COMMON FEARS IN CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS: A CONFIRMATORY FACTOR ANALYSIS OF THE HIERARCHIC STRUCTURE OF FEARS
Valiente, R.M., Chorot, P., Sandin, Santed, M.A., Universidad Nacional de Educacin a Distancia (UNED) and Sanchez-Arribas, C., Centro de Salud Mental Villacarrillo, Spain
Factor analytic studies have revealed five basic dimensions of normative fears in children and adolescents (fear of falilure and criticism, fear of the unknown, fear of small animals, fear of danger, and medial fears; Ollendick, King, & Frary, 1989; Sandin & Chorot, 1998). Recently, it has been suggested that the structure of fears is consistent with a hierarchic model (Taylor, 1998). According to this model, fears arise from a hierarchy of causal factors, ranging from specific to general. Results of factor analysis of adult fear inventories are consistent with this model. However, no works have been reported using children or adolescents as participants. The present study examined the structure of common fears in a sample of nonclinical children and adolescents. Fears were assessed by means of the Spanish version of the Fear Survey Schedule for Children-Revised (Ollendick, 1983). Confirmatory factor analysis was employed to test the adequacy of different hypothetical models. Results showed that common chilhood fears can best be explained by a hierarchic structure, i.e., 5- correlated-factors (fear of falilure and criticism, fear of the unknown, fear of small animals, fear of danger, and medial fears) loading onto a single higher order factor. Data provide empiral evidence in support of the hierarchic model of fears and phobias described by Taylor (1998).