Cross-validation of the reduced form of the Food Craving Questionnaire-Trait using confirmatory factor analysis

Front Psychol. 2015 Apr 13;6:433. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00433. eCollection 2015.


Objective: The Food Craving Questionnaire-Trait (FCQ-T) is commonly used to assess habitual food cravings among individuals. Previous studies have shown that a brief version of this instrument (FCQ-T-r) has good reliability and validity. This article is the first to use Confirmatory factor analysis to examine the psychometric properties of the FCQ-T-r in a cross-validation study.

Method: Habitual food cravings, as well as emotion regulation strategies, affective states, and disordered eating behaviors, were investigated in two independent samples of non-clinical adult volunteers (Sample 1: N = 368; Sample 2: N = 246). Confirmatory factor analyses were conducted to simultaneously test model fit statistics and dimensionality of the instrument. FCQ-T-r reliability was assessed by computing the composite reliability coefficient.

Results: Analysis supported the unidimensional structure of the scale and fit indices were acceptable for both samples. The FCQ-T-r showed excellent reliability and moderate to high correlations with negative affect and disordered eating.

Conclusion: Our results indicate that the FCQ-T-r scores can be reliably used to assess habitual cravings in an Italian non-clinical sample of adults. The robustness of these results is tested by a cross-validation of the model using two independent samples. Further research is required to expand on these findings, particularly in children and adolescents.

Keywords: confirmatory factor analysis; cross-validation; food craving questionnaire; measurement; reliability; validity.