Psychometric Evaluation of the Chinese Version of the Existential Anxiety Questionnaire in a Sample of Chinese Adolescents Living in Hong Kong

Siu ming To*, Wallace Chi ho Chan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Background: While Western academia has increasingly recognized the importance of studying existential anxiety among adolescents, psychometrically valid and reliable tools for measuring this construct remain unavailable in Chinese societies. Objective: This research investigated the empirical viability of the construct of existential anxiety in Chinese adolescents. Specifically, it examined if a similar factor structure and set of theoretical associations existed as found in previous western samples and provided initial psychometric data on the Chinese version of the Existential Anxiety Questionnaire (C-EAQ). Methods: A sample of 1205 Hong Kong Chinese high school students was recruited to complete a questionnaire comprising items of the C-EAQ and several validation measures. Results: An exploratory factor analysis on 621 randomly selected participants of the sample yielded a new threefold factor structure with 12 items. A confirmatory factor analysis on the remaining 584 participants demonstrated an acceptable model fit. These factors revealed three separate but related constructs of existential anxiety, namely, anxiety about the meaning of life and death, anxiety about condemnation and guilt, and non-acceptance of anxiety about the meaning of life and death. The construct validity of C-EAQ was supported by significant correlations with measures of fear of death, internal locus of control, presence of meaning, life satisfaction, and self-esteem. Conclusion: As the results suggest possible different interpretations of existential anxiety in Chinese culture, further studies should be undertaken to examine what constitutes the content areas or personal themes that generate existential anxiety among Chinese adolescents. Implications can also be drawn for youth work practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)487-503
Number of pages17
JournalChild and Youth Care Forum
Issue number4
Early online date25 Jan 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016
Externally publishedYes

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