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Internet Addiction Scale (Young’s Diagnostic Questionnaire)

Brief Description:
• Young (1998)
• Scale was created by adapting DSM-IV criteria for pathological gambling
• The Internet Addiction Scale is a modification of the earlier 8 item scale, Young’s Diagnostic Questionnaire (Young, 1996 and Johansson & Gotestam, 2004)
• Views Internet addiction as an impulse-control disorder
• Most widely used Internet addiction scale
• The term “Internet” refers to all types of on-line activity
• Measures the degree to which the Internet affects aspects of one’s daily life (E.g., Daily routine, sleep pattern, productivity, social life, feelings)

• Chinese
• English
• French
• Italian
• Turkish

Type of Measure:
• Self-completed
• Twenty items (originally 8 on a Yes/No scale)
• Five point Likert Scale

Target Population:
• Adult
• Adolescents

• Twenty item scale: 20-49 = online user with complete control; 50-69 = frequent problems due to Internet usage; 70-100 = Internet is causing significant problems (Ngal, 2007)
• Minimum score = 20; Maximum = 100
• 1 = not at all; 5 = always
• Summed total

Source Reference: Young (1996): 496 participants were recruited through international and nationally dispersed newspaper ads, postings on electronic support groups, college campuses, and those searching keywords of internet addiction on popular websites.
• 396 were classified as dependent and it was shown that dependents spend almost 8 times the number of hours/week that non-dependents do
• No psychometrics were reported
• In Young’s book: Caught in the net, she added 12 new items, which showed high face validity. 

Twenty item scale IAS:
Widyanto, & McMurran (2004): 86 participants from chat programs, various online postings, poster advertisements and those word searching “Internet Addiction.”
• Reliability: Cronbach’s alpha for the six subscales = 0.54 to 0.82
• Validity: All six factors significantly correlated with each other
• Six factor model: Salience, Excess use, Neglecting work, Anticipation, Lack of self control and Neglecting social life

Chang, & Man Law (2008): 410 Hong Kong University students
• Validity: Convergent for factor 1 and 2, factor 3 was low, discriminant validity
• Eighteen item, Three factor model: 1) Withdrawal and social problems, 2) Time management and performance, and 3) Reality substitute

Khazaal, Y., Billieux, et. al, (2008): 246 Medical students and community volunteers who participated in a debate on cyber addictions. IAS was translated into French.
• Reliability: Cronbach’s alpha = 0.93
• Validity: not reported
• Unidimensional model

Ngai, S. S. Y. (2007): 988 Hong Kong students’ grades 5-9 (ages 10-15), Chinese version
• Reliability: Cronbach’s alpha = 0.63-0.82
• Validity: construct, convergent
• Four dimensional model:

  1. Interference with family relationships
  2. Salience and withdrawal
  3. Overindulgence in online relationships
  4. Tolerance and neglecting daily routines

Utility for Prevalence Surveys:
• Good

Research Applicability:
• Used in a wide variety of descriptive studies

Copyright, Cost and Source Issues:
• Public domain (no cost): available in source reference and Chang & Man Law (2008)

Source Reference:
Young, K. (1998). Caught in the Net. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Supporting References:
Young, K.S. (1996). Internet addiction: The emergence of a new clinical disorder. CyberPsychology and behaviour, 1(3), 237-244.

Widyanto, L., & McMurran, M. (2004). The psychometric properties of the Internet Addiction Test. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 7(4), 443-450.

Chang, M. K., Man Law, S. P. (2008). Factor structure for Young’s Internet Addiction Test: A confirmatory study. Computers in Human Behavior, 24, 2597-2619.

Khazaal, Y., Billieux, J., Thorens, G., Khan, R., Louati, Y., Scarlatti, E., Theintz, F., Lederrey, J., Van Der Linden, M., & Zullino, D. (2008). French validation of the Internet Addiction Test. CyberPsychology and Behavior, 11(6), 703-706.

Ngai, S. S. Y. (2007). Exploring the validity of the Internet addiction test for students in grades 5-9 in Hong Kong. International Journal of Adolescence and Youth, 13, 221-237.

• Widely used
• Available in many different languages
• Useful for both adolescents and adults

• Discrepancies over number of reliable factors and dimensionality
• Cut scores not validated