Body image : a multidimensional approach to measurement in individuals with eating disorders
Crowther-Rakochy, Wendy Patricia
Master of Arts
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Body image disturbance is an important aspect of both anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. To date, there has been little agreement on how to define and measure this. The current study views body image as a complex concept which reguires a multidimensional approach to measurement. Participants consisted of 60 women between the ages of 16-42. Thirty women diagnosed with either anorexia or bulimia formed the clinical group and thirty women drawn from the general population and screened using the Eating Disorder Symptom Checklist (EDI-SC) formed a control group. Subjects completed a battery of psychometric tests which included the Eating Disorder Inventory-II (EDI-2), the Multidimensional Self-Esteem Inventory (MSEI), the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and the Image Marking Procedure (IMP). Analysis revealed significant group differences on all subscales of the EDI-2, MSEI, and BDI as well as unanticipated significant mean differences on three of the measures on the IMP, (F=17.74, df=27,32, p<0.01). In addition, several significant correlations were found among the various measures within each group. Results of the study suggest that body image includes cognitive, attitudinal and perceptual components, is a significant part of a womans' self-concept, and that with respect to the groups in this study, body image disturbance can accurately differentiate between women with eating disorders and those without.