Development and validation of the Eating Disorders Screen for Athletes (EDSA): A brief screening tool for male and female athletes

Vivienne M. Hazzard, Lauren M. Schaefer, Allison Mankowski, Traci L. Carson, Sarah M. Lipson, Claire Fendrick, Ross D. Crosby, Kendrin R. Sonneville

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Objectives: To develop and validate the Eating Disorders Screen for Athletes (EDSA), a brief eating disorders screening tool for use in both male and female athletes. Methods: Data from Division I athletes at a Midwestern university (N = 434) were used to conduct exploratory factor analysis (EFA) by gender. Data from athletes competing at various levels at universities across the United States (N = 862) were then used to conduct confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curve analysis by gender. Athletes from a range of lean and non-lean sports were included. Gender-specific empirically derived cut-offs on the Eating Disorder Examination-Questionnaire were used to classify high eating disorder risk for ROC curve analysis. Measurement invariance by gender, level of competition, and sport type was also examined. Results: A six-item, one-factor structure for the EDSA was supported by EFA and CFA in both genders, and internal consistency was good for both male (α = 0.80) and female athletes (α = 0.86). ROC curve analyses indicated that the EDSA was highly accurate in predicting eating disorder risk status and identified a score of 3.33 as the optimal cut-off for both male (sensitivity = 0.96, specificity = .80) and female athletes (sensitivity = 0.96, specificity = .64). Results also supported strong measurement invariance for the EDSA by gender, level of competition (Division I versus club), and sport type (lean versus non-lean). Conclusions: The EDSA shows promise as a brief screening tool to identify male and female athletes at risk for eating disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101745
JournalPsychology of Sport and Exercise
StatePublished - Sep 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd


  • Athletes
  • Feeding and eating disorders
  • Psychometrics


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