ADDICTA: The Turkish Journal on Addictions
Research Article

A Qualitative Exploration of Facebook Addiction: Working toward Construct Validity


Monash University, Clayton Campus, Melbourne, Victoria 3800 Australia


RMIT University, City Campus, Melbourne, Victoria 3000 Australia


Australian College of Applied Psychology, Melbourne Campus, Melbourne, Victoria 3000 Australia

Addicta 2016; 3: 55-76
DOI: 10.15805/addicta.2016.3.0004
Read: 993 Downloads: 343 Published: 30 June 2016

Empirical research has emerged that supports the existence of Facebook addiction. However, most studies have methodological limitations. In particular, the assessment of Facebook addiction is often varied and unjustified, which compromises construct validity. The purpose of the current study is to perform a qualitative exploration of Facebook addiction using seven core symptoms of Internet addiction (negative consequences, loss of control, online social enhancement, preoccupation, mood alteration, withdrawal, and excessive use) as a foundation. Participants were 417 self-identified excessive Facebook users (131 male, 286 female) aged between 18 and 80 (X = 31.57, SD = 9.33). All participants were recruited from Facebook and online discussion boards. Data were collected using open-ended online survey questions. Thematic analysis of the responses has provided preliminary support for the existence of seven core symptoms of Internet addiction among excessive Facebook users. This study is among the first to conduct an in-depth qualitative exploration of Facebook addiction using a sample of Facebook users. The findings have helped move Facebook addiction research closer towards construct validity, which will allow for more focused research in this area.

Citation: Ryan, T., Chester, A., Reece, J., & Xenos, S. (2016). A qualitative exploration of Facebook addiction: Working toward construct validity. Addicta: The Turkish Journal on Addictions, 3, 55-76. 

ISSN 2148-7286 EISSN 2149-1305