Prevalence and Behavioral Styles of Fear of Flying

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Abstract

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition (DSM-IV), fear of flying is a specific situational phobia, but it has a heterogeneous character because it can be influenced by many other fears. Attention toward (monitoring) or away from (blunting) threatening information is influenced by people’s control of voluntary attention. In our online questionnaire study, 9,166 subjects (age 17–70 years) were selected for participation. The Flight Anxiety Modality (FAM) questionnaire and Miller Behavioral Style Scale (MBSS) were used to measure fear of flying and behavioral style. Also, demographic information was collected. Women reported a higher FAM sum score than men, as predicted. Participants who scored higher on the MBSS were found to have also scored higher on the FAM. Participants who had never flown before scored higher on the FAM than participants who had flown before. In this sample, monitoring can be associated with an increase in fear of flying. Future research should focus on gaining a more multicultural picture of fear of flying.

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