Cognitive fusion has been related to the development and maintenance of a series of mental health difficulties. Specifically, growing research on eating psychopathology has been demonstrating the important role of cognitive fusion related to body image in these disorders. Nonetheless, cognitive fusion specifically focused on eating remained to be investigated. The current study aimed at developing and validating the Cognitive Fusion Questionnaire–Food Craving, a measure assessing the extent to which an individual is fused with food-craving undesirable and disturbing thoughts and urges.
This study was conducted with distinct samples comprising men and women from the student and general population. A principal component analysis was conducted to assess the scale's structure, which was further examined in a confirmatory factor analysis. The scale's reliability and validities were also analysed.
Results indicated that the CFQ-FC presented a one-dimensional structure with 7 items, accounting for 66.14% of the variance. A CFA confirmed the plausibility of the measurement model, which was found to be invariant in both sexes. The CFQ-FC also revealed very good internal consistency, construct reliability, temporal stability, and convergent and divergent validity, being positively associated with similar constructs and with indicators of eating and general psychopathology. CFQ-FC also discriminated individuals with clinically significant symptoms of binge eating from participants with no symptoms. Finally, the CFQ-FC presents incremental validity over a global measure of cognitive fusion in predicting eating psychopathology, namely binge eating.
The CFQ-FC is a psychometrically sound measure that allows for a brief and reliable assessment of eating-related cognitive fusion. This is a novel measure that may significantly contribute for the assessment of this specific dimension of cognitive fusion and for the understanding of its role in eating psychopathology.