Using the | 100625

Jornal Internacional de Pesquisa Colaborativa em Medicina Interna e Saúde Pública

ISSN - 1840-4529


Using the

Tina Erickson

According to the components model of addiction, all addictions have salience, tolerance, mood modulation, relapse, withdrawal, and conflict in common. Numerous psychometric tools have been created as a result of this highly effective model, which assess addictive behaviours in accordance with these standards. But according to recent research, certain elements in the context of behavioral addictions are peripheral characteristics that do not differentiate between pathological and nonpathological behaviour. We tested whether these 6 components actually evaluate core features of addiction or whether some of them comprise peripheral features that are not indicative of a disorder by using "addictive" use of social media as an example.

The Bergen Social Media Addiction Scale, a 6-item psychometric instrument developed from the components model of addiction to evaluate social media "addiction," was completed by 4,256 participants from the general population drawn from four independent samples. We demonstrated the six components did not constitute a unitary construct through structural equation modelling and network analyses, and importantly, some components (such as salience and tolerance) were not related to measures evaluating psychopathological symptoms.

Together, these findings imply that when applied to behavioural addictions, psychometric tools based on the components model confound central and peripheral characteristics of addiction. This suggests that using these tools pathologizes engaging in appetitive behaviours. Thus, our results urge a revision of how behavioral addictions are conceptualised and evaluated.