The Assessment of Bulimic Symptomatology: Factorial Structure and Measurement Invariance of the Bulimic Investigatory Test, Edinburgh Across Gender and Age

  • Eduardo Fonseca-Pedrero
  • Susana Sierra-Baigrie
  • Mercedes Paíno
  • Serafín Lemos-Giráldez
  • José Muñiz


A wide variety of measurement instruments is available in the literature for the assessment of bulimic symptomatology. Among the most extensively used is the Bulimic Investigatory Test, Edinburgh (BITE) (Henderson and Freeman 1987). This chapter reviews the psychometric and epidemiological studies which have used the BITE as a clinical or research tool. In addition, an empirical study which examined the psychometric properties and measurement invariance of the BITE, in a community nonclinical adolescent Spanish sample, is described. In accordance with previous literature, the results showed that the BITE is a measurement instrument which presents adequate psychometric properties. The level of internal consistency for the Symptom subscale was.95, whereas for the severity subscale it was.70. The analysis of the dimensionality of the BITE using exploratory factor analysis revealed a one-factor solution. In addition, the confirmatory factor analysis showed adequate fit indices for the one-factor solution. This dimensional structure proved to be invariant across the adolescents’ gender and age. Statistically significant differences were found as a function of age and gender when the groups were compared in the latent means. In general terms, the BITE is an adequate instrument for the assessment of bulimic symptomatology in adolescents. Future studies should incorporate the new advances in psychological and educational assessment pertaining to computer adaptive tests as well as examine the measurement invariance of the tests which assess bulimic symptomatology across cultures.


Measurement Invariance Eating Disorder Binge Eating Bulimia Nervosa Binge Eating Disorder 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



American Psychiatric Association


Bulimic Investigatory Test, Edinburgh


Bulimia Test


Computerized Adaptive Testing


Confirmatory Factor Analysis


Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders


Eating Attitudes Test-40


Eating Diagnostic Disorder Scale


Eating Disorder Examination


Eating Disorder Inventory-2


Item Response Theory


Measurement Invariance


Questionnaire for Eating Disorder Diagnoses



This research was funded by Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (MICINN) and by the Instituto Carlos III, center for Biomedical Research in the Mental Health Network (CIBERSAM). Project reference: BES-2006-12797, PSI 2008-03934 and PSI 2008-06220.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eduardo Fonseca-Pedrero
    • 1
  • Susana Sierra-Baigrie
  • Mercedes Paíno
  • Serafín Lemos-Giráldez
  • José Muñiz
  1. 1.Department of Psychology, Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Salud Mental, CIBERSAMUniversity of OviedoOviedoSpain

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