Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

J. Kevin Thompson, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jane Jorgenson, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jennifer Bosson, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Robert Dedrick, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jonathan Rottenberg, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Eric Storch, Ph.D.


appearance comparison, measurement, body image, disordered eating


Both theory and research implicate appearance comparison processes in the development of body image disturbance and disordered eating. Although several measures of appearance comparison exist, each has significant limitations. The Physical Appearance Comparison Scale-Revised (PACS-R) and its earlier versions are measures designed to assess the frequency of appearance comparisons among men and women. In the current study, the PACS-R was revised to (a) examine comparisons of weight/shape, muscularity, and overall physical appearance, (b) include items to assess comparisons with distal targets, (c) provide an assessment of upward versus downward comparisons, and (d) provide an assessment of the acute emotional impact of comparisons. The psychometric properties of the newly revised measure, labeled the PACS-3, were then examined in a college sample. The PACS-3 was administered to 1,533 college men and women, along with existing measures of appearance comparison, body satisfaction, eating pathology, and self-esteem. In Study 1, exploratory factor analysis was conducted to examine the factor structure of the PACS-3. In Study 2, confirmatory factor analysis was conducted to verify the resulting factor structure. In addition, the internal consistency, convergent validity, incremental validity, and two-week test-retest reliability of PACS-3 scores were examined. The final PACS-3 is comprised of 27 items and nine subscales: Frequency: Proximal, Frequency: Distal, Frequency: Muscular, Direction: Proximal, Direction: Distal, Direction: Muscular, Effect: Proximal, Effect: Distal, Effect: Muscular. PACS-3 subscale scores demonstrated good reliability and convergent validity. Moreover, PACS-3 subscales improved the prediction of body satisfaction and disordered eating relative to existing measures of appearance comparison, supporting the incremental validity of the scale. Future research may seek to examine the psychometric properties of the scale in more diverse samples, as well as associations between the PACS-3 and additional theoretically related constructs (e.g., drive for muscularity).