OR-01: survey-assessments of problematic social media use: Are we making claims on the basis of false positives?

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Date: Mar. 2016
From: Journal of Behavioral Addictions(Vol. 5, Issue S1)
Publisher: Akademiai Kiado
Document Type: Abstract; Brief article; Report
Length: 259 words
Lexile Measure: 1450L

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Background and aims: In the field of behavioral addictions research, problematic media use and its correlates are often assessed by means of survey studies administered among large-scale samples that are considered representative for the general population (e.g., Festl, Scharkow & Quandt, 2013). Although this confirmatory approach can be relevant to unravel correlates and processes underlying problematic media use, the validity of survey designs for identifying the 'true prevalence' of pathological problem use in the population is questioned and false positives are a cause of concern (Griffiths et al., n.d.; Van Rooij & Prause, 2014). Methods: In order to validate or falsify the survey-based approach, the current study aims to follow-up on survey results by interviewing positive cases to assess their functioning. We present preliminary results of a study in which we conducted in-depth interviews with teenage problematic social media users and their personal network. Positive cases are identified through an abbreviated and modified social media version of the CIUS (Meerkerk, Van den Eijnden, Vermulst, & Garretsen, 2009; Van Rooij, Ferguson, Van de Mheen, & Schoenmakers, 2015), which is currently being administered to a representative sample of 3000 Flemish teenagers. Results: We contrast the extent to which teenage problem users' answers on the instrument correspond with the daily life experiences of the teenagers themselves and of persons in their immediate social surroundings. Conclusions: Our survey identifies the percentage of teenagers who are problematic social media users: follow-up interviews shall provide information on the validity of this approach.


iMinds-MICT-Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A459058496