Psychometric properties of the Bergen Social Media Addiction Scale: an analysis using item response theory

Zarate, Daniel ORCID: 0000-0002-1508-8637, Hobson, Ben A, March, Evita, Griffiths, Mark D and Stavropoulos, Vasileios ORCID: 0000-0001-6964-4662 (2022) Psychometric properties of the Bergen Social Media Addiction Scale: an analysis using item response theory. Addictive Behaviors Reports, 17. ISSN 2352-8532


Background: Social media use has become an everyday behavior in contemporary life resulting in increased participation. A minority of individuals, especially younger adults, may engage excessively with the medium, resulting in the emergence of problematic social media use (PSMU). One way of assessing PSMU is by administering the Bergen Social Media Addiction Scale (BSMAS). The present study investigated the psychometric properties and prevalence of the BSMAS using Item Response Theory (IRT). Additionally, it evaluated risk factors such as gender and age. Methods: A relatively large community sample (N = 968, Mage = 29.5 years, SD = 9.36, 32.5% women) completed the BSMAS online. Results: IRT analyses showed differences regarding the BSMAS items’ discrimination, difficulty, and reliability capacities, with a raw score exceeding 26 (out of 30) indicating a higher risk of PSMU (n = 11; 1.1%). Females and younger participants were at greater risk of developing PSMU. Conclusion: The BSMAS functions as a reliable measure of PSMU, particularly between average to high levels of the trait. Additionally, younger participants were shown to be at higher risk of PSMU suggesting that prevention and intervention protocols should focus on this group.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.1016/j.abrep.2022.100473
Official URL
Subjects Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 5201 Applied and developmental psychology
Current > Division/Research > Institute for Health and Sport
Keywords social media, social media addiction, online behaviour, public health
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