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Background and aims

Despite controversies regarding its existence as a legitimate mental health condition, self-reports of pornography addiction seem to occur regularly. In the United States, prior works using various sampling techniques, such as undergraduate samples and online convenience samples, have consistently demonstrated that some pornography users report feeling dysregulated or out of control in their use. Even so, there has been very little work in US nationally representative samples to examine self-reported pornography addiction.

Methods

This study sought to examine self-reported pornography addiction in a US nationally representative sample of adult Internet users (N = 2,075).

Results

The results indicated that most participants had viewed pornography within their lifetimes (n = 1,461), with just over half reporting some use in the past year (n = 1,056). Moreover, roughly 11% of men and 3% of women reported some agreement with the statement “I am addicted to pornography.” Across all participants, such feelings were most strongly associated with male gender, younger age, greater religiousness, greater moral incongruence regarding pornography use, and greater use of pornography.

Discussion and conclusion

Collectively, these findings are consistent with prior works that have noted that self-reported pornography addiction is a complex phenomenon that is predicted by both objective behavior and subjective moral evaluations of that behavior.

Open access
Authors: Shane W. Kraus, Mateusz Gola, Joshua B. Grubbs, Ewelina Kowalewska, Rani A. Hoff, Michał Lew-Starowicz, Steve Martino, Steven D. Shirk and Marc N. Potenza

Abstract

Background and Aims

To address current gaps around screening for problematic pornography use (PPU), we initially developed and tested a six-item Brief Pornography Screen (BPS) that asked about PPU in the past six months.

Methods and Participants

We recruited five independent samples from the U.S. and Poland to evaluate the psychometric properties of the BPS. In Study 1, we evaluated the factor structure, reliability, and elements of validity using a sample of 224 U.S. veterans. One item from the BPS was dropped in Study 1 due to low item endorsement. In Studies 2 and 3, we further investigated the five-item the factor structure of the BPS and evaluated its reliability and validity in two national U.S. representative samples (N = 1,466, N = 1,063, respectively). In Study 4, we confirmed the factor structure and evaluated its validity and reliability using a sample of 703 Polish adults. In Study 5, we calculated the suggested cut-off score for the screen using a sample of 105 male patients seeking treatment for compulsive sexual behavior disorder (CSBD).

Results

Findings from a principal components analysis and confirmatory factor analysis supported a one-factor solution which yielded high internal consistency (α = 0.89–0.90), and analyses further supported elements of construct, convergent, criterion, and discriminant validity of the newly developed screen. Results from a Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curve suggested a cut-off score of four or higher for detecting possible PPU.

Conclusions

The BPS appears to be psychometrically sound, short, and easy to use in various settings with high potential for use in populations across international jurisdictions.

Open access