Volume 29, Issue 3, May 2013, Pages 1212–1223
- a General Psychology: Cognition, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany
- b Differential and Personality Psychology, University of Koblenz-Landau, Germany
- c Erwin L. Hahn Institute for Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Essen, Germany
A key element of research on Internet addiction is a valid and reliable assessment of problems individuals experience in their daily life due to an excessive or pathological use of the Internet. One of the most frequently used questionnaires is Young’s Internet Addiction Test (IAT). However, the factorial structure of the IAT is still discussed controversially.
In four studies with different samples we (a) addressed the factorial structure of the IAT with exploratory factor analysis and reduced the items to those with sufficient factor loadings and good item characteristics, (b) checked the factorial structure using confirmatory factor analysis, and (c) analyzed convergent, divergent and incremental validities. We revealed a short version of the IAT, which consists of 12 items and a two-factorial solution with good reliability (study 1). The two factors were named “loss of control/time management” and “craving/social problems”. This two-factorial solution was confirmed by the confirmatory factor analysis (study 2) and we have found good indices for convergent, divergent and incremental validity (studies 3 and 4). In conclusion, the short version of the IAT has good psychometric properties and represents the Internet addiction’s key elements based on the proposed diagnostic criteria.
► Exploratory factor analysis for the Internet Addiction Test (IAT).
► Development of a shortened version of the IAT with two factors.
► Confirmatory factor analysis for the new IAT.
► Convergent, divergent and incremental validities of the new IAT.
► Cut-off scores for problematic and pathological Internet use.