Front Psychol. 2018 Aug 6;9:1411. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01411. eCollection 2018.
There has been a growing concern of excessive smartphone use that interferes with people’s daily functioning, most notably among youngsters. The Smartphone Addiction Inventory (SPAI) was constructed to assess this type of information technology addiction. Although the SPAI was developed in a Taiwanese adolescent sample, this measure has not been validated on Chinese youngsters in other regions. Moreover, the initial evidence yielded a four-factor structure, but recent findings obtained an alternative five-factor structure. As no studies have systematically compared these two factor structures, which of the models fits the data better remained unknown. This study aimed to evaluate the empirical validity of both the four- and five-factor structures of the SPAI in a sample of university students from Mainland China (n = 463). Four psychometric properties of the SPAI were examined. First, the structural validity of both factor models was evaluated with confirmatory factor analysis. Satisfactory fit was found for both the five-factor model (RMSEA = 0.06, SRMR = 0.05, CFI = 0.99, TLI = 0.99) and the four-factor model (RMSEA = 0.07, SRMR = 0.06, CFI = 0.98, TLI = 0.98), but the five-factor model demonstrated an overall better model fit. Second, the five-factor model yielded good internal consistencies (all Cronbach α’s > 0.70). Third, concurrent validity of the SPAI was supported by its moderately strong correlations with four widely adopted criterion variables (i.e., loneliness, social anxiety, depression, and impulsivity). Lastly, the convergent validity of the SPAI was demonstrated by its strong, positive correlation with a popular, validated measure of Internet addiction. This study is the first to demonstrate the validity of the newly proposed five-factor model of the SPAI in a sample of Mainland Chinese youngsters.
KEYWORDS: factor analysis; mobile phone; psychometric properties; scale validation; smartphone addiction; technology addiction