Eating when bored: Revision of the emotional eating scale with a focus on boredom

Afton M. Koball, Molly R. Meers, Amy Storfer-Isser, Sarah E. Domoff, Dara R. Musher-Eizenman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


Objective: The current study explored whether eating when bored is a distinct construct from other negative emotions by revising the Emotional Eating Scale (EES) to include a separate boredom factor. Additionally, the relative endorsement of eating when bored compared to eating in response to other negative emotions was examined. Method: A convenience sample of 139 undergraduates completed open-ended questions regarding their behaviors when experiencing different levels of emotions. Participants were then given the 25-item EES with 6 additional items designed to measure boredom. Results: On the open-ended items, participants more often reported eating in response to boredom than the other emotions. Exploratory factor analysis showed that boredom is a separate construct from other negative emotions. Additionally, the most frequently endorsed item on the EES was "eating when bored." Conclusions: These results suggest that boredom is an important construct, and that it should be considered a separate dimension of emotional eating.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)521-524
Number of pages4
JournalHealth Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2012


  • boredom
  • emotional eating
  • emotional eating scale


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