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Validation and Psychometric Properties of the Chinese Version of the Binge Eating Scale in Young Adults.

BACKGROUND: Although structured clinical interviews are considered the gold standard for assessing binge eating disorder (BED), the self-administered Binge Eating Scale (BES) has been widely used as a screening tool for BED in clinical research. However, the psychometric properties of the BES among Chinese young adults remain unclear. This study aimed to examine the validity of a Chinese version of the BES with a large sample.

METHODS: A total of 2182 young adult college students were tested using the Simplified Chinese version of BES (SCBES), the 7-Item Binge-Eating Disorder Screener (BEDS-7), the Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale (SDS), the Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale (GAD-7), and the Dual-Modes of Self-Control Scale (DMSC). The frequency of objective binge-eating episodes was used as a measure of severity. Validity and reliability of the SCBES were assessed through multiple analyses, along with the item analysis.

RESULTS: The data revealed that the SCBES demonstrated reasonable reliability and validity. The Cronbach's α value was 0.813, with a one-month test-retest reliability of 0.835. The exploratory factor analysis (EFA) extracted three first-order factors, which explained a total of 53.82% of the variance. The confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) confirmed the three-factor model (ie, Binge-eating behaviors, Lack of control, Negative affects related to overeating), with a good model fit. The SCBES also demonstrated excellent concurrent and criterion validity, significantly correlating with the BEDS-7 and frequency of objective binge-eating episodes ( r= 0.760-0.782, p <0.001). Gender, body mass index, depression, anxiety, impulsivity, and self-control were significantly associated with the total score of SCBES.

CONCLUSION: The SCBES demonstrated sound psychometric properties and exhibited good cross-cultural adaptability in Chinese young adults, with a novel three-factor model fitting the data best. This scale could serve as a useful screening tool for identifying the severity of binge eating behaviors among Chinese youths.

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