Factors derived from fatalism scales and their relationship to health-related variables

Oscar A Esparza, University of Texas at El Paso


Fatalism has been shown to predict several health behaviors, but researchers often find inconsistent results for the same behaviors across studies. This may be partially attributable to the diversity of fatalism measures used in previous studies. A review of the literature revealed 51 different scales, often with heterogeneous content. The 267 items from these scales were administered to a sample of 564 primarily Hispanic undergraduate students. Responses where analyzed using maximum likelihood exploratory factor analysis with Promax rotation. Five factors were extracted, reflecting Ineluctable Destiny, Helplessness, Externality, Luck, and Divine Control. Nine-item subscales representing each of the five factors were constructed to explore possible relationships with health behavior information. Scale reliabilities ranged from α = .81–.94, with one-week test-retest correlations ranging from .70–.88. This study is an important first step in understanding and measuring the complexity of the fatalism construct and how it relates to health behaviors and outcomes.

Subject Area

Personality|Psychological tests

Recommended Citation

Esparza, Oscar A, "Factors derived from fatalism scales and their relationship to health-related variables" (2005). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1430930.