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The Fear of COVID-19 Scale: Its Structure and Measurement Invariance Across 48 Countries

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journal contribution
posted on 2021-12-03, 11:09 authored by Artur Sawicki, Magdalena Żemojtel-Piotrowska, Julia M Balcerowska, Monika J Sawicka, Jarosław Piotrowski, Constantine Sedikides, Peter K Jonason, John Maltby, Mladen Adamovic, Attiso M.G. Agada, Oli Ahmed, Laith Al-Shawaf, Seth Christopher Yaw Appiah, Rahkman Ardi, Zana Hasan Babakr, Sergiu Baltatescu, Mario Bonato, Richard G Cowden, Phatthanakit Chobthamkit, Laura De PrettoLaura De Pretto, Valdiney V. Gouveia, Carmen Haretche, Dzintra Ilisko, John Jamir Benzon Aruta, Fanli Jia, Veljko Jovanović, Tomislav Jukić, Shanmukh V. Kamble, Narine Khachatryan, Martina Klicperova-Baker, Metodi Koralov, Monika Kovács, Mabelle Kretchner, Aitor Larzabal Fernandez, Kadi Liik, Najma Iqbal Malik, Karine Malysheva, Chanki Moon, Stephan Muehlbacher, Sofya Nartova-Bochaver, Jorge Torres-Marín, Emrah Ozsoy, Joonha Park, Elena Piccinelli, Jano Ramos-Diaz, Ognjen Riđić, Adil Samekin, Andreja Istenic Starcic, Tra Thi Thanh Kieu, Robert Tomsik, Charles S. Umeh, Eduardo Wills-Herrera, Anna Wlodarczyk, Zahir Vally, Somayeh Zand
COVID-19 has been a source of fear around the world. We asked whether the measurement of this fear is trust worthy and comparable across countries. In particular, we explored the measurement invariance and cross-cultural replicability of the widely-used Fear of COVID-19scale(FCV-19S), testing community samples from 48countries (N= 14,558). The findings indicate that the FCV-19Shas a somewhat problematic structure, yet the one-factor solution is replicable across cultural contexts and could be used in studies that compare people who vary on gender and educational level. The validity of the scale is supported by a consistent pattern of positive correlations with perceived stress and general anxiety. However, given the unclear structure of the FCV-19S, we recommend using latent factor scores, instead of raw scores, especially in cross-cultural comparisons.


The work of Artur Sawicki,Magdalena Żemojtel-Piotrowska,and Jarosław Piotrowski was supported by grant number 2017/26/E/HS6/00282 from the National Science Centre, Poland.Peter Jonason’s workwas partially funded by the Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange (PPN/ULM/2019/1/00019/U/00001) and a grant from the NationalScience Centre of Poland (2019/35/B/HS6/00682).



Psychological Assessment, 2022.

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Department of Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour, College of Life Sciences


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Psychological Assessment


American Psychological Association



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