Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Name

Clinical Psychology

Other Degree Name/Area of Focus

Child/Family and Neuropsychology

Department or School/College

Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Cameo Stanick

Commitee Members

Duncan Campbell, Shan Guisinger, Cheryl Van Denburg, Jennifer Waltz


Eating Disorders, Evidence Based Assessment, Illness Attribution, Principal Components Analysis


University of Montana


Eating pathology may be triggered by a number of biological, environmental, personal, and social experiences. Research in the field of disordered eating has uncovered numerous intrinsic and extrinsic vulnerabilities to developing abnormal eating behavior, and these etiologies often impact the onset, severity, type, and prognosis of disordered eating behavior in varying ways. Further, a limited number of measures have been created to examine individualsÆ beliefs about why they are experiencing various mental health conditions (e.g. reasons for depression, developing substance dependence, etc.), which has implications for tailoring assessment and intervention. However, there is currently no such measure for individuals experiencing disordered eating. Objective: To develop and test the Inventory for Disordered Eating Attributions (IDEA) in order to assess the reasons individuals provide for their disordered eating behaviors and/or cognitions while offering pertinent data to their mental health provider(s) regarding case conceptualization, diagnosis, and treatment. Method: Questionnaire items were generated and vetted through a panel of experts in the fields of eating pathology and illness attribution. Next, proofed items were administered to a large undergraduate university sample (n = 424) along with a second eating measure and a demographic questionnaire in order to evaluate internal consistency, convergent validity, test-retest reliability, and to identify domains of attribution through principal components analysis. Results: Principal components analysis revealed a four-factor solution for the 20-item IDEA. The IDEA revealed strong psychometric properties, including a Global Score CronbachÆs Alpha of .90. Conclusions: The IDEA is a brief self-report measure with clinical utility across behavioral health disciplines and providers. Future research should explore how elevations on IDEA subscales correlate with treatment outcomes under various therapeutic modalities.



© Copyright 2016 Lindsay Katherine Crosby