The Sociocultural Attitudes Towards Appearance Scale-3 (SATAQ-3): Development and Validation

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SATAQ‐3, body image, eating disturbances, internalization factors

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Objective: The goal of this investigation was to develop and validate a revision of a widely used measure of societal influences on body image and eating disturbances—the Sociocultural Attitudes Towards Appearance Questionnaire (SATAQ).

Method: Two independent samples of college females completed a revision and extension of the SATAQ and factor analyses were conducted to determine the underlying structure of the revised scale.

Results: Factor analyses indicated two distinct internalization factors: one appeared to reflect a generic media influence related to TV, magazines, and movies. A second factor clearly reflected internalization of athletic and sports figures. Two other factors, reflecting media pressures and media as an informational source, also emerged. Another widely used measure of thin‐ideal internalization, the Ideal Body Internalization Scale‐Revised (IBIS‐R), was included in factor analyses to determine its empirical relationship with the revised SATAQ. None of the IBIS‐R items loaded with any of the internalization items or items reflective of media pressures or information. Instead, the IBIS‐R appeared to tap into an awareness of appearance norms dimension. The SATAQ‐3 subscales had excellent convergent validity with measures of body image and eating disturbance. Eating‐disturbed and eating‐disordered samples had higher scores on SATAQ‐3 subscales than a control sample.

Discussion: The SATAQ‐3 measures multiple aspects of a societal influence and should prove useful for basic risk factor work as well as for gauging the efficacy of prevention and treatment programs.

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International Journal of Eating Disorders, v. 35, issue 3, p. 293-304