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11-12-2015 | Uitgave 3/2016

Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment 3/2016

Effects of Weight Cue Reactivity on Self-Report Measures of Body Dissatisfaction

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment > Uitgave 3/2016
Auteurs:
Marshall T. Beauchamp, Tarrah B. Mitchell, Ric G. Steele

Abstract

Research has shown that answers on self-report measures can be influenced by a participant’s awareness of information regarding the study (“reactivity”). There exists a gap in the literature regarding weight cue reactivity on self-report measures of body dissatisfaction (BD). This type of reactivity involves exposing participants to information regarding their height, weight, or body mass index (BMI). Ninety-Nine participants (45.5 % female, mean age = 20.17, SD = 3.08) were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: proximal weight cue (being weighed before completing measures); distal weight cue (knowledge of impending measurement following questionnaire completion); and no weight cues (control), all before measures of BD. Perceived body size and BD were measured using the Stunkard Figure Rating Scale. Two separate ANCOVAs revealed a significant main effect for condition on self-reported perceived body size F [2,92] = 5.22, p = 0.01, η2 = 0.10, as well as on BD, F [2,92] = 9.46, p < 0.001, η2 = 0.17, while controlling for BMI. Both proximal and distal cues elicited elevated BD; only proximal cues elicited self-reported perceived body size. These results quantify the impact of weight cue reactivity effects on self-report measures and suggest that researchers and/or clinicians collect answers on such measures prior to anthropometric data.

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