Validation of eating and dieting expectancy measures in two adolescent samples

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Abstract

Objective

To demonstrate the validity of two measures of eating and dieting expectancies (The Eating Expectancy Inventory [EEI] and the Thinness and Restricting Expectancy Inventory, [TREI]) for use with adolescents.

Method

Seventh (N = 392) and tenth graders (N = 300) completed the Bulimia Test-Revised (BULIT-R), the Eating Disorder Inventory (EDI-II), and two factors of the Three-Factor Eating Questionnaire (TFEQ).

Results

Findings replicated for the two adolescent samples. The expectancy that thinness leads to overgeneralized life improvement correlated with measures of “successful” dieting, dieting plus disinhibition, and bulimic symptomatology. Expectancies for negative reinforcement from eating (e.g., eating helps manage negative affect and alleviate boredom) correlated with dieting plus disinhibition and bulimic symptoms, but not with successful dieting. Negative reinforcement from eating and reinforcement from thinness expectancies accounted for different bulimic symptom variance than that accounted for by the personality factors of perfectionism, interpersonal distrust, and ineffectiveness.

Discussion

Results were consistent with prior work on college and clinical samples, thus supporting use of the expectancy measures with adolescents. © 2002 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 31: 461–473, 2002.

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