The Body Cathexis Scale & Body Satisfaction in Women

Research Paper Title

Measuring body satisfaction in women with eating disorders and healthy women: appearance-related and functional components in the Body Cathexis Scale (Dutch version).

Background

Differentiating the concept of body satisfaction, especially the functional component, is important in clinical and research context. The aim of the present study is to contribute to further refinement of the concept by evaluating the psychometric properties of the Dutch version of the Body Cathexis Scale (BCS). Differences in body satisfaction between clinical and non-clinical respondents are also explored.

Methods

Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) were used to investigate whether functional body satisfaction can be distinguished as a separate factor, using data from 238 adult female patients from a clinical sample and 1060 women from two non-clinical samples in the Netherlands. Univariate tests were used to identify differences between non-clinical and clinical samples.

Results

EFA identified functionality as one of three factors, which was confirmed by CFA. CFA showed the best fit for a three-factor model, where functionality, non-weight, and weight were identified as separate factors in both populations. Internal consistency was good and correlations between factors were low. Women in the non-clinical sample scored significantly higher on the BCS than women with eating disorders on all three subscales, with high effect sizes.

Conclusions

The three factors of the BCS may be used as subscales, enabling researchers and practitioners to use one scale to measure different aspects of body satisfaction, including body functionality. Use of the BCS may help to achieve a more complete understanding of how people evaluate body satisfaction and contribute to further research on the effectiveness of interventions focussing on body functionality.

Reference

Rekkers, M.E., Scheffers, M., van Busschbach, J.T & van Elburg, A.A. (2021) Measuring body satisfaction in women with eating disorders and healthy women: appearance-related and functional components in the Body Cathexis Scale (Dutch version). Eating and Weight Disorders. doi: 10.1007/s40519-021-01120-9. Online ahead of print.

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