Problematic smartphone use (PSU) is an emerging public and social issue, potentially connected to the significant increase in smartphone applications. Different scales have been designed and developed to identify the risk of smartphone addiction, and the 10-item Smartphone Addiction Scale - Short Version (SAS-SV) is one of the most used instruments to assess the risk of PSU. The main objective of the present study was to provide further psychometric properties of the Italian version of the SAS-SV. The study was conducted with a convenience sample of 858 Italian university students. Parallel and confirmatory factor analyses were performed to confirm if the one-factor structure fitted the data well. In addition, because previous studies have emphasised gender and age differences in the SAS-SV, measurement invariance was also tested. Network analysis, predictive validity, and convergent validity were also explored. The parallel analysis results suggested removing Item 3 (feeling pain) because its factor loading was low, resulting in a nine-item SAS-SV. The measurement invariance showed that the SAS-SV performed similarly for gender and age. However, partial scalar invariance across gender and age was observed. Furthermore, gender differences indicated that more females than males scored higher on SAS-SV. No significant age differences were found. The receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve results indicated a cut-off of 29 points as the best for the SAS-SV (AUC = 0.85). Moreover, among males, the cut-off was 25 (AUC = 0.84), and among females, the cut-off was 30 (AUC = 0.84). The SAS-SV showed a strong association with problematic social media use (PSMU) and other variables related to smartphone use (e.g., time spent on Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp). Overall, the present study results indicate that the nine-item SAS-SV appears to be a valid and reliable instrument to assess PSU risk among Italian university students.
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