Validation of the Dark Future Scale (DFS) for future anxiety on an Italian sample

Tommaso B. Jannini 1, Rodolfo Rossi 1, Valentina Socci 2, Giorgio Di Lorenzo 1,3

1 Department of Systems Medicine, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy; 2 Department of Applied Clinical Sciences and Biotechnologies, University of L’Aquila, L’Aquila, Italy; 3 IRCCS – Fondazione Santa Lucia, Rome, Italy

DOI 10.36148/2284-0249-457

Future anxiety (FA) is an attitude towards the future in which negative processes overcome positive ones, with fear of forthcoming threats being more powerful than hope. Since FA plays a pivotal role in many mental health conditions, we aimed to develop an Italian version of the Dark Future Scale (DFS) that allows measuring this construct.

We recruited 311 participants using a web-based survey. We investigated DFS internal reliability, convergent and divergent validities, as well as test repeatability over time. We conducted a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis to find the best cut-off for FA. Finally, we performed a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) based on a two-factor hypothesis.

DFS showed excellent psychometric characteristics, with a high Cronbach’s alpha, and test-retest reliability over 15 days. Significative correlation indices were seen between DFS and convergent and divergent measures. ROC analysis identified 17 on the overall score as the best cut-off for FA. The two-factor model on the CFA fitted the data reasonably well, showing good incremental and comparative fit indexes.

The Italian version of the DFS reported excellent psychometric properties and thus may be considered a reliable tool for both research and clinical settings. 

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