Confirmation of the three-factor model of problematic internet use on off-line adolescent and adult samples

Beatrix Koronczai, Róbert Urbán, Gyöngyi Kökönyei, Borbála Paksi, Krisztina Papp, Bernadette Kun, Petra Arnold, János Kállai, Zsolt Demetrovics

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56 Citations (Scopus)


As the Internet became widely used, problems associated with its excessive use became increasingly apparent. Although for the assessment of these problems several models and related questionnaires have been elaborated, there has been little effort made to confirm them. The aim of the present study was to test the three-factor model of the previously created Problematic Internet Use Questionnaire (PIUQ) by data collection methods formerly not applied (off-line group and face-to-face settings), on the one hand, and by testing on different age groups (adolescent and adult representative samples), on the other hand. Data were collected from 438 high-school students (44.5 percent boys; mean age: 16.0 years; standard deviation=0.7 years) and also from 963 adults (49.9 percent males; mean age: 33.6 years; standard deviation=11.8 years). We applied confirmatory factor analysis to confirm the measurement model of problematic Internet use. The results of the analyses carried out inevitably support the original three-factor model over the possible one-factor solution. Using latent profile analysis, we identified 11 percent of adults and 18 percent of adolescent users characterized by problematic use. Based on exploratory factor analysis, we also suggest a short form of the PIUQ consisting of nine items. Both the original 18-item version of PIUQ and its short 9-item form have satisfactory reliability and validity characteristics, and thus, they are suitable for the assessment of problematic Internet use in future studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)657-664
Number of pages8
JournalCyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2011


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Applied Psychology
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications

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