Phobic anxiety in 11 nations: Part I: Dimensional constancy of the five-factor model

W. A. Arrindell, Martin Eisemann, Jörg Richter, Tian P.S. Oei, Vicente E. Caballo, Jan Van Der Ende, Ezio Sanavio, Nuri Bagés, Lya Feldman, Bárbara Torres, Claudio Sica, Saburo Iwawaki, Robert J. Edelmann, W. Ray Crozier, Adrian Furnham, Barbara L. Hudson, G. Aguilar, R. Bentall, K. R. Bridges, A. BuchananM. G. Calvo, G. Canalda, J. Castro, M. Davis, R. J. Farrer, W. Frindte, T. Gärling, P. Gaszner, R. Gillholm, M. Gustafsson, R. J. Hansson, P. Harris, C. Hatzichristou, M. Johnston, J. Kállai, E. Kasielke, J. Kenardy, C. C. Leong, A. Liddell, I. Montgomery, D. L. Palenzuela, D. Pennington, M. Peter, M. J. Pickersgill, L. A. Recinos, J. C. Richards, O. Rydén, M. A. Simón, M. Surman, F. Zaldívar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


The Fear Survey Schedule-III (FSS-III) was administered to a total of 5491 students in Australia, East Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Spain, Sweden, and Venezuela, and submitted to the multiple group method of confirmatory analysis (MGM) in order to determine the cross-national dimensional constancy of the five-factor model of self-assessed fears originally established in Dutch, British, and Canadian samples. The model comprises fears of bodily injury-illness-death, agoraphobic fears, social fears, fears of sexual and aggressive scenes, and harmless animals fears. Close correspondence between the factors was demonstrated across national samples. In each country, the corresponding scales were internally consistent, were intercorrelated at magnitudes comparable to those yielded in the original samples, and yielded (in 93% of the total number of 55 comparisons) sex differences in line with the usual finding (higher scores for females). In each country, the relatively largest sex differences were obtained on harmless animals fears. The organization of self-assessed fears is sufficiently similar across nations to warrant the use of the same weight matrix (scoring key) for the FSS-III in the different countries and to make cross-national comparisons feasible. This opens the way to further studies that attempt to predict (on an a priori basis) cross-national variations in fear levels with dimensions of national cultures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)461-479
Number of pages19
JournalBehaviour Research and Therapy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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