Revising the Body Esteem Scale with a U.S. College Student Sample: Evaluation, Validation, and Uses for the BES-R
The Body Esteem Scale (BES; Franzoi and Shields 1984) has been a primary research tool for over 30 years, yet its factor structure has not been fully assessed since its creation, so a two-study design examined whether the BES needed revision. In Study 1, a series of principal components analyses (PCAs) was conducted using the BES responses of 798 undergraduate students, with results indicating that changes were necessary to improve the scale’s accuracy. In Study 2, 1237 undergraduate students evaluated each BES item, along with a select set of new body items, while also rating each item’s importance to their own body esteem. Body items meeting minimum importance criteria were then utilized in a series of PCAs to develop a revised scale that has strong internal consistency and good convergent and discriminant validity. As with the original BES, the revised BES (BES-R) conceives of body esteem as both gender-specific and multidimensional. Given that the accurate assessment of body esteem is essential in better understanding the link between this construct and mental health, the BES-R can now be used in research to illuminate this link, as well as in prevention and treatment programs for body-image issues. Further implications are discussed.