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Eat Behav. 2013 Apr;14(2):113-8. doi: 10.1016/j.eatbeh.2013.01.006. Epub 2013 Feb 6.

Validation of an existing measure of eating disorder risk for use with early adolescents.

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Department of Psychology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40508, USA.


This study tested a brief eating disorder risk measure, originally developed for use with college students, in young adolescents. The measure is called the COEDS (College Eating Disorders Screen) and is constructed of items written in everyday language used by youth to discuss weight issues, rather than in the language of symptom assessment. A sample of 246 early adolescents (mean age, 13) completed questionnaire measures of puberty, eating disorder behavior, and eating disorder risk two times in a 12-month span. We found that: (a) the COEDS was internally consistent; (b) COEDS scores were stable across one year; and (c) COEDS scores predicted restricting and compensatory behavior one year later, above and beyond prediction from sex, race, prior restricting and compensatory behavior, and prior BMI. The COEDS appears to be a reliable and valid measure for risk assessment in youth; it may prove useful for researchers and clinicians interested in screening for risk and as a means to test whether prevention efforts have reduced risk.

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