International journal of eating disorders vol:24 issue:2 pages:167-174
Objective: To assess the relationship between body size estimation on the one hand and clinical and psychological variables on the other. Method: Body size estimation was tested with the video distortion method on a life-size screen in normal women (n = 45) and compared to a fetal of 189 female eating disorder patients (100 with restricting anorexia nervosa, 41 with binging/purging anorexia nervosa, 48 with bulimia nervosa). The subjects' cognitive responses (what they think they really look like), affective responses (what they feel they look like), and optative responses (what they want to look like) were correlated with clinical parameters (including body composition) and with the scores on a series of self-report questionnaires assessing general psychological well-being and body experience. Results: No significant relationship was found between the body size estimations and the clinical variables. The cognitive and affective responses showed a moderate relationship with self-reported body attitude. Body dissatisfaction was negatively correlated with the optative response (desired body size). Discussion: This study contributes to the construct validity of the video distort ion method. Body size estimation includes more than just a perceptual task. Hence, the narrow notion of body image should be replaced by the more complex construct of "body experience," the multidimensionality of which should be addressed in both research and treatment of eating-disordered patients. (C) 1998 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.