Measurement characteristics of weight concern and dieting measures in 8-10-year-old African-American girls from GEMS pilot studies

Nancy E Sherwood, Bettina M. Beech, Lisa M. Klesges, Mary Story, Joel Killen, Tiffany McDonald, Thomas N. Robinson, Charlotte Pratt, Ainong Zhou, Karen Cullen, Janice Baranowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Background. Reliability and validity were established for weight concern measures completed by 8-10-year-old African-American girls participating in a pilot obesity prevention program. Methods. Two hundred ten girls and parents participated in the program. Girls completed subscales of the McKnight Risk Factor Survey (MRFS) and body silhouette ratings, had height, weight, and body fat measured, wore accelerometers for 3 days, and completed two dietary recalls. Principal components analysis, internal consistency, and test-retest reliability were computed for weight concerns and body image measures along with convergent validity with body mass index (BMI), percent body fat (PBF), physical activity, and dietary intake. Results. A Moderate Weight Control Behaviors (MWCB) subscale was derived from the MRFS. Overconcern with Weight and Shape (OWS) was a stand-alone scale. Internal consistency estimates for the scales were substantial ranging from 0.71 to 0.84. Test-retest reliabilities were moderate (0.45-0.58). OWS, MWCB, body silhouette rating, and body size discrepancy were positively associated with BMI and PBF. The "like to look" silhouette rating was negatively associated with PBF. Conclusions. Weight concern measures had reasonable levels of internal consistency and promising validity, but only moderate test-retest reliability among preadolescent African-American girls. Refinement and further validation of weight concern measures in this population are warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)50-59
Number of pages10
JournalPreventive Medicine
Issue numberSUPPL.
StatePublished - May 2004


  • African-Americans
  • Body image
  • Dieting
  • Measurement
  • Psychosocial factors
  • Weight concern
  • Youth


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