Psychometric properties and gender invariance of the simplified Chinese version of Night Eating Questionnaire in a large sample of mainland Chinese college students

  • Jinbo HeEmail author
  • Feng Ji
  • Xiaoya Zhang
  • Xitao Fan
Original Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Sleep and Eating and Weight disorders



The Night Eating Questionnaire (NEQ) is the most frequently used instrument for assessing night eating syndrome (NES), and it has been translated to many languages, including a traditional Chinese version in Taiwan. However, significant differences exist in the social, linguistic, and cultural contexts between mainland China and Taiwan. For its use in mainland China, a simplified Chinese version is needed and its psychometric properties should be further evaluated. Thus, the current study aimed to obtain a simplified Chinese NEQ (SC-NEQ) and validate its psychometric properties.


According to standard procedures, the SC-NEQ was obtained by language transformation from the traditional Chinese version of NEQ. The SC-NEQ was then administered to 1273 mainland Chinese college students recruited from three provinces in mainland China.


The four-factor structure of the original English NEQ (morning anorexia, evening hyperphagia, mood/sleep, and nocturnal ingestions) was confirmed in the current sample. Moreover, a second-order model also fitted the data well. The SC-NEQ showed good reliability with a Cronbach’s alpha and omega of 0.70 and 0.83, respectively. The total score of the SC-NEQ was significantly and moderately correlated with eating pathology (r = .35, p < .01). Strong measurement invariance across gender groups was also supported.


These findings suggest that the SC-NEQ can be a useful tool to assess NES in mainland China.

Level of evidence

V, descriptive (cross-sectional) study.


Night eating syndrome Night eating questionnaire Validation Simplified Chinese 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

The study protocol was approved by the research office in Hunan Institute of Technology that is responsible for research ethics, and all procedures in this study were in accordance with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and later amendments.

Informed consent

Written consent forms were obtained from all participants.

Supplementary material

40519_2018_553_MOESM1_ESM.docx (28 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 28 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Tianjin UniversityTianjinChina
  2. 2.Hunan UniversityHunanChina
  3. 3.University of California at BerkeleyBerkeleyUSA
  4. 4.University of California at DavisDavisUSA
  5. 5.Chinese University of Hong Kong (Shenzhen)GuangdongChina

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