A brief measure of social media self-control failure

Jie Du*, Guido M. van Koningsbruggen, Peter Kerkhof

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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People often fail in controlling their social media use when it conflicts with other goals and obligations. To facilitate research on understanding social media self-control failures, we constructed a brief social media self-control failure (SMSCF)-scale to assess how often social media users give in to social media temptations. Social media users (N = 405) completed a survey (including a 4-week follow-up) to test the scale's psychometric properties. The self-report SMSCF-scale showed good internal consistency and test-retest reliability. Demonstrating its construct validity, the SMSCF-scale was moderately related to existing problematic media use and general self-control scales. Demonstrating its predictive validity, the SMSCF-scale was positively related to social media use and feelings of guilt about one's social media use and was negatively related to psychological wellbeing. The SMSCF-scale provides a useful indicator of social media self-control failure that could facilitate future research on the psychological processes underlying social media self-control failures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-75
Number of pages8
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Issue numberJuly
Early online date3 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018


  • Media use
  • Scale development
  • Self-control
  • Social media
  • Temptation


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