Validation of the fear of COVID-19 scale in South Africa: Three complementary analyses
Pretorius, Tyrone B.
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TFear is the most common response to disease outbreaks. Persistent and prolonged fear can elevate the levels of psychological distress and aggravate preexisting mental health problems. Therefore, prompted by the central role of fear in psychological responses to COVID-19, the Fear of COVID-19 Scale was developed, which is the only instrument that can assess emotional fear reactions in relation to the current pandemic. In this study, we extend research on the psychometric properties of this instrument by adopting three complementary approaches: classical test theory, Rasch analysis, and Mokken analysis. Combining thes emethods allows for a more nuanced overview of the psychometric properties of the instrument. The sample comprised South African teachers (n = 355) who completed the Fear of COVID-19 Scale. All three approaches confirmed the reliability and the construct, convergent, and concurrent validity of the scale asused with South African teachers. In addition, all three approaches confirmed that the scale is sufficiently homogenous to be considered unidimensional.