Lack of measurement invariance in a widely used Facebook addiction scale may thwart progress in research on social-network-use disorder: A cross-cultural study

Paweł A. Atroszko, Fares Zine El Abiddine, Sadia Malik, Mohammed A. Mamun, Zahir Vally, Stanisław K. Czerwiński

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The social-network-use disorder (SNUD) was recently proposed as a potentially useful diagnosis in the International Classification of Diseases 11th Revision category “other specified disorders due to addictive behaviors.” Problematic Facebook use is among the most often investigated types of SNUD. Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale (BFAS) is the most widely used measure of problematic Facebook use. However, little data support the scale's measurement invariance across different cultural groups or age groups. The present study investigated the validity and measurement invariance of the BFAS across different countries, different age groups, and different cohorts. BFAS was administered alongside depression, anxiety, and stress measures in a total sample of 5470 university and high school students from three continents and five countries: Algeria, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Poland, and the United Arab Emirates. The scale showed a lack of measurement invariance across different group comparisons. Patterns of error term correlations, factor loadings, reliability coefficients, relationships with criterion variables, as well as prevalence estimates differed in groups of interest. Lack of measurement invariance and consequently substantially different functioning of the scales across samples limits any cross-cultural comparisons and generalizability of studies' results on problematic Facebook use. Potential causes of poor cross-cultural performance of BFAS and consequences for research on SNUD are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107132
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Volume128
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022

Keywords

  • Behavioral addiction
  • Facebook addiction
  • Measurement invariance
  • Social networking sites addiction
  • Social-network-use disorder
  • Validity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Psychology(all)

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