A single summative global scale of disordered eating attitudes and behaviors: Findings from Project EAT, a 15-year longitudinal population-based study

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Abstract

Objective: The Project EAT Disordered Eating Attitudes and Behaviors (DEAB) scale was created from disordered eating attitudes and behaviors that tend to interrelate. To examine the appropriateness of the scale, we assessed the fit (i.e., how well a single latent factor fits a set of interrelated disordered eating attitudes and behaviors) and the convergent validity over time. Method: Five interrelated disordered eating attitudes and behaviors were assessed in a longitudinal cohort (Project EAT, age 11 to 18 in 1998–1999, N = 1492). Confirmatory factor analysis examined the appropriateness of the DEAB scale. To examine whether individual variables function differently in relation to the latent construct across time, two models were compared: one requiring indicator-level factor loadings to remain equivalent across three time points (baseline [EAT-I], five-year follow-up [EAT-II], and 15-year follow-up [EAT-IV]), and the second allowing the factor loadings to vary over time. To examine the convergent validity, Pearson correlation with body satisfaction, self-esteem, depressive symptoms, and BMI was compared across time. Results: The fit indices for a single factor structure supported the use of the DEAB scale over time (standardized loadings: 0.60–0.87, 0.67–0.89, 0.59–0.77 at EAT-I, II, and IV respectively). As hypothesized, compared to fewer number of disordered eating attitudes and behaviors, greater number of attitudes and behaviors was associated with lower body satisfaction and self-esteem, and greater depressive symptoms and BMI (p < .01). Discussion: The Project EAT DEAB scale can be used as a proxy to measure the severity of disordered eating attitudes and behaviors over time in population-based studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101418
JournalEating Behaviors
Volume39
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Data collection for the study was supported by Grant Number R01HL116892 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (PI: Dianne Neumark-Sztainer). The authors' time to conduct and describe the analysis reported within this manuscript was supported by Grant Number R35HL139853 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (PI: Dianne Neumark-Sztainer). Cynthia Yoon's time was supported by Award Number T32DK083250 (PI: Robert W. Jeffery) from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Melissa Simone's time was supported by the Award Number T32MH082761 (PI: Scott Crow) from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institute of Mental Health, or the National Institutes of Health.

Funding Information:
Data collection for the study was supported by Grant Number R01HL116892 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (PI: Dianne Neumark-Sztainer). The authors' time to conduct and describe the analysis reported within this manuscript was supported by Grant Number R35HL139853 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (PI: Dianne Neumark-Sztainer). Cynthia Yoon's time was supported by Award Number T32DK083250 (PI: Robert W. Jeffery) from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases . Melissa Simone's time was supported by the Award Number T32MH082761 (PI: Scott Crow) from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institute of Mental Health, or the National Institutes of Health.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Confirmatory factor analysis
  • Disordered eating behaviors
  • Factor structure
  • Longitudinal study

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