Development and Validation of the New Somatomorphic Matrix–Male: A Figural Rating Scale for Measuring Male Actual–Ideal Body Discrepancy

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This study aimed to develop and examine the validity evidence of the New Somatomorphic Matrix–Male (NSM-M) as a measure of actual–ideal body discrepancy. The NSM-M is a visual matrix of 34 male bodies that vary along two dimensions: body fat percentage (range = 4–40%) and muscularity (fat-free mass index; range = 16.5–30 kg/m2; 36.4–66.1 lbs/m2). In Study 1, participants were 2,733 sexual minority males recruited via a geosocial networking smartphone application. Participants selected their “actual” and “ideal” bodies on the NSM-M and additionally completed questionnaires measuring body dissatisfaction, eating disorder symptoms, quality of life, and anabolic steroid use. In Study 2, participants were 33 males from a community sample. They completed the NSM-M across two sessions, 7–14 days apart. NSM-M scores demonstrated concurrent and convergent validity as a measure of male body dissatisfaction. In addition, NSM-M scores discriminated between steroid users and nonusers, and between body mass index categories. The NSM-M also demonstrated sound test–retest reliability across a 7- to 14-day period. In sum, the NSM-M is validated figural measure of male actual–ideal body discrepancy with notable strengths, including fast administration time and enhanced ecological validity.

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