The prevalence of internet gaming disorders (IGD) is considerably high among youth, especially with the social isolation imposed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. IGD adversely affects mental health, quality of life, and academic performance. The Internet Gaming Disorder Scale (IGDS9-SF) is designed to detect IGD according to DSM-IV diagnostic criteria. However, inconsistent results are reported on its capacity to diagnose IGD evenly across different cultures. To ensure the suitability of the IGDS9-SF as a global measure of IGD, this study examined the psychometric properties of the IGDS9-SF in a sample of Sri Lankan university students (N = 322, mean age = 17.2 ± 0.6, range = 16–18 years, 56.5% males) and evaluated its measurement invariance across samples from Sri Lanka, Turkey, Australia, and the USA. Among Sri Lankan students, a unidimensional structure expressed good fit, invariance across different groups (e.g., gender, ethnicity, and income), adequate criterion validity (strong correlation with motives of internet gaming, daily gaming duration, and sleep quality), and good reliability (alpha = 0.81). Males and online multiplayers expressed higher IGD levels, greater time spent gaming, and more endorsement of gaming motives (e.g., Social and Coping) than females and offline players. Across countries, the IGDS9-SF was invariant at the configural, metric, and scalar levels, although strict invariance was not maintained. The lowest and highest IGD levels were reported among Turkish and American respondents, respectively. In conclusion, the IGDS9-SF can be reliably used to measure IGD among Sri Lankan youth. Because the scale holds scalar invariance across countries, its scores can be used to compare IGD levels in the studied countries.
- Coronavirus disease 2019/COVID-19
- Factorial structure/psychometric properties/structural validity/ validation
- Game type
- Internet Gaming Disorder Scale 9—Short Form (IGDS9-SF)
- University students