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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 April, 2004, 06:07 GMT 07:07 UK
Parents express terrorism fears
Second train attack in Madrid
The Madrid train bombs killed almost 200 people
Half of parents in Scotland worry their children will be hurt in a terrorist attack, a study has suggested.

Research at the University of Dundee also indicated that 80% of children between six and eight-years-old know what terrorism is.

Rona Dolev has been looking into the effects of terrorism on parents and children in four countries.

About 1,400 parents from Israel, the US, Northern Ireland and Scotland took part in the survey.

The research, by the psychologist and postgraduate student, has been done in collaboration with psychologists from all four countries.

Worries for children

Ms Dolev spoke to 200 parents in Scotland who said some of their children had become afraid to fly and had had nightmares.

She also found that 50% of the same parents, who have had no direct exposure to terrorism, said they were worried about their child being hurt in a terrorist attack.

Ms Dolev said: "One of the aims of the study was to find out whether Scottish children are aware of the phenomenon of terrorism.

"According to parents' reports, 80% of six to eight-year-old children know what terrorism is, and this figure grows to 99% by the time the children are 11 years of age."

Police at Heathrow
Security has increased at airports in light of terrorism attacks
According to the study's findings the most important source of information about terrorism is the media, with 91% of six to 11-year-old children having watched media coverage of terrorist attacks.

Of the parents asked, 14% reported some changes in their child's behaviour after watching media reports, especially after 11 September.

Some parents reported behaviours such as fear of flying, nightmares, worries about family members going abroad and fears of an attack in Scotland.

The study found that 74% of children have asked their parents questions about terrorism, with the majority of children doing so on several occasions.

Three quarters of parents reported having talked about terrorism with their children.

Ms Dolev added: "The results of this study so far highlight just how much terrorism has become a part of ours and our children's lives here in Scotland, and so in some sense Madrid doesn't seem so far away."

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