Background: Body dissatisfaction among pregnant women can provoke behaviors to control weight gain and make them more vulnerable to eating disorders. Body dissatisfaction and strategies to control weight during pregnancy can have many consequences for both the mother and baby. Excessive weight gain may cause complications during childbirth and, reciprocally, a too weak weight gain could be associated with the risk of having a baby with a very low birth weight. Thus, it appears important to have a tool to detect these body image disorders in this population. As far as we know, no French-speaking tool exists, and the objective of this study was to investigate the psychometric properties of the French translation of the Pregnancy and Weight Gain Attitude Scale (PWGAS), which assesses the attitudes about weight gain during pregnancy.
Method: The sample consisted of 553 women (29.32±4.82 years) in their third trimester of pregnancy. Participants were volunteer women recruited in hospitals during obstetric consultation. All participants completed an anamnestic questionnaire, the PWGAS and a questionnaire assessing body dissatisfaction (Body Shape Questionnaire [BSQ]). The PWGAS, in its original version, includes 18 items and consists of four subscales: Positive Pregnancy Body Image; Negative Pregnancy Body Image; Indifference toward Weight Gain and Weight Gain Restrictive Behaviors. The instrument was translated and verified by expert translators.
Results: Confirmatory factor analysis of the original version showed fit indices below recommended limits. An exploratory factor analysis on the PWGAS revealed the existence of five factors: "Fear about weight gain" (4 items); "Absence of weight gain preoccupation" (2 items); "Positive attitudes about weight gain" (4 items); "Feeling overwhelmed by weight gain" (3 items); and "Control over weight gain" (3 items). The goodness-of-fit of the five-factor model was satisfactory. The PWGAS (total and factors) is negatively correlated with the BSQ demonstrating its concurrent validity.
Conclusion: The PWGAS has satisfactory psychometric properties. This questionnaire could certainly be integrated in the monitoring of pregnant women in order to detect and guide those who show negative attitudes about the weight gain so that they can benefit from adequate care and prevent the development of eating disorders.
Keywords: Body image; Grossesse; Image du corps; PWGAS; Pregnancy; Prise de poids; Weight gain.
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