Construction and Validation of the South African Version of the Fear Survey Schedule for Children: An Exploratory Factor Analysis

Burkhardt K. ; Loxton H. ; Kagee A. ; Ollendick T.H. (2012)

Article

The Fear Survey Schedule for Children-Revised (Ollendick, 1983) is an 80-item self-report instrument that has been used internationally to asses the number of fears and general level of fearfulness among children. Despite its widespread use, this instrument has not been adapted to the South African context. The present study addressed this gap by means of a 2-phase investigation aimed at developing a South African version of the instrument. In Phase 1, semistructured interviews were conducted with 40 children (7 to 13. years of age). Qualitative data obtained from these interviews were used to construct additional items for inclusion in the South African Fear Survey Schedule for Children-Revised. The modified scale, consisting of 97 items, was then administered to a sample of 646 children between the ages of 7 and 13. years. Further psychometric considerations resulted in the final version of the scale consisting of 74 items with high internal consistency (α = .97). The factor structure was explored by means of principal component analysis with varimax rotation and a 5-factor solution was found to provide the best conceptual fit. The factors identified were as follows: Fear of Death and Danger; Fear of the Unknown; Fear of Small Animals and Minor Threats to Self; Large Animal Fears; and Situational Fears. Differences between the South African version and the original Fear Survey Schedule for Children-Revised are noted and implications for the study of fear in South Africa and other countries are discussed. © 2012 Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies.

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