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Validity and factor structure of the bodybuilding dependence scale
  1. D Smith1,
  2. B Hale2
  1. 1Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences, University College Chester, University of Liverpool, Chester, UK
  2. 2University of Maine, Orona, Maine, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Smith
 Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences, University College Chester, Parkgate Road, Chester CH1 4BJ, UK;


Objectives: To investigate the factor structure, validity, and reliability of the bodybuilding dependence scale and to investigate differences in bodybuilding dependence between men and women and competitive and non-competitive bodybuilders.

Methods: Seventy two male competitive bodybuilders, 63 female competitive bodybuilders, 87 male non-competitive bodybuilders, and 63 non-competitive female bodybuilders completed the bodybuilding dependence scale (BDS), the exercise dependence questionnaire (EDQ), and the muscle dysmorphia inventory (MDI).

Results: Confirmatory factor analysis of the BDS supported a three factor model of bodybuilding dependence, consisting of social dependence, training dependence, and mastery dependence (Q  =  3.16, CFI  =  0.98, SRMR  =  0.04). Internal reliability of all three subscales was high (Cronbach’s α  =  0.92, 0.92, and 0.93 respectively). Significant (p<0.001) and moderate correlations were found between all BDS and MDI subscales, and between five of the eight EDQ subscales. A multivariate analysis of covariance, with univariate F tests and Tukey HSD tests, revealed that both male and female competitive bodybuilders scored significantly (p<0.05) higher on all three BDS subscales than the male and female non-competitive bodybuilders. However, there were no significant sex differences on any of the BDS subscales (p>0.05).

Conclusion: The three factor BDS appears to be a reliable and valid measure of bodybuilding dependence. Symptoms of bodybuilding dependence are more prevalent in competitive bodybuilders than non-competitive ones, but there are no significant sex differences in bodybuilding dependence.

  • bodybuilding
  • exercise dependence
  • muscle dysmorphia
  • BDS, bodybuilding dependence scale
  • CFI, comparative fit index
  • EDQ, exercise dependence questionnaire
  • MDI, muscle dysmorphia inventory
  • SRMR, standardised root mean square residual

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