The present study examined the cognitive inhibition hypothesis (Kindt, Bierman, & Brosschot, 1997) which asserts that young children lack the ability to inhibit the processing of threat, but develop this with age. To examine this issue, high spider fearful children (N = 170) and low spider fearful children (N = 215) aged 7—11 years were tested by means of an emotional Stroop task. It was hypothesised that a processing bias for spider-related stimuli would be present in all 8- and 9-year-old children. That is, it was expected that responses to spider words would be slower compared to responses to control words. Furthermore, it was hypothesised that this processing bias would decrease with age in low fearful children, whereas it would persist in high fearful children. No support was found for these hypotheses. Instead of the predicted processing bias, data showed the reverse pattern; that is, children responded faster to spider words compared to control words. It is proposed that the reverse bias results from avoidance. More precisely, children may evade the processing of spider stimuli through fast responding.