Development and Validation of a Tailored Measure of Body Image for Pregnant Women

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Abstract

This study developed and validated a quantitative measure of body image specifically designed for pregnancy—the Body Image in Pregnancy Scale (BIPS). Scale development was guided by qualitative data from a series of studies exploring the meaning of women’s body image experiences during pregnancy, and previously established body image measures. Exploratory factor analysis for a sample of pregnant women (n = 251) indicated good fit for a 36-item scale with seven factors: preoccupation with physical appearance, dissatisfaction with physical strength, dissatisfaction with facial features, sexual attractiveness, prioritizing physical appearance over body functioning, appearance-related behavioral avoidance, and dissatisfaction with body parts. BIPS subscale scores demonstrated good internal reliability, test–retest reliability, and both incremental and convergent validity with measures of body image, self-esteem, and depressive symptomatology. Although the pregnancy-focused wording of BIPS items prevents its use for comparisons with nonpregnant populations, further testing of changes in body image throughout pregnancy is an identified area for further research with this measure.

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