The Sociocultural Attitudes Towards Appearance Scale-3 (SATAQ-3): Development and Validation

J. Kevin Thompson, Patricia Van Den Berg, Megan Roehrig, Angela S. Guarda, Leslie J. Heinberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

816 Scopus citations


Objective: The goal of this investigation was to develop and validate a revision of a widely used measure of societal influences on body image and eating disturbances-the Sociocultural Attitudes Towards Appearance Questionnaire (SATAQ). Method: Two independent samples of college females completed a revision and extension of the SATAQ and factor analyses were conducted to determine the underlying structure of the revised scale. Results: Factor analyses indicated two distinct internalization factors: one appeared to reflect a generic media influence related to TV, magazines, and movies. A second factor clearly reflected internalization of athletic and sports figures. Two other factors, reflecting media pressures and media as an informational source, also emerged. Another widely used measure of thin-ideal internalization, the Ideal Body Internalization Scale-Revised (IBIS-R), was included in factor analyses to determine its empirical relationship with the revised SATAQ. None of the IBIS-R items loaded with any of the internalization items or items reflective of media pressures or information. Instead, the IBIS-R appeared to tap into an awareness of appearance norms dimension. The SATAQ-3 subscales had excellent convergent validity with measures of body image and eating disturbance. Eating-disturbed and eating-disordered samples had higher scores on SATAQ-3 subscales than a control sample. Discussion: The SATAQ-3 measures multiple aspects of a societal influence and should prove useful for basic risk factor work as well as for gauging the efficacy of prevention and treatment programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-304
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Body image
  • Eating disturbances
  • Internalization factors
  • SATAQ-3

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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