Fatalism scale

Cummings‚ 1977
Additional items developed by Flewelling‚ Paschall & Ringwalt‚ 1993
1. If a person is not a success in life‚ it is his own fault.
2. Even with a good education‚ I’ll have a hard time getting the right kind of job.
3. People like me don’t have much of a chance in life.
4. Whether I get into trouble is just a matter of chance.
5. I can pretty much decide what will happen in my life.
(Items 4 and 5 were added by Flewelling‚ et al.‚ 1993.)
These items measure confidence in one’s ability to influence the future.
This instrument can be found on page 106 of Measuring Violence-Related Attitudes‚ Behaviors‚ and Influences Among Youths: A Compendium of Assessment Tools‚ available online at: http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/YV_Compendium.pdf
Students in grades 10-18.
Point values for items 1‚ 3 and 4 are assigned as follows:
Strongly agree = 4
Agree = 3
Disagree = 2
Strongly disagree = 1
Items 2 and 5 are reverse coded. Point values are summed for each respondent and divided by the number of items. The intended range of scores is 1-4‚ with a higher score indicating a more fatalistic view of one’s future (i.e.‚ less control over that future).

Cummings S. Family socialization and fatalism among black adolescents. Journal of Negro Education 1977;63:62-75.

Flewelling RL‚ Paschall MJ‚ Ringwalt CL. SAGE Baseline Survey. Research Triangle Park‚ NC: Research Triangle Institute‚ 1993. (Unpublished)