Validity and Reliability of the Body-Esteem Scale Among a Diverse Sample of Preadolescent Youth

Marisol Perez, Samantha F. Anderson, Taryn Henning, Kimberly Y. Yu, Francesca Gomez, Jenna Stadheim, Jaimee N. Virgo, Sarah G. Hidalgo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Researchers have called for more psychometric research on body image assessment measures in children. The Body-Esteem Scale (BES) is a commonly used 24-item measure of self-evaluation of body image in youth, yet only one study has evaluated the psychometric properties of this measure in preadolescent children. The goal of the present study was to replicate and extend the original psychometric work on the BES by examining the factor structure, reliability, and convergent validity in a diverse sample of children ages 9–11 years old. Teachers who taught 4th and 5th-grade students in the United States were invited to participate. A total of 556 students completed an online survey in their classrooms. Findings indicate a one-factor model best fits the data after eliminating three BES items. The BES had strong scale score consistency. Supporting the convergent validity of the BES, body-esteem scores were positively correlated with general self-esteem and body satisfaction scores, while negatively correlated with body dissatisfaction, engagement in appearance conversations, and social comparison scores. There were no significant group differences on mean BES scores between gender and grade level. Overall, the BES is suitable to assess the body esteem of preadolescent children. Future research needs to replicate these findings and examine the BES’s ability to detect a change in body-esteem scores across time in youth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)396-404
Number of pages9
JournalPsychological Assessment
Issue number5
StatePublished - Feb 9 2023


  • Body-Esteem Scale
  • body image
  • body satisfaction
  • children
  • preadolescent youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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