Objectives: Whilst participants with an appearance altering condition have expressed distress and anxiety in relation to their capacity to engage in romantic relationships, there exists no measure of the effect of visible difference upon this domain. This study sought to redress this through the development of a parsimonious scale.
Design: Exploratory factor analysis was employed in order to refine an initial pool of 74 items and as a multi-dimensional structure was anticipated.
Methods: Items were assessed for face and content validity then administered to an on-line sample of 275 participants with visible differences recruited through support groups and via the Prolific Academic portal. Using Qualtrics, participants completed these items and related measures with which it was hypothesised the new scale would correlate. Data were analysed by principal factor analysis and subjected to promax rotation to determine the underlying factor structure, remove extraneous items, and further refine the scale.
Results: A scree test and parallel analysis revealed a five factor structure demonstrating excellent internal reliability (α=.959). The examination of the items, their factor loadings, their conceptual importance, and the desire for parsimony informed further analyses. Consequently, a 17 item, three factor scale (α=.908) which accounted for 60% of the total variance was proposed. Construct validity was evidenced in patterns of significant correlations with other measures.
Conclusions: CARRIS demonstrated good internal reliability, and convergent and divergent construct validity. The structure and reliability should now be further validated by the collection of data for confirmatory factor analysis and to establish test-retest reliability.