Social Media Disorder Scale (SMD Scale)


This 9-item scale measures adolescents’ degree of addiction to social media. We based our scale on the nine criteria for Internet Gaming Disorder found in the DSM-V, namely preoccupation, tolerance, escape, persistence, withdrawal, conflict, problems, deception, and displacement. The dimensional structure of the SMD scale was investigated in three samples of social media users (n = 724, n=873 en n=601). The reliability and validity of the 9-item scale are good.


The psychometric properties of the scale are reported in:
Van den Eijnden, R.J.J.M., Lemmens, J.S., & Valkenburg P.M. (2016). The Social Media Disorder Scale. Computers in Human Behavior, 61, 478-487. doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2016.03.038 (see publication section of CcaM website).


Please answer the questions by thinking of your experiences with using social media (e.g., WhatsApp, SnapChat, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest, or forums and weblogs) in the past year. Answer the questions as honestly as possible. According to DSM, at least five (out of nine) criteria must be met for a formal diagnosis of ‘disordered social media user.’

During the past year have you…

... regularly found that you can’t think of anything else but the moment that you will be able to use social media again?
Yes/No (Preoccupation).

... regularly felt dissatisfied because you wanted to spend more time on social media?
Yes/No (Tolerance).     

... often felt bad when you could not use social media?
Yes /No (Withdrawal).

During the past year have you…

... tried to spend less time on social media, but failed?
Yes/No (Persistence).

... regularly neglected other activities (e.g. hobbies, sport) because you wanted to use social media?
Yes/No (Displacement).             

... regularly had arguments with others because of your social media use?
Yes/No (Problems).      

... regularly lied to your parents or friends about the amount of time you spend on social media?
Yes/No (Deception).    

... often used social media to escape from negative feelings?
Yes/No (Escape).           

… had serious conflict with your parents, brother(s) or sister(s) because of your social media use?
Yes/No (Conflict).