Working Paper

Validation of the Worries Emerging from the Covid-19 Pandemic (WECP) Scale



Comerford D, Olivarius O, Bell D & Douglas E (2022) Validation of the Worries Emerging from the Covid-19 Pandemic (WECP) Scale.

Background and Objectives: Covid-19 has caused substantial disruption to how we live, work and socialise and has evoked concerns and worries regarding many aspects of life. As the UK was easing Covid-19 restrictions in the period March – May 2021, we devised and validated a Worries Emerging from the Covid-19 Pandemic scale (the WECP scale). Research Design and Methods: We devised 100 items that factor analyses over two rounds of data collection on UK residents reduced to a 14-item scale. The resultant WECP scale captures the following dimensions: worries about the future course of the virus; worries about readjusting to society; feelings of isolation; worries about the continuation or reintroduction of restrictions; worries for family and friends; financial worries and worries regarding the safety and efficacy of Covid vaccines. Results: Scores on our WECP scale are independently predicted by three scales from the peer-reviewed literature: one that captures fear concerning the disease itself, one that captures broader worries around the pandemic and one that measures resilience. WECP scores are lower among older respondents (age 70+) than among younger respondents (age 40-49) and this is largely explained by financial worries and worries regarding the efficacy and risks of the Covid-19 vaccines. Discussion: The WECP scale provides a uniquely insightful measure of the worries experienced by the older UK population as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic. It can help identify which groups have been left feeling vulnerable by the pandemic and on which dimensions those groups would profit from support.

Covid-19; fear; worries; resilience; pandemic; scale validation

FundersUKRI UK Research and Innovation

People (3)


Professor David Comerford

Professor David Comerford

Professor, Economics

Dr Elaine Douglas

Dr Elaine Douglas

Associate Professor, Dementia and Ageing

Mrs Olivia Olivarius

Mrs Olivia Olivarius

Lecturer, Economics

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