Development of a Facebook Addiction Scale at Bergen Clinics Foundation, Norway

Pages: 10 (2607 words) Published: March 25, 2014
Psychological Reports, 2012, 110, 2, 501-517. © Psychological Reports 2012

Department of Psychosocial Science
University of Bergen

The Bergen Clinics Foundation, Norway
University of Bergen, Norway
Summary.—The Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale (BFAS), initially a pool of 18 items, three reflecting each of the six core elements of addiction (salience, mood modification, tolerance, withdrawal, conflict, and relapse), was constructed and administered to 423 students together with several other standardized self-report scales (Addictive Tendencies Scale, Online Sociability Scale, Facebook Attitude Scale, NEO–FFI, BIS/BAS scales, and Sleep questions). That item within each of the six addiction elements with the highest corrected item-total correlation was retained in the final scale. The factor structure of the scale was good (RMSEA = .046, CFI = .99) and coefficient alpha was .83. The 3-week test-retest reliability coefficient was .82. The scores converged with scores for other scales of Facebook activity. Also, they were positively related to Neuroticism and Extraversion, and negatively related to Conscientiousness. High scores on the new scale were associated with delayed bedtimes and rising times.

Although pathological gambling is the only behavioral addiction, so far, to be assigned status as a formal psychiatric disorder, increasing research has been conducted on other potential behavioral addictions, such as video-game addiction (Fisher, 1994), exercise addiction (Adams & Kirkby, 2002), mobile-phone addiction (Choliz, 2010), online sex addiction (Griffiths, 2012), shopping addiction (Clark & Calleja, 2008), workaholism (Andreassen, Hetland, & Pallesen, 2010), and Internet addiction (Young, 1996; Beard, 2005). With regard to Internet addiction, it has been questioned whether people become addicted to the platform or to the content of the Internet (Griffiths, 1999). Young (2009) argued that Internet addicts become addicted to different aspects of online use. She differentiates between three subtypes of Internet addicts: excessive gaming, online sexual pre-occupation, and e-mailing/texting (Young, 2009). Social networks are one type of online activity in which e-mailing/texting has been predominant. Among social networks, Facebook is by far the most popular, with Address correspondence to Cecilie Schou Andreassen, Department of Psychosocial Science, University of Bergen, Christiesgt. 12, 5015 Bergen, Norway or e-mail (cecilie.andreassen@

The authors thank Annika Hessen and Mathilde Døving for their help with data collection. 1

DOI 10.2466/02.09.18.PR0.110.2.501-517

ISSN 0033-2941


C. S. andreassen, et al.

over 600 million users worldwide (Carlson, 2011). In one study, students classified as Internet-addicted used the Internet more for social functions than students considered non-addicted (Kesici & Sahin, 2009). A recently published review article on social networking and addiction suggests that social network sites are predominantly used for maintenance of established offline networks which, for many, are important in terms of academic and professional opportunities. The maintenance of such networks and staying connected are assumed to function as an attraction factor, which might explain why some individuals use social network sites excessively (Kuss & Griffiths, 2011). Researchers have linked Facebook use to specific individual characteristics. People scoring high on narcissism tend to be more active on social network sites, as social network sites provide an opportunity to present oneself in a favorable way in line with one’s ideal self (Buffardi & Campbell, 2008; Mehdizadeh, 2010). Other studies have focused on the five-factor model of personality, in which personality assessment is based on five main...
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