Factor analysis of the Milwaukee Inventory for subtypes of Trichotillomania-Adult Version

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Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders



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The Milwaukee Inventory for Subtypes of Trichotillomania-Adult Version (MIST-A; Flessner et al., 2008) measures the degree to which hair pulling in Trichotillomania (TTM) can be described as “automatic” (i.e., done without awareness and unrelated to affective states) and/or “focused” (i.e., done with awareness and to regulate affective states). Despite preliminary evidence in support of the psychometric properties of the MIST-A, emerging research suggests the original factor structure may not optimally capture TTM phenomenology. Using data from a treatment-seeking TTM sample, the current study examined the factor structure of the MIST-A via exploratory factor analysis. The resulting two factor solution suggested the MIST-A consists of a 5-item “awareness of pulling” factor that measures the degree to which pulling is done with awareness and an 8-item “internal-regulated pulling” factor that measures the degree to which pulling is done to regulate internal stimuli (e.g., emotions, cognitions, and urges). Correlational analyses provided preliminary evidence for the validity of these derived factors. Findings from this study challenge the notions of “automatic” and “focused” pulling styles and suggest that researchers should continue to explore TTM subtypes.