Validation of the SCOFF questionnaire for screening of eating disorders among Mexican university students

  • Omar Sanchez-ArmassEmail author
  • Marcela Raffaelli
  • Flavia Cristina Drumond Andrade
  • Angela R. Wiley
  • Aida Nacielli Morales Noyola
  • Alejandra Cepeda Arguelles
  • Celia Aradillas-Garcia
Original Article



To evaluate the criterion validity and diagnostic utility of the SCOFF, a brief eating disorder (ED) screening instrument, in a Mexican sample.


The study was conducted in two phases in 2012. Phase I involved the administration of self-report measures [the SCOFF and the Eating Disorder Inventory-2, (EDI-2)] to 1057 students aged 17–56 years (M age = 21.0, SD = 3.4; 67 % female) from three colleges at the Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosí, Mexico. In Phase II, a random subsample of these students (n = 104) participated in the eating disorder examination, a structured interview that yields ED diagnoses. Analyses were conducted to evaluate the SCOFF’s criterion validity by examining (a) correlations between scores on the SCOFF and the EDI-2 and (b) the SCOFF’s ability to differentiate diagnosed ED cases and non-cases.


EDI-2 subscales showed high correlations with the SCOFF scores proving initial evidence of criterion validity. A score of two points on the SCOFF optimized the sensitivity (78 %) and specificity (84 %). With this cutoff, the SCOFF correctly classified over half the cases (PPV = 58 %) and screened out the majority of non-cases (NPV = 93 %) providing further evidence of criterion validity. Analyses were repeated separately for men and women, yielding gender-specific information on the SCOFF’s performance.


Taken as a whole, results indicated that the SCOFF can be a useful tool for identifying Mexican university students who are at risk of eating disorders.


Eating disorders SCOFF Eating disorder inventory Eating disorder examination Validation Mexico 



Manuscript preparation was supported by a Research Travel Grant from the Office of International Programs and Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (to M. Raffaelli).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest

Ethical approval

The study was conducted in 2012 with Institutional Review Board approval.

Informed consent

Written informed consent was obtained from all the participants included in this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Omar Sanchez-Armass
    • 1
    Email author
  • Marcela Raffaelli
    • 2
  • Flavia Cristina Drumond Andrade
    • 3
  • Angela R. Wiley
    • 2
  • Aida Nacielli Morales Noyola
    • 1
  • Alejandra Cepeda Arguelles
    • 1
  • Celia Aradillas-Garcia
    • 4
  1. 1.School of PsychologyUniversidad Autónoma de San Luis PotosíSan Luis PotosíMexico
  2. 2.Department of Human Development and Family StudiesUniversity of Illinois at Urbana–ChampaignUrbanaUSA
  3. 3.Department of Kinesiology and Community HealthUniversity of Illinois at Urbana–ChampaignChampaignUSA
  4. 4.School of MedicineUniversidad Autónoma de San Luis PotosíSan Luis PotosíMexico

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