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Psychometric evaluation of the Financial Threat Scale (FTS) in the context of the great recession


  • Marjanovic, Zdravko
  • Greenglass, Esther R.
  • Fiksenbaum, Lisa
  • Bell, Chris M.


In the current economic downturn, people are fearful, uncertain, and preoccupied about how the recession affects them, their loved ones, and their collective futures. In short, they feel threatened by the stability and security of their personal finances. This study examined the psychometric properties of the Financial Threat Scale (FTS), a 5-item scale which was designed to measure these feelings. Data were collected in Canada at the height of the recession as part of a larger international investigation on the economic downturn and psychological health. Results showed the FTS is unidimensional and highly reliable. The FTS’ validity was supported by showing its relations with (1) psychological health outcomes, financial situation measures, and individual differences measures, all in the expected directions. The FTS also showed incremental validity by accounting for variance in psychological health outcomes above-and-beyond that of either the financial situation measures or individual differences measures. The theoretical and practical implications of the FTS are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Marjanovic, Zdravko & Greenglass, Esther R. & Fiksenbaum, Lisa & Bell, Chris M., 2013. "Psychometric evaluation of the Financial Threat Scale (FTS) in the context of the great recession," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 1-10.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:36:y:2013:i:c:p:1-10
    DOI: 10.1016/j.joep.2013.02.005

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Brown, Sarah & Taylor, Karl & Wheatley Price, Stephen, 2005. "Debt and distress: Evaluating the psychological cost of credit," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 642-663, October.
    2. Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2008. "Economic Growth and Subjective Well-Being: Reassessing the Easterlin Paradox," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 39(1 (Spring), pages 1-102.
    3. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1971:61:3:606-611_3 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Norvilitis, Jill M. & MacLean, Michael G., 2010. "The role of parents in college students' financial behaviors and attitudes," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 55-63, February.
    5. Tefft, Nathan, 2011. "Insights on unemployment, unemployment insurance, and mental health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 258-264, March.
    6. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1987:77:4:505-506_4 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Marjanovic, Zdravko & Greenglass, Esther R. & Fiksenbaum, Lisa & De Witte, Hans & Garcia-Santos, Francisco & Buchwald, Petra & Peiró, José María & Mañas, Miguel A., 2015. "Evaluation of the Financial Threat Scale (FTS) in four European, non-student samples," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 72-80.

    More about this item


    Economic crisis; Perceived threat; Uncertainty; Individual differences; Psychological health;

    JEL classification:

    • Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General


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