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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Measurement invariance of body image across the adult life span : can we compare across age and gender with body image measures? Rusticus, Shayna Ann


The issue of body image has been widely discussed in the literature as it pertains to adolescents and young adults; however, body image issues among older individuals, and especially among older men, have been largely ignored. Many of the instruments used to measure the theoretical construct of body image have largely been developed with younger populations. However, before these instruments can be applied to older populations, they must exhibit adequate cross-group equivalence. The hypotheses that the Multidimensional Body- Self Relations Questionnaire (MBSRQ), the Appearance Schemas Inventory-Revised (ASI-R), and the Body Image Quality of Life Inventory (BIQLI) can be used to make cross-age and gender comparisons was examined in a sample of 422 men (185 young, 131 middle-aged, 106 older) and 840 women (364 young, 267 middle-aged, 209 older). The results of the measurement invariance tests (i.e., configural, metric, and scalar) for the subscales of the MBSRQ clearly illustrate that the multidimensional nature of body image is perceived quite differently across the age and gender groups and thus the applicability of these subscales depends on both the characteristics of the sample and the goals of the study. The results for the ASI-R revealed that all groups, except for the older women, met requirements for all three levels of invariance tested and that comparisons may be conducted across age group for men and across gender for young and middle-aged adults. Results for the BIQLI indicated that comparisons may be conducted across all age and gender groups. The inferences that may be made at each level of configural, metric, and scalar invariance are highlighted. For those scales exhibiting scalar invariance, appropriate comparisons are conducted and discussed.

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