .s
.), Active Hope (F = .4 1 ,
n .s
.), Pessimism (F = .6 7 , n .s
.), Powerlessness (F = .2 8 ,
n .s .), and Repression (F = 2
.5 7 , p <
.10 ) . Results of thi s
analy sis indicate that Groups I, II and III did not diffe
r
b ey ond chance on any of the scales
.
NUCLEAR WAR ANXIETY AND EDUCATION

1 5
Table 4
Means and Standard Deviations for Positive
Scale s
Group and
sample size
(N)
Optimism Active Hope
NOTE : M = MEAN
I
(N = 9)
M = 2 . 83 M =
3 . 5 6
SD = . 6 5 SD = . 8 8
II
M = 3 . 2 3 M = 3 . 55
(N = 1 4 )
SD = . 86 SD = . 6
0
III
M = 2 .96 M = 3 . 3 1
(N = 1 3 ) SD =
. 53 SD = . 84
Table 5
Means and Standard Deviations for
Negative Scale
s
Groups and
sample size Pessimism

Powerlessness

Repressio
n
(N )
NOTE : M =
MEAN
I M = 2 .72
M = 2 . 08 M = 2 . 62
(N = 9)
SD = . 93 SD = . 4 1 SD = . 61
II M = 2 . 4 5 M = 2 . 2 8

M = 3 . 00
(N = 1 4 )
SD = . 6 4 SD = . 81
SD = .68
III M = 2 . 3 6 M = 2 . 2 9
M = 3 . 2 9
(N = 13) SD = . 55
SD = .61 SD = . 6 3
NUCLEAR WAR ANXIETY AND EDUCATION

1 6
The mean scores reported in the tab les ab ove relat
e
directly to the five-point Likert used in the questionnaire
.
For instance, Group I had a mean of 2
.6 2 for the Repression s
scale
. This numb er fits in b etween "Disagree" and "Neutral,
"
meaning that Group I rated fairly low on the Repressio
n
scale, almost reaching neutral (neither repressive or non
-
repressive)
. Group III had a mean of 3
.2 9 for the Repressio n
scale which indicates an answer b etween "Neutral" an
d
"Agree . "
DISCUSSION
Although none of the results showed statistica
l
significance, there was a trend in the predicted directio
n
on the Repression scale
. Group I reported a lower mea
n
(2 .6 2 ) than Groups II (3
.0 0 ) and III (3 .2 9) . The trend o
n
the Repression scale suggests that taking the Nuclear Issue
s
class may b e related to students b eing more open ab out thei
r
fears, b ut this relationship is very weak
.
This trend suggests that the course helped reduc
e
students' levels of repression
. The students presumab l
y
b ecame used to discussing the anxiety -inducing informatio
n
in class, which in
turn may have helped them repres s
thoughts and feelings ab out nuclear war to a lesser degree
.
The non-significant differences on the Optimism, Activ
e
Hope, Pessimism, and Powerlessness scales suggests tha t
taking the class was not sufficient to change students '
existing attitudes ab out nuclear war . However, on the
Optimism scale, there was a trend in the direction opposite
NUCLEAR WAR ANXIETY AND EDUCATION

1 7
to that which I predicted earlier
. This trend implies tha
t
taking the class may actually increase students' levels o
f
nuclear war anxiety b y causing them to feel less optimisti
c
ab out the future and less confident ab out the world'
s
ab ility to find solutions to prevent nuclear war
. Th
e
students in Group I were exposed to new material ab out
a
sub ject which has serious implications on their future an
d
the future of every one around them
. Thus, the effect ma
y
have b een too overwhelming and depressing
.
Because there were no significant differences on th
e
positive scales for any
of the
group comparisons, it seem
s
unlikely that the Nuclear Issues class helped student
s
ob tain coping skills
. However this prob lem can b e attrib ute
d
to two important prob lems with the study
: 1) The class wa s
not structured as a self-help or therapeutic medium fo
r
students, 2 ) The sample size was too
small after
dropping
several of the original participants
. So, in order t o
provide more telling results, further studies should use a
n
increased sample size, which might include sub jects fro
m
several different schools, and inclusion of a class whic
h
comb ined important information ab out nuclear issues wit
h
effective way s to deal with the information, ie . coping
skills
. The increasing prob lem of nuclear war anxiety is a
n
important issue which is in need of more attention from th
e
psy chological community
. It has b ecome clear to me from thi s
study and others which I reviewed that there is an
increasing need for the development of more effective
NUCLEAR WAR ANXIETY AND EDUCATION

1 8
strategies which would teach children, adolescents and eve
n
adults how to cope with nuclear war anxiety .
Suggestions for further
research
In order to decide whether education ab out nuclear wa
r
is an effective way to teach children coping skills an
d
reduce their anxiety levels, more research is needed
.
studies should b e designed to discover whether nuclea
r
issues classes that include coping skills are effective i
n
reducing levels of pessimism and repression in children an
d
adolescents . The studies should also measure for positiv
e
effects such as higher levels of optimism, active hope an
d
increased feelings of power or control
. These studies shoul
d
also cover a wide range of ages and cultural b ackgrounds t o
create a more realistic and varied picture
. It may b e
helpful to look for new ideas in studies that have measure
d
the effectiveness of sex education in schools, since many o
f
the potential prob lems have already b een worked out
.
NUCLEAR WAR ANXIETY AND EDUCATION

1 9
REFERENCE
S
Bachman, J . (1983 ) . American high school seniors view th e
military : 197 6 -1982 . Armed Forces and Society, 1 0, 86 .
Beardslee, W ., & Mack, J . (1982 )
. The impact on children and
adolescents of nuclear developments . In R . Rogers (Ed .) ,
Psychosocial aspects of nuclear developments (Task Forc e
Report No . 2 0 ) . Washington D .C . : American Psy chiatri c
Association .
Bower, B . (1985 ) . Kids and the b omb : apocaly ptic anxieties ?
Science News, 1 28,
10 6 -10 7 .
Chavez, E .L ., Hamilton, S .B ., Keilin, W .G . (1986 ) . The Da
y
After : A preliminary report on its effects on children .
American Psy chologist, 41 , 7 2 2 -7 2 3 .
Doctor, R .M ., Goldenring, J
.M
., & Powell, A . (1987 ) .
Adolescents attitudes ab out nuclear war . Psychologica
l
Reports, 6 0 , 599-614 .
Escalona, S . (196 5 )
. Children and the threat of nuclear
war . In M . Schweb el (Ed .), Behavioral science and human
survival . Palo Alto, CA : Science and Behavior Books, Inc .
Gray , B
., & Valentine, J . (1985 ) . Nuclear war : The knowledg e
and attitudes of New Zealand secondary school children . In
T . Solantus, E . Chivian, M . Vartany an, & S . Chivian
(Eds .), Impact of the threat of nuclear war on childre
n
and adolescents . Proceedings of
an international research
symposium . Boston, MA : International Phy sicians for th e
Prevention of Nuclear War, 16 3 -16 9 .
Lewinsohn, P . M ., & Zeiss, A . (1986 ) . Ab normal Psychology .
Brooks/Cole Pub lishing Company .
Matthews, G . B . (1984 ) Dialogues with children . Camb ridge
:
Harvard University Press .
Offer, D . (1982 ) . Idols and self-image : Empirical studie s
and theoretical implications . Paper presented at th
e
Camb ridge Hospital sy mposium "Self-esteem : Developmen t
and sub stance ." Boston .
Raundalen, M ., et al, (In Press) . Watching
the news
. Ho
w
small children perceive the world .
Raundalen, M ., & Finney , O .J . (1986 )
. Children's and
teenagers views of the future
. International Journal
of Mental Health, 5 , 114 -12 5 .
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2 0
Reifel, S . (1984 )
. Children living with the nuclear threat
.
Young Children,
39, 74-80 .
Schweb el, M . (1982 )
. Effects of the Nuclear War Threat
on Children and Teenagers : Implications fo
r
Professionals . American
Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 52 ,
6 0 8-6 18 .
Tizard, B . (1985 ) The impact of the nuclear threat o
n
child development : Prob lematic issues
. In T .
Solantus, E
. Chivian, M . Vartany an, & S
. Chivian
(Eds
.),
Impact of the threat of
nuclear war on children
and adolescents. Proceedings of an international
research
symposium .
Boston, MA : International Phy sicians for th
e
Prevention of Nuclear War, 9-16 .
NUCLEAR WAR ANXIETY AND EDUCATION

2 1
APPENDIX A
QUESTIONNAIRE
This is a survey which contains questions designed t
o
discover students' attitudes toward current world prob lems
.
Please take y our time reading the questions and answer the
m
as truthfully as possib le
. There are no right or wron g
answers for this questionnaire
. We are only interested i
n
y our opinion of the issues raised
. Please circle the numb e
r
which corresponds to the answer closest to y our own opinion
.
For example, if
y ou
agree with an answer, circle numb er 4
,
for agree, if y ou disagree completely , circle #1 fo
r
strongly disagree, etc
.
If y ou wish to know the results of this survey , pleas
e
notify y our teacher
.
YOU
MAY BEGIN AS SOON AS
YOU ARE READY
.
Strongly

Disagree

Neutral

Agree

Strongl y
Disagree

Agre e
1

5
1.
I have a positive outlook ab out the future
.
1

4
2 .
I don't b elieve that there will b e a completel
y
destructive war in the future
.
1

4
3 .
I b elieve that solutions will b e found to th
e
world's prob lems .
1

4
4 .
I think that further escalation of the arms rac
e
will cause people to find solutions to it
.
1

4
5
5
5
NUCLEAR WAR ANXIETY AND EDUCATION

2 2
Strongly

Disagree

Neutral

Agree

Strongly
Disagree

Agree
1

5
5 .
I have confidence that national and internationa
l
efforts to solve the prob lem of nuclear war wil
l
b e successful .
1

5
6 .
I don't have much faith in peace movements as a wa
y
of solving the prob lem of nuclear war
.
1

5
7 . I b elieve that b y working together, we can save th
e
world from glob al annihilation
.
1

5
8.
It is important that citizens b ecome involved in seekin
g
peace .
1

5
9.
I feel very pessimistic when I think ab out nuclea
r
war .
1

5
10 .
I don't want to plan for the future much b ecause
I
don't think the world will last that long
.
1

5
NUCLEAR WAR ANXIETY AND EDUCATION

2 3
Strongly

Disagree

Neutral

Agree

Strongl y
Disagree

Agre
e
1

5
11.
I often have negative feelings ab out the future
.
1

4
12 .
I feel that nuclear war is inevitab le .
1

4
13 .
There is nothing I can do ab out b ad things tha
t
are happening in our world today .
1

4
14 .
Nuclear weapons are part of the way the world is an
d
there is nothing any of us can do to change that
.
1

5
15 .
I feel resentful ab out the state that our world is in
.
1

4
16 .
I feel that there is nothing I can do ab out th
e
state the world is in
.
1

4
17 .
Nuclear war is a great sub ject of worry in my life
,
even more than other worries such as unemploy ment
,
drugs, pollution, and world hunger
.
1

5
5
5
5
5
5
NUCLEAR WAR ANXIETY AND EDUCATION

2 4
Strongly

Disagree

Neutral

Agree

Strongl
y
Disagree

Agree
1

5
18.
I would rather not think ab out sub jects like nuclea
r
war .
1

5
19.
I would rather think ab out things that are happenin
g
now rather than in the future .
1

5
2 0 .
I can't even think ab out what the destruction of th
e
world would b e like
.
1

5
2 1.
I try to avoid painful or frightening thought
s
in order to preserve my sanity
.
1

5
NUCLEAR WAR ANXIETY AND EDUCATION
2 5
APPENDIX B
PERSONAL DATA INFORMATIO N
AGE :
SEX :
YEAR IN SCHOOL :
***********************************************************
*
1. Have y ou ever considered taking a class on Nuclear Issue s
at y our school?
YES

NO
2 . Would y ou take the class b y choice (as an elective), o r
would y ou only take it if y ou had to (as a requirement) ?
GO TO THE NEXT PAGE .