A measure has been developed which assesses a broad range of attitudes which women hold towards their bodies. The Ben-Tovim Walker Body Attitudes Questionnaire (BAQ) is a 44-item self-report questionnaire whose subscales encompass six distinct aspects of body experience (feelings of overall fatness, self-disparagement, strength, salience of weight, feelings of attractiveness and consciousness of lower body fat). The development of the BAQ involved administering increasingly refined versions to a wide range of female respondents. The final version appears to have satisfactory psychometric properties. When the BAQ scores of 29 patients with anorexia nervosa were compared with those of a large community sample, a more complex pattern of deviant attitudes appeared than would previously have been suspected. The BAQ appears to have potential as a research instrument in this and other fields in which the measurement of attitudes towards the body is important.
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