Background: The 7-item Gaming Addiction Scale (GAS) has been used as a screening tool for addictive game use worldwide, and this study aimed to examine its psychometric properties and measurement invariance among college students in China. Methods: Full-time students from multiple colleges in China were recruited. A total of 1040 completed questionnaires were used in the final analysis. Reliability of the GAS was assessed by internal consistency and split-half reliability. Validity of the GAS was assessed by structural validity, convergent validity, discriminant validity, and concurrent validity. A series of Multigroup Confirmatory Factor Analysis (MG-CFA) were conducted to test and establish measurement invariance across gender, class standing, family income and parental educational level. Results: Exploratory factor analysis revealed a unidimensional structure of the GAS. The GAS exhibited excellent internal consistency (Cronbach's α = 0.951, theta coefficient = 0.953, omega coefficient = 0.959) and structural validity (χ2/df = 0.877 (p < 0.05), CFI = 0.999, TIL = 0.996, RMSEA =0.000). Concurrent validity of the GAS was confirmed by its correlation with problematic internet use, sleep quality, nine dimensions of psychiatric symptoms, and substance use. The GAS also demonstrated measurement invariance across father's educational level (Δχ2 (df) = 19.128 (12), ΔCFI =-0.009, ΔRMSEA = 0.010 for weak factorial model; Δχ2 (df) = 50.109 (42), ΔCFI =-0.010, ΔRMSEA = 0.007 for strict factorial model.) and mother's educational level (Δχ2 (df) = 6.679 (12), ΔCFI = 0.007, ΔRMSEA =-0.010 for weak factorial model; Δχ2 (df) =49.131 (42), ΔCFI =-0.009, ΔRMSEA =-0.004 for strict factorial model), as well as partial measurement invariance across gender (except for item 2), class standing (except for item 7) and family income (except for item 5). Conclusions: The Chinese version of the 7-item GAS can be an adequate assessment tool to assess internet gaming disorder among the college student population in China.
ASJC Scopus subject areas