Psychometric Properties of the Body Esteem Scale for Adolescents and Adults in an Early Adolescent Sample

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Adolescence, Body esteem, Body image, Confirmatory factor analysis, Validity

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Background: Validation of body esteem measures in pre- and early adolescent male and female populations is essential as gender differences regarding weight and body size concerns often emerge during this developmental period.

Objective: The purpose of the current study was to analyze psychometric properties of the Body Esteem Scale for Adolescents and Adults (BESAA) in order to determine the utility of this instrument in a population of early adolescent males and females.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey was completed by 86 % of sixth-graders (N = 299) at a single US middle school.

Results: Confirmatory factor analysis provides support for two interpretable and interrelated subscales of the BESAA [Body esteem (BE)-weight and BE-appearance], both of which exhibit good internal consistency reliability and evidence of concurrent validity based on correlations with self-esteem and BMI. However, the following concerns about the BESAA were identified: (a) certain scale items may lack structural invariance across gender and developmental age group; (b) multiple items demonstrated a tendency to load on both factors; (c) several item pairs are similar in wording and/or meaning and show a tendency for correlated errors; and (d) an additional BE dimension assessing views about one’s muscle build and strength may be needed to fully capture body esteem among adolescent males.

Conclusions: Findings suggest cognitive interviewing and additional psychometric studies are needed for modifying the BESAA for use among early adolescents.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Eating and Weight Disorders, v. 18, issue 3, p. 275-282