The development and validation of the Stirling eating disorder scales.
The thesis addresses three main research issues in eating disorders.
Study One compared anorexic, bulimic, obese dieters, non-obese dieters
and normal controls on measures of eating behaviour, perceived control,
assertiveness, self-esteem, and self-directed hostility. Results indicated
that eating disorder patients could be differentiated from both
dietary/weight concern groups and normal controls.
Study Two developed and validated a new primary eating disorder
assessment measure - the Stirling Eating Disorder Scales (SEDS>. The SEDS
were developed according to the Thurstone Method of scale construction and
fully standardised. Results indicated that the SEDS are internally
consistent, between group and concurrently valid, reliable, and are not
subject to gender or response bias.
Study Three assessed the SEDS in terms of sensitivity to detect change in
patients over treatment time. Eating disorder patients undergoing
treatment, completed the SEDS and two other standardised measures on three
occasions over six months. Results indicated that the SEDS are sensitive
and detect change in the patients dietary/behaviours and cognitive/emotions
over treatment time.
Study Four compared eating disorder groups with depressed and panic
disorder patients and normal controls on the SEDS and three other
psychological measures. Results indicated that eating disorder patients can
be differentiated from panic disorder and controls on all scales, but are
similar to depressed in terms of perceived external control, low
assertiveness, and low self-estee~ Differences/links between eating
disorders and other psychological groups and the criterion validity of the
SEDS are discussed.