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Body image during pregnancy: an evaluation of the suitability of the body attitudes questionnaire

Fuller-Tyszkiewicz, Matthew, Skouteris, Helen, Watson, Brittany and Hill, Briony 2012, Body image during pregnancy: an evaluation of the suitability of the body attitudes questionnaire, BMC pregnancy and childbirth, vol. 12, Article 91, pp. 1-11.

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Title Body image during pregnancy: an evaluation of the suitability of the body attitudes questionnaire
Author(s) Fuller-Tyszkiewicz, Matthew
Skouteris, Helen
Watson, Brittany
Hill, Briony
Journal name BMC pregnancy and childbirth
Volume number 12
Season Article 91
Start page 1
End page 11
Total pages 11
Publisher BioMed Central
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2012
ISSN 1471-2393
Keyword(s) pregnancy
body dissatisfaction
body attitudes questionnaire
measurement invariance
Summary Background
Available data suggest that body dissatisfaction is common during pregnancy and may even be a precursor to post-natal depression. However, in order to accurately identify at-risk women, it is essential to first establish that body image measures function appropriately in pregnant populations. Our study examines the suitability of the Body Attitudes Questionnaire (BAQ) for measuring body dissatisfaction among pregnant women by comparing the psychometric functioning of the BAQ: (1) across key phases of pregnancy, and (2) between pregnant and non-pregnant women. 

Methods:
A total of 176 pregnant women from Melbourne, Victoria filled out a questionnaire battery containing demographic questions and the Body Attitudes Questionnaire at 16, 24, and 32 weeks during pregnancy. A comparison group of 148 non-pregnant women also completed the questionnaire battery at Time 1. Evaluations of the psychometric properties of the BAQ consisted of a series of measurement invariance tests conducted within a structural equation modelling framework.

Results:
Although the internal consistency and factorial validity of the subscales of the BAQ were established across time and also in comparisons between pregnant and non- pregnant women, measurement invariance tests showed non-invariant item intercepts across pregnancy and also in comparison with the non-pregnant subgroup. Inspection of modification indices revealed a complex, non-uniform pattern of differences in item intercepts across groups.

Conclusions:
Collectively, our findings suggest that comparisons of body dissatisfaction between pregnant and non-pregnant women (at least based on the BAQ) are likely to be conflated by differential measurement biases that serve to undermine attempts to accurately assess level of body dissatisfaction. Researchers should be cautious in assessments of body dissatisfaction among pregnant women until a suitable measure has been established for use in this population. Given the fact that body dissatisfaction is often associated with maladaptive behaviours, such as unhealthy eating and extreme weight loss behaviours, and with ante-and post-natal depression, that have serious negative implications for women’s health and well-being, and potentially also for the unborn foetus during pregnancy, developing a suitable body image screening tool, specific to the perinatal period is clearly warranted.
Language eng
Field of Research 170110 Psychological Methodology, Design and Analysis
170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
Socio Economic Objective 920507 Women's Health
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2012, BioMed Central
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30056831

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Psychology
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Created: Wed, 16 Oct 2013, 14:41:18 EST by Matthew Fuller-tyszkiewicz

Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.