There is growing concern about excessive Internet use and whether this can amount to an addiction. In researching this topic, a valid and reliable assessment instrument is essential. In her survey of Internet addiction, Young designed the Internet Addiction Test (IAT), which provides a basis for developments.
The IAT has high face validity, but it has not been subjected to systematic psychometric testing. This study sought to replicate and expand Youngs survey, and to examine the IAT more systematically. A questionnaire that existed as a Web page was devised, consisting of the IAT and 15 other questions regarding the respondents demographic information and Internet usage.
Participants were recruited through the Internet, yielding 86 valid responses (29 males and 57 females). Factor analysis of the IAT revealed six factors: salience, excessive use, neglecting work, anticipation, lack of control, and neglecting social life. These factors showed good internal consistency and concurrent validity, with salience being the most reliable. Younger and more recent users reported more problems, mainly concerning the neglect of work and social life. We expected interactive Internet functions to be more addictive; however, this was not found to be so.
Overall, the IAT is a valid and reliable instrument that may be used in further research on Internet addiction.
To read the whole article, please see: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15331031