alexa The Hierarchic Structure of Fears: A Cross-Cultural Rep
ISSN: 2471-2701

Clinical and Experimental Psychology
Open Access

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Research Article

The Hierarchic Structure of Fears: A Cross-Cultural Replication with the Fear Survey Schedule in a Portuguese Sample

Filomena Valadão-Dias1*, João Maroco1, Isabel Leal1 and WA Arrindell2

1ISPA-Instituto Universitário, William James Center Research (WJCR), Lisboa, Portugal

2Consultant social research issues, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

*Corresponding Author:
Filomena Valadão-Dias
ISPA-Instituto Universitário
William James Center Research (WJCR)
Lisboa, Portugal, Rua Jardim do Tabaco
1149-041 Lisboa
Tel: 00351 966876195
E-mail: [email protected] or [email protected]

Received Date: June 08, 2016; Accepted Date: July 06, 2016; Published Date: July 13, 2016

Citation: Valadão-Dias F, Maroco J, Leal I, Arrindell WA (2016) The Hierarchic Structure of Fears: A Cross-Cultural Replication with the Fear Survey Schedule in a Portuguese Sample. Clin Exp Psychol 6:133. doi:10.4172/2471-2701.1000133

Copyright: © 2016 Valadão-Dias F, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License; which permits unrestricted use; distribution; and reproduction in any medium; provided the original author and source are credited.



A confirmatory attempt is made to assess the validity of a hierarchic structural model of fears. Using a sample comprising 1,980 adult volunteers in Portugal, the present study set out to delineate the multidimensional structure and hierarchic organization of a large set of feared stimuli by contrasting a higher-order model comprising general fear at the highest level against a first-order model and a unitary fear model. Following a refinement of the original model, support was found for a five-factor model on a first-order level, namely (1) Social fears, (2) Agoraphobic fears, (3) Fears of bodily injury, death and illness, (4) Fears of display to aggressive scenes, and (5) Harmless animals fears. These factors in turn loaded on a General fear factor at the second-order level. However, the firstorder model was as parsimonious as a hierarchic higher-order model. The hierarchic model supports a quantitative hierarchic approach which decomposes fear disorders into agoraphobic, social, and specific (animal and bloodinjury) fears.


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