The Eating Attitudes Test-26 Revisited using Exploratory Structural Equation Modeling
Most previous studies have failed to replicate the original factor structure of the 26-item version of the Eating Attitudes Test (EAT-26) among community samples of adolescents. The main objective of the present series of four studies (n = 2178) was to revisit the factor structure of this instrument among mixed gender community samples of adolescents using both exploratory structural equation modeling (ESEM) and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). First, results from the ESEM analyses provided satisfactory goodness-of-fit statistics and reliability coefficients for a six-factor model of the EAT with 18 items (EAT-18) closely corresponding to the original seven-factor structure proposed for the 40-item version of the EAT. Second, these analyses were satisfactorily replicated among a new sample of community adolescents using CFA. The results confirmed the factor loading and intercept invariance of this model across gender and age groups (i.e., early and late adolescence), as well as the complete invariance of the EAT-18 measurement model between ethnicities (i.e., European versus African origins) and across weight categories (i.e., underweight, normal weight and overweight). Finally, the last study provided support for convergent validity of the EAT-18 with the Eating Disorder Inventory and with instruments measuring global self-esteem, physical appearance, social physique anxiety and fear of negative appearance evaluation.
KeywordsDisordered eating attitudes and behaviors Eating attitudes test EAT Measurement CFA ESEM Exploratory structural equation modeling Measurement invariance Norms Reliability
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