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Int J Eat Disord. 2008 Jan;41(1):72-81.

The children's DEBQ for assessment of restrained, emotional, and external eating in 7- to 12-year-old children.

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Department of Clinical Psychology, Behavioral Science Institute, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.



Construct an age adapted version of the Dutch Eating Behaviour Questionnaire (DEBQ) for measurement of restrained, emotional and external eating in 7- to 12-year-old children: the DEBQ-C.


The DEBQ-C was constructed and tested for its reliability, factorial validity, factorial invariance for sex, overweight (BMI-status), and age, and correlations with measures for unhealthy life style in one sample (382 boys and 387 girls). In a second sample (252 boys and 263 girls) correlations were obtained with measures for body dissatisfaction and parental feeding styles. Single and multigroup confirmatory factor analyses were used.


The fit measures for the three factor model and the factorial invariance models with respect to sex, BMI-status, and age were satisfactory. In the (sub) samples of the 7- to 12-year-olds Cronbach's alpha's ranged from .73 to .82 and there were satisfactory correlations (p < .01) with other measures.


The DEBQ-C should provide a useful measure for young children's emerging dietary restraint and overeating tendencies. The low prevalence of emotional eating indicates that most young children show the natural reaction to emotional stressors (loss of appetite when feeling lonely, depressed or afraid) and that emotional (over) eating at this age is quite abnormal.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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