The addiction to social networks involves a psychological state of dependency in which there is an excessive concern for the activity of social networks and an uncontrollable motivation to use them. This behavior interferes with normal functioning, developing symptoms typical of an addiction. Diagnostic systems do not recognize as such the behavioral addictions linked to the use of the Internet, so the possible addiction to social networks and its consequences as a public health problem becomes invisible. The aim of the present study is to create a Patient Report Outcome (PRO) for screening of social networks addition and to analyze its metric quality.
The Social Networks Addiction Questionnaire (SNAQ) was applied to a sample of 450 participants. To study the evidences of validity, the Addiction to social network test (TARS) and Social Desirability Scales (MC-SDS) were used and Pearson’s correlation was computed. Classical Test and Item Response Theories were applied for the analysis of item’s reliability and information.
Reliability analysis showed good internal consistency (α =.850 and ω = .858) and discrimination indexes (average item-test correlation =.50) were satisfactory. The analysis of the evidences of validity showed that there is a significant correlation with the frequency of use of social networks (r =.435, p<.001), the TARS scores (r =-.724, p <.001) and with the scores on social desirability (r =-.156, p <.001). In addition, Item Response Theory analyses showed that items' options are well distributed across the trait levels and are maximally informative for medium-to-high levels of the assessed trait (Max information range: -0.5<θ<4).
The SNAQ is a PRO that can be used as a screening measure that assesses addiction to social networks with precision and validity. This allows to visualize the existence of this addictive behavior and provides evidence for scientific recognition as a behavioral addiction.
© 2019 Published by Elsevier Inc.