Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

The perceived vulnerability to disease scale: cross-cultural measurement invariance and associations with fear of COVID-19 across 16 countries

Karakulak, Arzu, Stogianni, Maria, Alonso-Arbiol, Itziar, Shukla, Shanu, Bender, Michael, Yeung, Victoria Wai Lan, Jovanović, Veljko, Musso, Pasquale, Scardigno, Rosa, Scott, Riley A., Stuart, Jaimee, Friehs, Maria Therese, Toh, Zena, Albayrak-Aydemir, Nihan ORCID: 0000-0003-3412-4311, Arvanitis, Alexios, Buzea, Carmen, Mastrotheodoros, Stefanos, Tsang, Jo Ann, Madeira, Filipa, Miconi, Diana, Pascual, Nicole Russell, Rowatt, Wade C., Al-Kire, Rosemary L., Amar, Moty, Aral, Tugce, Itzchakov, Guy, Mishra, Sushanta Kumar, Porat, Roni, Servidio, Rocco, Stefenel, Delia, Tair, Ergyul and Gkomez, Alexandros (2023) The perceived vulnerability to disease scale: cross-cultural measurement invariance and associations with fear of COVID-19 across 16 countries. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 17 (11). ISSN 1751-9004

[img] Text (Albayrak-Aydemir_perceived-vulnerability-to-disease--published) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (430kB)

Identification Number: 10.1111/spc3.12878


Using cross-sectional data from N = 4274 young adults across 16 countries during the COVID-19 pandemic, we examined the cross-cultural measurement invariance of the perceived vulnerability to disease (PVD) scale and tested the hypothesis that the association between PVD and fear of COVID-19 is stronger under high disease threat [that is, absence of COVID-19 vaccination, living in a country with lower Human Development Index (HDI) or higher COVID-19 mortality]. Results supported a bi-factor Exploratory Structural Equation Modeling model where items loaded on a global PVD factor, and on the sub-factors of Perceived Infectability and Germ Aversion. However, cross-national invariance could only be obtained on the configural level with a reduced version of the PVD scale (PVD-r), suggesting that the concept of PVD may vary across nations. Moreover, higher PVD-r was consistently associated with greater fear of COVID-19 across all levels of disease threat, but this association was especially pronounced among individuals with a COVID-19 vaccine, and in contexts where COVID-19 mortality was high. The present research brought clarity into the dimensionality of the PVD measure, discussed its suitability and limitations for cross-cultural research, and highlighted the pandemic-related conditions under which higher PVD is most likely to go along with psychologically maladaptive outcomes, such as fear of COVID-19.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2023 The Authors
Divisions: Psychological and Behavioural Science
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2023 09:51
Last Modified: 07 Jul 2024 23:21

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics