Effect of response format on endorsement of eating disordered attitudes and behaviors

Drew A. Anderson, Angela M. Simmons, Suzanne M. Milnes, Mitchell Earleywine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Objective: The present study was designed to compare response rates on a standard self-report questionnaire that was nominally anonymous to an unmatched count questionnaire that allowed for true anonymity in responding. Method: Four hundred and fifty-four college students were asked about several topics, including attitudes towards weight and shape, dieting, and eating disordered behavior using one of two response formats; either a standard questionnaire in true-false formal or an unmatched count questionnaire that did not require participants to directly answer sensitive questions. Results: Both males and females had significantly different rates of endorsement between the two methods of assessment on the majority of the eating-related questions. Conclusion: Response format and degree of anonymity affect endorsement of eating-related thoughts and behaviors. Understanding response bias is critical to determining accurate rates of eating disordered thoughts and behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)90-93
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Assessment
  • Dieting
  • Interview
  • Purge
  • Self-report
  • Unmatched count

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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