Thesis Title

Development and Validation of the Male Body Size and Shape Inventory (Mbssi)

Date of Graduation

Spring 2004


Master of Science in Psychology



Committee Chair

Brooke Whisenhunt


The general consensus in the literature on male body image appears to be that men do in fact have body image concerns and feel pressure to obtain a muscular ideal, although these concerns are less severe than those of women. However, a tool for the assessment of body dysphoria (defined as overconcern with body size/shape and weight) in males does not currently exist. Through a series of three studies, the present research sought to remedy this gap in the literature by developing and validating a specific tool to be used in the assessment of male body dysphoria, the Male Body Size and Shape Inventory (MBSSI). According to the literature, male concerns are divided between muscularity/thinness, and more general, overweight concerns. The first study consisted of developing an open-ended questionnaire from a review of the literature and the use of the female assessment for body dysphoria, the Body Shape Questionnaire (BSQ), as a guideline. Questionnaire responses from 35 men were used to generate the initial 67 MBSSI items. For the second study, these items were sent to 15 doctoral-level experts in field of body image for ratings of content validity. Items were revised, deleted, and added after analyzing the data from the experts. The revised 57-item MBSSI was administered to 377 male participants in study 3 for a confirmatory factor analysis and prelminary reliability/validity analyses. Convergent measures, including the Swansea Muscularity Attitudes Questionnaire (SMAQ), Muscle Appearance Satisfaction Scale (MASS), and the Body Esteem Scale (BES) were administered to provide indications of convergent validity. The factor analysis yielded the following four-factor solution with 39 items: General Concerns (16 items; a = .95), Thinness Concerns (9 items; a = .87), Behavioral (7 items; a = .87), and Avoidance (7 items; a = .86). The MBSSI demonstrated adequate convergent validity, but appropriate divergent validity as well. The MBSSI factors demonstrate that male body dysphoria is different from female body dysphoria. The tool should be useful in future studies investigating body image and related constructs.


male body image, body dysphoria, shape, weight, gender

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© Brittany J. Allen