Objectified Body Consciousness (OBC) in Eating Psychopathology: Construct Validity, Reliability, and Measurement Invariance of the 24-Item OBC Scale in Clinical and Nonclinical Adolescent Samples

Antonios Dakanalis, Alix C. Timko, Massimo Clerici, Giuseppe Riva, Giuseppe Carrà

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objectified body consciousness (OBC) appears to play a crucial role in eating and body-related disturbances, which typically emerge during adolescence. The 24-item OBC Scale (OBCS) has been employed in eating disorder (ED) research and school-based adolescent samples, but evidence for its psychometric proprieties exists only in adult (nonclinical) populations. We evaluated (a) the construct validity and reliability of the 24-item OBCS with data collected from 1,259 adolescent girls and boys from the community (Study 1) and 643 adolescents of both genders with an ED (Study 2) and (b) whether the instrument functions similarly and equivalently measures the underlying construct(s) across gender and samples (i.e., test of measurement equivalence/invariance; Study 3). Results upheld the three-factor structure and measurement equivalence/invariance of the 24-item OBCS across gender and samples. OBCS subscale scores were internally consistent and stable over a 4-week period. OBCS subscales discriminated community participants with high and low ED symptom levels with fair accuracy, as well as community participants from those with an ED. They were also associated with five constructs closely related to both OBC and ED psychopathology. Latent mean comparisons across samples and gender were performed and discussed. Implications and directions for future research are also outlined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)252-274
Number of pages23
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2017



  • adolescents
  • eating disorders
  • measurement invariance
  • objectified body consciousness scale
  • psychometrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology

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