A multidimensional measure of core beliefs relevant to eating disorders: preliminary development and validation.
Fairchild H., Cooper M.
Core beliefs associated with eating disorders are likely to be multidimensional, and may not be adequately captured by existing measures. The current study aimed to develop such a measure and examine its relationship to eating disorder symptoms, anxiety, depression and putative diagnoses of their related disorders. Core belief items were rated by 500 female participants aged 18-65, who also completed self-report measures of eating disorder symptomatology, depression, anxiety, and self esteem. Factor analysis revealed five subscales, with themes related to (a) self loathing, (b) unassertive/inhibited, (c) high standards for self, (d) demanding and needing help and support and (e) abandoned/deprived. Thirty two items were selected for a final scale, the Eating Disorder Core Beliefs Questionnaire (ED-CBQ). The ED-CBQ subscales showed adequate internal consistency and construct (convergent and discriminant) validity. Self loathing appeared to be particularly associated with putative eating disorder diagnosis, while abandoned/deprived was more characteristic of putative anxiety and depression diagnoses. The findings suggest that negative core self beliefs relevant to those with an eating disorder are a multidimensional construct and that self loathing as a core belief merits further research and clinical attention.