Confirming validity of The Fear of COVID-19 Scale in Japanese with a nationwide large-scale sample

PLoS One. 2021 Feb 10;16(2):e0246840. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0246840. eCollection 2021.


Assessing fear and anxiety regarding COVID-19 viral infection is essential for investigating mental health during this epidemic. We have developed and validated a Japanese-language version of The Fear of COVID-19 Scale (FCV-19S) based on a large, nationwide residential sample (n = 6,750) recruited through news and social media responding to an online version of the questionnaire. Data was collected from August 4-25, 2020. Results correlated with K6, GAD-7 and IES-R psychological scales, and T-tests and analysis of variance identified associated factors. All indices indicated the two-factor model emotional fear reactions and symptomatic expressions of fear a better fit for our data than a single-factor model in Confirmatory Factor Analysis (χ2 = 164.16, p<0.001, CFI 0.991, TLI = 0.985, RMSEA = 0.043). Socio-demographic factors identified as disaster vulnerabilities such as female sex, sexual minority, elderly, unemployment, and present psychiatric history associated with higher scores. However, respondent or family member experience of infection risk, or work/school interference from confinement, had greatest impact. Results suggest necessity of mental health support during this pandemic similar to other disasters.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Anxiety / etiology*
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Biological Products
  • COVID-19 / psychology*
  • Fear / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Male
  • Mental Health
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Young Adult


  • Biological Products
  • beractant

Grants and funding

Program to Apply the Wisdom of the University to tackle COVID -19 Related Emergency Problems. ( The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.