gms | German Medical Science

5. Wissenschaftlicher Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Essstörungen e.V. (DGESS)

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Essstörungen e.V.

03.03. - 05.03.2016, Essen

Development and preliminary validation of the Salzburg Stress Eating Scale (SSES)

Meeting Abstract

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  • corresponding author presenting/speaker Julia Reichenberger - Universität Salzburg, Salzburg, Österreich
  • Adrian Meule - Universität Salzburg, Salzburg, Österreich
  • Jens Blechert - Universität Salzburg, Salzburg, Österreich

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Essstörungen e.V. (DGESS). 5. Wissenschaftlicher Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Essstörungen. Essen, 03.-05.03.2016. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2016. Doc16dgess078

doi: 10.3205/16dgess078, urn:nbn:de:0183-16dgess0781

Veröffentlicht: 18. Februar 2016

© 2016 Reichenberger et al.
Dieser Artikel ist ein Open-Access-Artikel und steht unter den Lizenzbedingungen der Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (Namensnennung). Lizenz-Angaben siehe



Background: Eating in response to specific emotions or moods (emotional eating) and in response to stress (stress eating) have been widely investigated topics in the past decades. However, existing self-report measures pool items related to emotional and stress eating on the same factor even though they relate to dissociable states and arise from very different theories. Moreover, existing measures only assess increased food intake in response to emotions and stress, thus ignoring evidence of decreased food intake in response to stress (or unaltered intake). To create a measure that taps into stress-related eating specifically (independent of mood- and emotional eating), we developed the Salzburg Stress Eating Scale (SSES, 10 items) by modifying and combining stress related items of the Mood Eating Scale and the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS). Moreover, response categories were chosen such that low scores on the SSES reflect eating less when stressed while high scores reflect eating more when stressed (medium scores reflecting unaltered eating).

Methods: Three-hundred and forty individuals (92% students; 77% female) completed the SSES and other measures in an online study.

Results: Both parallel analysis and the Minimum Average Partial Test suggested a one-factorial structure of the scale (α = .89). Convergent validity was supported by positive correlations with measures of emotional eating and eating disorder symptomatology. Discriminant validity was supported by no or small correlations with associated, but not eating-related measures (e.g., depressiveness, impulsivity). Although SSES and PSS scores were not correlated, regression analyses revealed interactive effects: (1) perceived stress was only predictive of higher stress-induced eating in individuals with low self-regulatory success in dieting (as indicated by both self-report and lower weight suppression), but not in those with high self-regulatory success; (2) SSES scores were particularly associated with body mass index (BMI) in individuals with high, but not in those with low PSS scores, indicating that high scorers (who indicated eating more when stressed) had higher BMI and low scorers (who indicated eating less when stressed) had lower BMI only when they experienced high levels of stress.

Conclusions: The SSES represents a brief and valid tool for the measurement of stress-related eating behavior.