Document Type

Article

Publication Date

3-2014

Department

Psychology

Language

English

Publication Title

Journal Of Eating Disorders

Abstract

Background: Although score reliability is a sample-dependent characteristic, researchers often only report reliability estimates from previous studies as justification for employing particular questionnaires in their research. The present study followed reliability generalization procedures to determine the mean score reliability of the Eating Disorder Inventory and its most commonly employed subscales (Drive for Thinness, Bulimia, and Body Dissatisfaction) and the Eating Attitudes Test as a way to better identify those characteristics that might impact score reliability.
Methods: Published studies that used these measures were coded based on their reporting of reliability information and additional study characteristics that might influence score reliability.
Results: Score reliability estimates were included in 26.15% of studies using the EDI and 36.28% of studies using the EAT. Mean Cronbach's alphas for the EDI (total score = .91; subscales = .75 to .89), EAT-40 (total score = .81) and EAT-26 (total score = .86; subscales = .56 to .80) suggested variability in estimated internal consistency. Whereas some EDI subscales exhibited higher score reliability in clinical eating disorder samples than in nonclinical samples, other subscales did not exhibit these differences. Score reliability information for the EAT was primarily reported for nonclinical samples, making it difficult to characterize the effect of type of sample on these measures. However, there was a tendency for mean score reliability to be higher in the adult (vs. adolescent) samples and in female (vs. male) samples.
Conclusions: Overall, this study highlights the importance of assessing and reporting internal consistency during every test administration because reliability is affected by characteristics of the participants being examined.

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© Gleaves et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2014

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

DOI

10.1186/2050-2974-2-6

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