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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    • "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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    • "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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