Measuring eating concerns in Black and White adolescent girls




Few instruments exist to measure eating concerns in adolescent girls from diverse ethnic backgrounds.


A Children's version of the Eating Disorder Inventory (EDI-C) has been under development for several years and was designed to be more appropriate for younger children with lower reading levels. However, little is known about the validity of this instrument. The current study reports on the factor structure of an early version of the EDI-C using nonclinical samples of 1,073 White and 1,155 Black girls (ages 11–12).


Factor analysis resulted in an eight-factor solution for each group that included a weight concerns factor and an emotional distress factor. For Black girls only, the positively worded items from the Body Dissatisfaction subscale loaded on a separate factor. Four of five factors were similar to the original EDI subscales (Bulimia, Interpersonal Distrust, Maturity Fears, and Perfectionism), although the latter was unique to White girls.


The factor structure was generally similar for Black and White girls, although the separate body satisfaction factor and lack of shared variance for the perfectionism factor for Black girls suggest that EDI data obtained from ethnic minority samples may need to be interpreted cautiously. © 2004 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 35: 179–189, 2004.