Examining measurement invariance of appetitive trait and ARFID symptom measures by food security status

Kaoon Francois Ban, Vivienne M. Hazzard, Hana F. Zickgraf, Shannon M. O'Connor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Measures assessing appetitive traits (i.e., individual differences in the desire to consume food) and disordered eating have generally been developed in predominantly food-secure populations. The current study aims to test measurement invariance (MI) for a measure of appetitive traits and a measure of Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) symptomology across food security status. Method: Data from a sample of mothers (n = 634) and two undergraduate samples (n = 945 and n = 442) were used to assess MI for the Adult Eating Behavior Questionnaire (AEBQ), which measures appetitive traits, and the Nine Item ARFID Screen (NIAS), which measures ARFID symptomology. Current food security was assessed using the 18-item USDA Household Food Security Survey Module, which was dichotomized into two groups: 1) the ‘food insecure’ group included marginal, low, and very low food security and 2) the ‘food secure’ group included high food security. Overall and multi-group confirmatory factor analyses were conducted separately for each measure in each sample. Results: Results demonstrated scalar (i.e., strong) MI for both measures across samples, indicating that these measures performed equivalently across food-secure and food-insecure individuals. Conclusion: Findings suggest that differences in appetitive traits by food security status observed in prior research are not artifacts of measurement differences, but instead reflect true differences. Additionally, past mixed results regarding the relationship between food insecurity (FI) and ARFID symptomology are not likely driven by measurement error when using the NIAS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number107304
StatePublished - Jun 1 2024

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© 2024

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  • Journal Article


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