Gender-based differential item functioning in common measures of body dissatisfaction

Erin E. Reilly, Lisa M. Anderson, Katherine Schaumberg, Drew A. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Many widely used measures of body image were developed using all-female samples and thus may not adequately capture the male experience of body dissatisfaction. The current study examined differential item functioning (DIF) in three commonly-used measures of body image: The Body Shape Questionnaire (N= 590, 39.7% male), the Body Dissatisfaction subscale of the Eating Disorders Inventory (N=529, 44.6% male), and the Shape and Weight Concern subscales of the Eating Disorders Examination Questionnaire (N=1116, 43.5% male). Participants completed a series of measures evaluating body image and eating pathology. Results evidenced statistically significant DIF in several of the items; one item met criteria for clinically significant DIF. While most items did not evidence clinically elevated levels of DIF, additional evaluation is necessary in order to determine overall quality of the measures in terms of capturing the experience of male body image concerns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)206-209
Number of pages4
JournalBody Image
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Body dissatisfaction
  • Body image
  • Differential item functioning


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