The fear of COVID-19 scale: its structure and measurement invariance across 48 countries

Artur J. 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, Mario Bonato, Sergiu Bălțătescu, Richard G. Cowden, Phatthanakit Chobthamkit, Laura De PrettoValdiney V. Gouveia, Carmen Haretche, Dzintra Iliško, John Jamir Benzon Aruta, Fanli Jia, Veljko Jovanović, Tomislav Jukić, Shanmukh V. Kamble, Narine Khachatryan, Martina Klicperova-Baker, Metodi Koralov, Monika Kovacs, Mabelle Kretchner, Kadi Liik, Aitor Larzabal Fernandez, Najma Iqbal Malik, Karine Malysheva, Chanki Moon, Stephan Muehlbacher, Sofya Nartova-Bochaver, Jorge Torres-Marín, Emrah Özsoy, Joonha Park, Elena Piccinelli, Jano Ramos-Diaz, Ognjen Riđić, Adil Samekin, Andrej Starc, Trà Thị Thanh Kiều, Robert Tomsik, Charles S. Umeh, Eduardo Wills-Herrera, Anna Wlodarczyk, Zahir Vally, Somayeh Zand

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    COVID-19 has been a source of fear around the world. We asked whether the measurement of this fear is trustworthy and comparable across countries. In particular, we explored the measurement invariance and cross-cultural replicability of the widely-used Fear of COVID-19 scale (FCV-19S), testing community samples from 48 countries (N = 14,558). The findings indicate that the FCV-19S has 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.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)294–310
    Number of pages41
    JournalPsychological Assessment
    Issue number3
    Early online date20 Jan 2022
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


    • fear of COVID; measurement invariance; cross-cultural studies; coronavirus


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