Internet-Related Disorders: Development of the Short Compulsive Internet Use Scale

Bettina Besser*, Hans Jürgen Rumpf, Anja Bischof, Gert Jan Meerkerk, Susumu Higuchi, Gallus Bischof

*Corresponding author for this work
11 Citations (Scopus)


The addiction treatment system only reaches a small number of individuals suffering from Internet-related disorders. Therefore, it is important to improve case detection for preventive measures and brief interventions. Existing screening instruments are often time-consuming and rarely validated using clinical criteria. The aim of this study is to develop an optimized short screening for problematic Internet use and Internet addiction (IA). A regression analysis was conducted in random subsamples of a merged sample (N = 3,040; N = 1,209) to examine the item performance of the Compulsive Internet Use Scale (CIUS). Based on the results, a short version of the CIUS was developed and compared with the original CIUS. A fully structured diagnostic interview, covering the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) criteria for the Internet gaming disorder with a broader focus on all Internet activities, was conducted. A five-item version of the short screening performed best across the samples. Comparing the area under the curve (AUC) of the receiver operating characteristic between the Short CIUS and the original test revealed no significant difference (AUC = 0.968; 0.977). A cutoff point of 7 turned out to perform best for case detection and yielded a sensitivity of 0.95 and a specificity of 0.87, Cronbach's alpha was 0.77. The analysis showed that the performance of the Short CIUS is just as good in detecting problematical Internet use and IA as the performance of the original CIUS. The Short CIUS provides an economical and valid instrument for the assessment of problematic Internet use and IA.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking
Issue number11
Pages (from-to)709-717
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 11.2017

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)


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