The nine-item Internet Gaming Disorder Scale – Short Form (IGDS-SF9) is brief and effective to evaluate Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) severity. Although its scores show promising psychometric properties, less is known about whether different groups of gamers interpret the items similarly. This study aimed to verify the construct validity of the Persian IGDS-SF9 and examine the scores in relation to gender and hours spent online gaming among 2,363 Iranian adolescents.
Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and Rasch analysis were used to examine the construct validity of the IGDS-SF9. The effects of gender and time spent online gaming per week were investigated by multigroup CFA and Rasch differential item functioning (DIF).
The unidimensionality of the IGDS-SF9 was supported in both CFA and Rasch. However, Item 4 (fail to control or cease gaming activities) displayed DIF (DIF contrast = 0.55) slightly over the recommended cutoff in Rasch but was invariant in multigroup CFA across gender. Items 4 (DIF contrast = −0.67) and 9 (jeopardize or lose an important thing because of gaming activity; DIF contrast = 0.61) displayed DIF in Rasch and were non-invariant in multigroup CFA across time spent online gaming.
Given the Persian IGDS-SF9 was unidimensional, it is concluded that the instrument can be used to assess IGD severity. However, users of the instrument are cautioned concerning the comparisons of the sum scores of the IGDS-SF9 across gender and across adolescents spending different amounts of time online gaming.