Measuring binge eating in adolescents: Adolescent and parent versions of the questionnaire of eating and weight patterns

Authors

  • William G. Johnson,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, Mississippi
    • Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, University of Mississippi Medical Center, 2500 North State Street, Jackson, MS 39216-4505
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  • Frederick G. Grieve,

    1. Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, Mississippi
    Current affiliation:
    1. the Department of Psychology, Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, Tennessee
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  • Christina D. Adams,

    1. Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, Mississippi
    Current affiliation:
    1. the Department of Psychology, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia
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  • Jamie Sandy

    1. Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, Mississippi
    Current affiliation:
    1. the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Yeshiva University, Bronx, New York
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Abstract

Objective

This study investigated the psychometric properties of an adolescent version of the Questionnaire of Eating and Weight Patterns (QEWP-A).

Method

Male and female adolescents between 10–18 years completed the QEWP-A and measures of depression and eating attitudes. Height and weight were also measured. Parents completed a parental version (QEWP-P) that was referenced to their children. Adolescent and parent responses to the QEWP were independently categorized into no diagnosis (ND), nonclinical binge eating (NCB), and binge eating disorder (BED) groups.

Results

Adolescent and parental agreement over the diagnostic categories was as follows: 81.6% for ND, 15.5% for NCB, and 25% for BED with an overall kappa of .19. Adolescents with BED had significantly higher levels of depression than the other two groups with NCB being higher than ND. For eating attitudes, BED adolescents were more deviant than the other two groups who did not differ from one another.

Discussion

The QEWP-A displayed adequate concurrent validity. The low overall agreement between adolescents and their parents was influenced by high and low base rates in the NCB and BED categories, respectively. This lack of agreement is consistent with other behavioral problems such as depression. The data suggest that parental perceptions of eating problems approximate those of their children when no problem is present. However, parents are not as likely to be aware of eating difficulties when they actually exist. © 1999 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 26: 301–314, 1999.

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