The weight and shape checking inventory (WSCI): establishing the psychometric properties of a new measure of body checking

Smith, Stacy (2016) The weight and shape checking inventory (WSCI): establishing the psychometric properties of a new measure of body checking. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Anorexia nervosa has the highest mortality rate of any mental disorder among young women. Anorexia nervosa is also very difficult to treat; sufferers often identify with the disorder and can be resistant to change. Body checking (ex: pinching for fatness, frequent weighing) has been proposed as a key mechanism in the development and maintenance of anorexia nervosa, and has been increasingly identified as an important target for treatment. With this has come the need for practical and effective ways to both assess and monitor this behaviour. The current research presents the development and validation of a new measure of body checking: the 11-item Weight and Shape Checking Inventory (WSCI). This tool was designed to capture the type of body checking done by individuals with anorexia nervosa, and to facilitate monitoring and assessment of this behaviour. In order to examine the psychometric properties of this new questionnaire, data were collected from two samples: (a) women with anorexia nervosa entering the Eating Disorders Program at the Toronto General Hospital (n=328), and (b) undergraduate women from Memorial University (n=110). Participants were administered a battery of questionnaires that included the WSCI along with established measures of related constructs, such as the Body Checking Questionnaire (BCQ), the Body Image Avoidance Questionnaire (BIAQ), the Body Shape Questionnaire (BSQ), and the Eating Disorder Examination – Questionnaire (EDE-Q). Evidence of reliability (test-retest and internal consistency) and of validity (construct, criterion, and discriminant) of the WSCI was found in both samples, and the measure was found to predict severity of eating disorder psychopathology. Individuals with the binge-eating/purging subtype of the disorder (AN-BP) reported significantly more body checking behaviours than did individuals with the restricting subtype (AN-R). The measure was found to reliably discriminate between anorexia nervosa cases and undergraduate controls, and was found to be much more effective than the existing Body Checking Questionnaire (BCQ) at discriminating the restricting subtype in particular. This research thus contributes to knowledge of the role of body checking in anorexia nervosa. It also establishes the psychometric properties of the WSCI, and shows promise for its use as a new tool in both research and clinical practice.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
Item ID: 12420
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 108-122).
Keywords: Body checking, Anorexia Nervosa, Psychometrics, Weight and Shape Checking Inventory, Assessment
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Psychology
Science, Faculty of > Psychology
Date: August 2016
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Anorexia nervosa; Anorexia nervosa--Diagnosis; Patient monitoring

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