The (Mis)measurement of Body Image: Ten Strategies to Improve Assessment for Applied and Research Purposes

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Body image, Assessment, Methodology, Psychometrics

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Body image is a multifaceted construct consisting of a variety of measured dimensions. Research in the area has mushroomed in recent years, a phenomenon paralleled by an explosion in the assessments developed to measure some aspect of the construct. Unfortunately, these developments have not always been guided by a clear-cut attention to measurement issues. Assessment errors specific to the field of body image and also germane to basic psychological measurement strategies have characterized much of the work in the area. This article outlines 10 such issues with accompanying examples and suggestions for avoiding such pitfalls. Attention to these seemingly minor methodological details should result in a more consistent conceptualization of body image, utilization of appropriate measures in specific contexts, and engender more valid comparisons of findings across disparate studies.

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Body Image, v. 1, issue 1, p. 7-14