Assessment of problematic internet use by the Compulsive Internet Use Scale and the Internet Addiction Test: a sample of problematic and pathological gamblers

Diana Guertler, Hans-Juergen Rumpf, Anja Bischof, Nadin Kastirke, Kay Uwe Petersen, Ulrich John, Christian Meyer
European Addiction Research 2014, 20 (2): 75-81
This study aims to analyze psychometric properties and validity of the Compulsive Internet Use Scale (CIUS) and the Internet Addiction Test (IAT) and, second, to determine a threshold for the CIUS which matches the IAT cut-off for detecting problematic Internet use. A total of 292 subjects with problematic or pathological gambling (237 men, 55 women) aged 14-63 years and with private Internet use for at least 1 h per working or weekend day were recruited via different recruitment channels. Results include that both scales were internally consistent (Cronbach's α=0.9) and had satisfactory convergent validity (r=0.75; 95% CI 0.70-0.80). The correlation with duration of private Internet use per week was significantly higher for the CIUS (r=0.54) compared to the IAT (r=0.40). Among all participants, 25.3% were classified as problematic Internet users based on the IAT with a cut-off≥40. The highest proportion of congruent classified cases results from a CIUS cut-off ≥18 (sensitivity 79.7%, specificity 79.4%). However, a higher cut-off (≥21) seems to be more appropriate for prevalence estimation of problematic Internet use.

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