The COVID-19 Anxiety Syndrome Scale (C-19ASS) is a quick and reliable scale assessing dysfunctional coping strategies activated in response to COVID-19 fear and threat. The present study aimed to provide a preliminary validation of the Italian version of the C-19ASS and investigated whether the C-19ASS would mediate the relationship between the Big Five personality traits and psychological outcomes.
In Study 1, a community sample of 271 participants completed the Italian version of the C-19ASS and results were subjected to a Principal Component Analysis. In study 2, a community sample of 484 participants completed the Italian version of the C-19ASS and a series of measures assessing COVID-19 anxiety, COVID-19 fear, functional impairment, personality traits, depression, generalized anxiety and health anxiety. Internal consistency, concurrent and incremental validity were assessed. Path analyses were run.
Factor analysis identified a two-factor solution (i.e., C-19ASS Perseveration and C-19ASS Avoidance) and confirmatory factor analysis suggested a two-factor model best fits the data. The Italian version of the C-19ASS showed good internal consistency. There was also evidence of convergent validity and incremental validity. Path analyses showed that C-19ASS Perseveration mediates the relationship between emotional stability and psychological symptoms (depression, generalized anxiety and health anxiety).
The Italian version of the C-19ASS appears to be a reliable and valid measure of the COVID-19 anxiety syndrome. The COVID-19 anxiety syndrome could be a suitable therapeutic target to reduce psychological symptoms typically linked to pandemic events, such as depression generalized anxiety and health anxiety.