The Body-cathexis Scale is examined to assess its psychometric properties. Results indicate a strong unidimensional measure with high internal consistency. The Body Cathexis Scale (BCS) was the first psychometric instrument devised to measure body dissatisfaction. In this study we report the. The oriainal Bodv-cathexis Scale (BCS) used by Secord and Jourard () consisted of a list of 46 parts or aspects of the body. These were rated by.

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A psychometric investigation into the body-cathexis scale. Results indicate a strong unidimensional measure with high internal consistency. It is recommended as a scale for research into the role of body feelings in self-concept and personality. In addition to the purely kinaesthetic information gleaned from the body, much of the self-concept is dependent upon cultural attitudes to the physical attributes it possesses.

Consequently, a negative self-concept would be expected of an individual who perceives his or her body scalee falling short of culturally-determined ideals. These were rated by respondents according to a 5-point Likert scale ranging from strong positive to strong negative cathexis. The bkdy of vody in the scale has varied over subsequent studies. Split-half reliabilities for the scale reported by Secord and Jourard ranged from 0.

The BCS has been used in a variety of studies showing relationships to parental attitudes Remy,body size Jourard and Secord,somatic symptoms Johnson, and self-esteem Weinburg, There appears to be support for the use of the BCS in self-concept research and yet, despite this, there has been a paucity of psychometric investigation into the scale Wylie, ; Crandall, ; Bums, A recent attempt to correct this situation has been made by Tucker He investigated the principal component structure of a item version of the scale and discovered four orthogonal components which he designated, Health and Physical Fitness, Face and Overall Appearance, Subordinate and Independent Body Features and Physique and Muscular Strength.


Tucker also discovered a test-retest reliability coefficient of 0. Thorndike recommends a sample size of at least if the standard error in the inter-item correlation matrix is to be minimized.

This is a prerequisite of replicable factors. Respondents below the age of 17 were sampled from schools in Cork city and the remainder were students at University College, Cork; of the sample were female and were male.

Tucker-was reluctant to use both catehxis in his analysis-due to-evidence that sex influences feeling towards the body. Procedure The questionnaire was administered in groups during a class or lecture period. The scale was completed in all cathexid within 20 min.

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Only six questionnaires were dropped due scle inappropriate responding. The analysis was undertaken in two stages. The scals and standard deviations of each item were calculated to observe their ability to discriminate between Ss.

A Pearson product-moment inter-item correlation matrix was calculated and a maximum likelihood factor analysis was performed Joreskog, Summary of item statistics 0: Seven items did not have salient loadings of any of the factors. Factors manifesting an appropriate degree of determinancy were rotated to simple structure using the Oblimin procedure of Jennrich and Sampson However, all item means remained within the range No item showed a standard deviation small enough to justify its exclusion from the scale.

The resulting a was 0. Although the a coefficient was high, this could have been due to the large number of items acale the scale, consequently the inter-item correlations were examined.

Body cathexis

The items all lie within a positive manifold, the maximum inter-item correlation being 0. This finding further undermines claims of bidy multidimensional scale. It must be emphasized that such a procedure relaxes the criterion of detenninancy considerably and so no strong claim for the uniqueness of this solution can be made here. Nevertheless, the seven-factor solution, upon rotation, showed clear simple structure and ease of interpretation.


The loadings for each item on the rotated factors is shown in Table 2. The determinancy and factor correlations are shown in Table 3.

The items loading on this factor appear to have no common theme other than the fact that they are all body parts.

Body Cathexis Scale (Secord and Jourard ) | Psychology Resource Centre

Factor Svale is a body-built factor associated with weight, while Factor VI is a body-built factor associated with physique and muscular strength. The final factor VII from this analysis can be seen as a health and effectiveness factor.

In order for simple structure to be achieved the factors were rotated obliquely. The factor correlations reveal that they are not mutually independent as the smallest inter-factor correlation is 0.

A psychometric investigation into the body-cathexis scale | Sean Hammond –

The results suggest that the measure has unidimensional properties. Although seven factors were extracted, showing clear simple structure, they cannot he held to be very useful as independent operational constructs due to lack of determinancy. However, this analysis does suggest that a number of aspects of the body-self coalesce to form the strong unitary trait of body-cathexis. It is argued, on the basis of this investigation, that the BCS has good psychometric properties.

Considering the importance of the construct of body-self in notions of personality and self-concept, the scale clearly has utility in further psychological research. Theory, Cahhexis easurement, Development and Behaviour. Institute for Social Research, Ann. Gardner Press, New York. Skills 53, Remember me on this computer.

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