This study investigates young children's fright reactions induced by television. The central question concerns the degree to which the impact can be predicted by temperamental fearfulness and the quality of the parent-child relationship. Using a procedure for recording simultaneously skin conductance (SCL) and heart rate variability (RMSSD), 78 3- and 4-year-olds were shown two brief TV film episodes (one fear-inducing and one emotionally neutral). The children responded to fear-inducing film stimuli with an increase in SCL-reactivity and a decrease in RMSSD-reactivity. Furthermore, temperamentally more fearful children showed most electrodermal reactivity when their relationship with the parent was less harmonious. More fearful children were more susceptible to the quality of the relationship with their parent, which provides support for the differential susceptibility hypothesis. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.