Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Community Medicine, School of Public Health, PGIMER, Chandigarh, India

2 Department of Statistics , Panjab University, Chandigarh, India

3 Department of Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, Canada

4 Department of Psychiatry, GMCH, Chandigarh, India


BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease is a highly infectious and fatal disease. It has caused distress
in the form of fear, and anxiety among masses including youth. The psychosocial health of youth
is important to build resilient nations after the pandemic is over.This study aimed to capture the
level of COVID‑19 fear among youth studying in a northern Indian university and to compare it with
demographic variables.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This was a cross‑sectional study (April–May 2020) conducted
among university students in North India. Fear of COVID‑19 Scale (FCV‑19S) was used for online
survey using Google Forms. FCV‑19S is a reliable tool for assessing the fear of COVID‑19 among
the general population. Descriptive statistics and principal component analysis (PCA) with varimax
rotation were used for statistical analysis.
RESULTS: A total of 521 responses were recorded. The majority (78%) of the participants were in
the age group of 18–23 years and more than half (57%) were pursuing graduation. The respondents
belonged to 16 states and union territories in the country. A total of 17% reported severe fear, while a
few reported moderate (17%) or mild (11%) fear on the FCV‑19S. No respondent could be categorized
with “no fear” based on the overall FCV‑19S score. Approximately, 42% of respondents were nervous
after watching news/social media posts about COVID‑19. Based on PCA, factor 1 labeled as anxiety
toward COVID‑19, factor 2 media effect on shaping of fear, and factor 3 thanatophobia as contributing
factors for fear among youth.
CONCLUSIONS: Reflection of fear among youth suggests that adequate knowledge about COVID‑19,
preventive steps, treatment options, etc., may be planned to allay fears among youth.


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