• Pros and Cons of Eating Disorders;
  • principal components analyses;
  • P-CAN;
  • motivation;
  • ambivalence



The goals of the current study were to develop a questionnaire measuring the pros and cons of eating disorder symptoms and to explore the themes endorsed by different eating disorder groups.


Participants recruited from an eating disorder volunteer register and an outpatient clinic completed the Pros and Cons of Eating Disorders scale (P-CED). Principal components analyses (PCA) were performed to validate the factorial structure of the original items and to explore the factorial structure of the new items. Planned comparisons were used to compare P-CED scores between diagnostic groups.


PCA indicated a 10-factor solution for the original Pros and Cons of Anorexia Nervosa scale (P-CAN) items and a 4-factor solution for the new items. Participants with anorexia nervosa (AN) scored significantly higher than participants with bulimia nervosa (BN) on five of the P-CED subscales but there were no significant differences between the two AN subtypes.


The P-CED is a useful tool for identifying the positive and negative aspects of eating disorders that can be targeted in treatment or used as an outcome measure in research. © 2006 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2006.