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Cultural adaptation and validation of the Body Esteem Scale for Adults and Adolescents for use in English among adolescents in urban India

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Kirsty M. Garbett, Helena Lewis-Smith, Anshula Chaudhry, Nora Uglik-Marucha, Silia Vitoratou, Hemal Shroff, Megha Dhillon, Phillippa C. Diedrichs

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-254
Number of pages9
JournalBody Image
Early online date18 Mar 2021
Accepted/In press27 Feb 2021
E-pub ahead of print18 Mar 2021
Published30 Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: This work was supported the Dove Self-Esteem Project (Unilever) . SV acknowledges partial financial support from the Department of Health via the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Specialist Biomedical Research Centre for Mental Health award to the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) and the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London . The funders had no role in data analysis, decision to publish, or manuscript preparation. The Dove Self-Esteem Project (Unilever) were permitted to review the manuscript and suggest changes, but the authors exclusively retained the final decision on content. The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of Unilever, the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care. Publisher Copyright: © 2021 Elsevier Ltd Copyright: Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

King's Authors


Body image research is growing in India; however, there are no psychometrically valid measures to assess body image concerns among an Indian population. In this study, the Body Esteem Scale for Adults and Adolescents (BESAA) underwent adaptation and validation among urban Indian adolescents in English. Cultural adaptations were made in consultation with body image experts and acceptability interviews with adolescents in India. 1462 adolescents living in Northern India completed the adapted BESAA and measures to assess construct validity. For girls, a 15-item three-factor model provided the best fit to our data, using exploratory factor analysis, with ‘Appearance-Negative’, ‘Appearance-Positive’, and ‘Weight’ subscales. For boys, a 7-item two-factor model provided best fit, with ‘Appearance-Negative’ and ‘Appearance-Positive’ subscales. Models were confirmed via confirmatory factor analysis. The scales demonstrated good internal consistency and satisfactory test-retest reliability. Construct, convergent validity was supported for girls and boys through significant correlations with figure rating scales and disordered eating. Further analyses using common items across the female and male scales, produced a psychometrically sound scale that can be used comparatively across genders. This study presents a culturally adapted, shortened BESAA as a valid and reliable measure to assess body image concerns in English among urban Indian adolescents.

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