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      Correspondence between alternate measures of maladaptive exercise, and their associations with disordered eating symptomatology


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          Aims: The study sought to contribute to the measurement of maladaptive exercise by examining the psychometric properties of a variety of instruments and classification algorithms. The primary aim was to identify the items or scales necessary and sufficient to quantify the construct. A secondary aim was to comment on the construct validity of these measures by examining their relationships with disordered eating symptomatology. Methods: Questionnaire booklets comprising the Exercise Dependence Scale, the Obligatory Exercise Questionnaire, the Frequency, Intensity, Time Index, and the Eating Attitudes Test were distributed to women attending health and fitness centres. Self-reported age, height, current and desired weight, and length of time as a regular exerciser were also sought. Data were obtained from 302 regular exercisers. Results: While there were statistically significant associations among the measures, no two operationalised maladaptive exercise in the same manner. The Frequency-Intensity-Time Index (FIT) was found to be particularly poor. While variation in the size of relationships between maladaptive exercise and disordered eating was noted, all measures were strongly correlated with the exception of FIT, which demonstrated a modest correlation. Conclusions: Different conceptualisations of maladaptive exercise have led to alternative operational definitions, resulting in its classification being instrument dependent. Further exploration using samples with differing characteristics (e.g., high/low probability of dependence) may allow more specific recommendations to be made about the optimal measurement of maladaptive exercise. Further, the question of whether maladaptive exercise is more likely a cause or consequence of eating disorders remains.

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              The Eating Attitudes Test: an index of the symptoms of anorexia nervosa

              Psychological Medicine, 9(2), 273-279 Data on the development of a 40-item measure of the symptoms in anorexia nervosa are reported. The scale (EAT) is presented in a 6-point, forced choice, self-report format which is easily administered and scored. The EAT was validated using 2 groups of female anorexia nervosa patients ( = 32 and 33) and female control subjects ( = 34 and 59). Total EAT score was significantly correlated with criterion group membership( = 0·87, < 0·001), suggesting a high level of concurrent validity. There was very little overlap in the frequency distributions of the 2 groups and only 7% of the normal controls scored as high as the lowest anorexic patient. Female obese and male subjects also scored significantly lower on the EAT than anorexics. Recovered anorexic patients scored in the normal range on the test, suggesting that the EAT is sensitive to clinical remission.

                Author and article information

                J Behav Addict
                Journal of Behavioral Addictions
                Akadémiai Kiadó (Budapest )
                September 2013
                20 August 2013
                : 2
                : 3
                : 153-159
                1School of Psychology, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia
                2School of Medicine, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia
                Author notes
                *Haidee J. Lease is now a Research Project Officer with the Food and Nutritional Sciences Unit of the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation.
                **Corresponding Author: Assoc. Prof. Malcolm J. Bond, Discipline of General Practice, School of Medicine, Flinders University; GPO Box 2100, Adelaide SA 5001, Australia; Phone: +61 8 7221 8503; Fax: +61 8 7221 8544; malcolm.bond@ 123456flinders.edu.au
                © 2013 Akadémiai Kiadó

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                : 21 May 2013
                : 25 June 2013
                Full-Length Report

                maladaptive exercise,construct validity,disordered eating symptomatology


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