They surveyed 867 residents of the Kharkov region between 2004 and 2007. Each resident filled out a 24 item fear survey schedule (Ivleva-Shcherbatyh questionnaire) where each fear was ranked on a scale from 1 to 10. Those fears were of:
Aggression possibility in relative
Communication with an authority
Diseases of relatives
Mental disorders development
Problems in a private life
Problems in the case of diseases of relatives
Responsible decision making
Sex function disorders
They reported results by gender for two generations - younger than 35 and older than 36. The younger generation grew up in an independent Ukraine, while the older generation was raised in the former USSR with its political regimentation.
Back in 2012 an article at Psychology Today by Glenn Croston titled The Thing We Fear More Than Death began by claiming that:
In this study for younger females fear of public speaking ranked 9th (and death was 17th), and for younger males it ranked 5th (and death was 14th). For older females it ranked 10th (and death was 14th), and for older males it ranked 14th (and death was 16th). Public speaking indeed was feared more than death, but it wasn’t hear the top of the fears list. Detailed results are shown in a series of four bar charts. Click on one to see a larger, clearer view.
The first bar chart shows fear rankings for 475 younger females. The top ten fears [and their 95% confidence intervals] are:
Diseases of relatives 7.6 [7.4 to 7.8]
Exam 6.6 [6.4 to 6.8]
Problems in the case of diseases of relatives 6.4 [6.2 to 6.6]
Problems in private life 5.8 [5.6 to 6.0]
Street violence 5.4 [5.2 to 5.6]
Animals 5.3 [5.1 to 5.5]
Poverty and Responsible decision making 5.2 [5.0 to 5.4]
Communication with an authority 5.1 [4.9 to 5.3]
Future uncertainty and Public speech 5.0 [4.8 to 5.2]
War 4.8 [4.6 to 5]
Public speech, 5.0, tied for 9th place with Future Uncertainty. Death and darkness 3.2 [3.0 to 3.4] were 17th, so speaking in public was more feared than death.
A second bar chart shows fear rankings for 257 younger males. The top ten fears [and their 95% confidence intervals] are:
Diseases of relatives 6.4 [6.0 to 6.8]
Exam 4.9 [4.5 to 5.3]
Problems in the case of diseases of relatives and Problems in private life 4.8 [4.4 to 5.2]
Responsible decision making 4.7 [4.3 to 5.1]
Public speech 4.2 [3.8 to 4.6]
Poverty 4.1 [3.7 to 4.5]
Street violence 3.9 [3.9 to 4.3]
Future uncertainty 3.8 [3.4 to 4.2]
Animals and Communication with an authority 3.7 [3.5 to 3.9]
Height 3.3 [2.9 to 3.7]
Public speech, 4.2, was in 5th place. Death 2.4 [2.2 to 2.6] was 14th, so again speaking in public was more feared than death.
For 23 of 24 fears the mean fear level for younger females was higher than for younger males. The exception was Aggression possibility to relatives, and it was higher by just 0.3. The largest difference was 1.7 for Exam, followed by 1.6 for Animals, Problems in the case of diseases of relatives, and war.
A third bar chart shows fear rankings for 101 older females. The top ten fears [and their 95% confidence intervals] are:
Diseases of relatives 7.8 [7.2 to 8.4]
Problems in the case of diseases of relatives 6.4 [5.8 to 7.0]
Depth 5.9 [5.3 to 6.5]
Animals 5.8 [5.2 to 6.4]
Exam and Poverty 5.2 [4.6 to 5.8]
Street violence and War 5.1 [4.5 to 5.7]
Problems in private life 4.9 [4.3 to 5.5]
Future uncertainty, Height, and Responsible decision making 4.8 [4.2 to 5.4]
Communication with an authority and Disease possibility 4.3 [3.7 to 4.9]
Public speech 4.2 [3.8 to 4.6]
Public speech, 4.2, was in 10th place. Death 3.3 [2.7 to 3.9] was 14th, so again speaking in public was more feared than death.
A fourth bar chart shows fear rankings for 34 older males. The top ten fears [and their very wide 95% confidence intervals due to the extremely small sample size] are:
Diseases of relatives 7.1 [6.1 to 8.1]
Problems in the case of diseases of relatives 5.6 [5.8 to 7.0]
Poverty and Responsible decision making 4.8 [3.8 to 5.8]
Problems in private life and War 4.5 [3.7 to 5.3]
Exam 4.2 [3.6 to 4.8]
Street violence 4.1 [3.3 to 4.9]
Ageing and Pain 4.0 [3.0 to 5.0]
Disease possibility 3.7 [2.7 to 4.7]
Future uncertainty 3.6 [2.6 to 4.6]
Height 3.5 [2.5 to 4.5]
Communication with an authority and Public speech 3.0 [2.4 to 3.6] was 14th and Death 2.8 [2 to 3.6] was 16th, so again speaking in public was more feared than death.
Perhaps Ukrainians have other things on their minds. (Today is the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster).