Validation of an existing measure of eating disorder risk for use with early adolescents

Carolyn M. Pearson, Leila Guller, Laura McPherson, Carl W. Lejuez, Gregory T. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This study tested a brief eating disorder risk measure, originally developed for use with college students, in young adolescents. The measure is called the COEDS (College Eating Disorders Screen) and is constructed of items written in everyday language used by youth to discuss weight issues, rather than in the language of symptom assessment. A sample of 246 early adolescents (mean age, 13) completed questionnaire measures of puberty, eating disorder behavior, and eating disorder risk two times in a 12-month span. We found that: (a) the COEDS was internally consistent; (b) COEDS scores were stable across one year; and (c) COEDS scores predicted restricting and compensatory behavior one year later, above and beyond prediction from sex, race, prior restricting and compensatory behavior, and prior BMI. The COEDS appears to be a reliable and valid measure for risk assessment in youth; it may prove useful for researchers and clinicians interested in screening for risk and as a means to test whether prevention efforts have reduced risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-118
Number of pages6
JournalEating Behaviors
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
In part, this research was supported by NIDA grant RO1DA019405 to Carl W. Lejuez.


  • Adolescents
  • Assessment
  • Eating disorders
  • Restricting behavior
  • Risk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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