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  • Oral presentation
  • Open Access

Too much of a good thing: compulsive exercise in children and adolescents with eating disorders.

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Journal of Eating Disorders20153 (Suppl 1) :O54

  • Published:


  • Health Promotion
  • Confirmatory Factor Analysis
  • Eating Disorder
  • Clinical Population
  • Good Thing

Compulsive exercising is the most common compensatory behaviour amongst children and adolescents with eating disorders. The Compulsive Exercise Test is a self-report measure that has been recently developed to assess the cognitive, behavioural and affective features of compulsive exercise. The aim of the current study was to validate the measure using a paediatric eating disorder sample presenting for treatment at a specialist eating disorder service.

Confirmatory factor analysis was conducted and correlations with eating disorder symptoms were examined. The study failed to confirm a factor structure, although there was still clear evidence of the multidimensionality of the measure. CET scores were significantly related to measures of eating pathology, perfectionism and exercise frequency to control shape and weight. This suggests a need for further investigation into the construct of compulsive exercise in clinical populations, given the strong association with eating pathology.

Authors’ Affiliations

School of Physiotherapy, University of Notre Dame, Fremantle, Australia
Department of Psychiatry, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
School of Paediatrics and Child Health, The University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia
School of Psychology and Speech Pathology, Curtin University, Perth, Australia
Complex Pain Service, Princess Margaret Hospital for Children, Perth, Australia
Eating Disorders Program, Specialised Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, Perth, Australia


© Formby et al. 2015

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.