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Keywords:

  • adolescents;
  • stages of change;
  • eating disorders;
  • assessment;
  • group therapy

Abstract

There has been little attention paid to the motivation of adolescents entering treatment for an eating disorder. The present study investigates a questionnaire designed to assess readiness to change based on Prochaska and DiClemente's model. The Motivational Stages of Change for Adolescents Recovering from an Eating Disorder (MSCARED) was examined with 34 adolescent girls attending one of six eating disorder treatment groups. The assessment prior to, and at the termination of the groups, included the MSCARED; Children's Depression Inventory (CDI); Perceived Body Image Scale (PBIS); Eating Disorders Inventory (EDI-2—pre-only); and, the Group Evaluation Form (post-only). The MSCARED proved to be easy for youth to complete, reliable, and demonstrated concurrent and predictive validity. While the group was beneficial to girls at each stage of change, greater gains were reported by those who started at a more advanced stage. The clinical and research implications of measuring motivation to change are discussed. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.