A New Measure of Weight Locus of Control: The Dieting Beliefs Scale

Department of Psychology, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Journal of Personality Assessment (Impact Factor: 1.84). 02/1990; 54(1-2):191-203. DOI: 10.1080/00223891.1990.9673986
Source: PubMed


This article describes the construction and preliminary validation of a new scale of weight locus of control, the Dieting Beliefs Scale. The 16 item scale demonstrated moderate internal consistency and high test-retest reliability in a sample of undergraduate women. Principal-components analysis suggested three factors. The three factors were interpretable and had distinct relations with a variety of weight-related and psychological variables. The results suggest that weight locus of control is a multidimensional construct, and they provide a possible explanation for the inconsistent findings concerning the relation between weight locus of control and dieting success. Implications for the study of dieting relapse and for the construction of treatment programs are discussed.

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    • "Those who have high internal weight locus of control, for example those who attribute their own weight problems to poor diet and lack of exercise, are more likely to be successful in their weight loss [8]. Alternatively, those with a high external weight locus of control are more likely to attribute bad luck, genes or even fate to their weight problems and are less likely to be successful in their weight loss pursuits [8]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Despite our best medical and behavioural strategies, the physical and mental health of the overweight and obese remains compromised. In an effort to improve treatment outcomes, research has begun to focus on (1) specific BMI categories, and (2) subjective well-being (SWB), a broad construct exploring how we evaluate and experience our lives. Positive psychology is concerned with SWB, through the application of variables associated with health, happiness and optimal functioning. To date, research exploring the relationship between BMI categories and SWB is lacking for community based Australians. This study employed a cross-sectional design using an online survey method (n=260). SWB and related variables were assessed over five BMI categories including normal, overweight, and obese classes one, two and three. Main findings suggest the class two and three obese demonstrated significantly lower scores on flourishing in comparison with the normal and overweight. The class three obese also demonstrated higher depression, and lower scores on agency and positive affect in comparison with the normal and overweight. Furthermore class two and three obese reported lower scores on pathways thinking than the overweight. Results provide preliminary support for the hypothesis that a lack of SWB may contribute to or maintain atypical BMI. Implications for treatment interventions are discussed. Copyright © 2015 Asian Oceanian Association for the Study of Obesity. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Obesity Research & Clinical Practice 06/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.orcp.2015.04.011 · 1.18 Impact Factor
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    • "Given that past research (e.g., Chambliss, Finley, & Blair, 2004) has shown a strong implicit anti-fat bias among fitness instructors and exercise science students, we first assessed participants' beliefs regarding weight loss (Stotland & Zuroff, 1990) and biases against overweight individuals (Crandall, 1994). Results of two 2-way (Condition × Exerciser's gender) ANOVAs showed no between group differences in these ratings. "
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    Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology 08/2012; 34(4):525-38. · 2.59 Impact Factor
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    • "Other studies, however, have found no difference in weight loss or dietary healthfulness between individuals with an internal compared with external locus of control (Nir and Neumann 1991; Murphy and others 2001). Although there are various domains within locus of control, such as the health domain (Wallston and Wallston 1978), social domain, nutrition domain, and weight domain (Stotland and Zuroff 1990), a review of the literature did not reveal that a food safety domain had been elucidated. Thus, because of the potential importance of the locus of control construct on food safety behaviors, this domain was defined and scales created. "
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    ABSTRACT:   Food mishandling is thought to be more acute among young adults; yet little is known about why they may engage in risky food handling behaviors. The purpose of this study was to create valid, reliable instruments for assessing key food safety psychosocial measures. Development of the measures began by examining published studies and behavior change theories to identify the psychosocial factors associated with personal health choices and 3 psychosocial factors were identified: beliefs, locus of control, and self-efficacy. Development of items for the belief questionnaire began by identifying the belief constructs that could provide insight into how food safety behavior change programs should be framed to evoke improved behaviors and drafting items. The locus of control questionnaire was modeled after the Health Locus of Control Questionnaire. Self-efficacy questionnaire development included defining self-efficacy, identifying environmental contexts affecting self-efficacy, and constructing an item pool. The questionnaires were pretested with young adults (n= 180) and refined. A pilot test (n= 77) was conducted to further refine the beliefs and self-efficacy questionnaires. Finally, young adults (n= 4343, mean age 19.9 ± 1.7 SD y) from 21 universities and colleges across the country completed the questionnaires. Analysis of their responses revealed that these questionnaires met or exceeded standards indicative of high-quality psychosocial food safety measures. These questionnaires should be useful in generating baseline data from adults as well as establishing the value of these measures in assessing the effectiveness of food safety interventions.
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