Problematic Facebook Use Scale (PFUS)

The Problematic Facebook Use Scale (PFUS) is a 15-item measure to understand Facebook/social media addiction. The measure comprises five subscales (a) preference for online social interactions (b) mood regulation (c) cognitive preoccupation (d) compulsive use,(e) negative outcomes. This scale is adapted from Caplan’s Generalized Problematic Internet Scale model.


Geographies Tested: Italy

Populations Included: Female, Male

Age Range: Adolescents, Adults


Preference for online social interactions (POSI)
1. I prefer online social interaction over face-to-face communication
2. Online social interaction is more comfortable for me than face-to-face interaction
3. I prefer communicating with people online rather than face-to-face

Mood regulation
4. I have used Facebook to talk with others when I was feeling isolated
5. I have used Facebook to make myself feel better when I was down
6. I have used Facebook to make myself feel better when I've felt upset

Cognitive preoccupation
7. When I haven't been on Facebook for some time, I become preoccupied with the thought of going on Facebook
8. I would feel lost if I was unable to go on Facebook
9. I think obsessively about going on Facebook when I am offline

Compulsive use
10. I have difficulty controlling the amount of time I spend on Facebook
11. I find it difficult to control my Facebook use
12. When offline, I have a hard time trying to resist the urge to go on Facebook

Negative outcomes
13. My Facebook use has made it difficult for me to manage my life
14. I have missed social engagements or activities because of my Facebook use
15. My Facebook use has created problems for me in my life

Response Options:
8-point Likert scale
Definitely disagree - 1
Definitely agree - 8

Scoring Procedures

Higher scores on the scale indicate higher levels of PFU.

Original Citation

Marino, C., Vieno, A., Altoe, G., & Spada, M. M. (2017). Factorial validity of the Problematic Facebook Use Scale for adolescents and young adults. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 6(1), 5-10.

Psychometric Score

Ease of Use Score

Scoring breakdown

Formative Research

Qualitative Research

Existing Literature/Theoretical Framework

Field Expert Input

Cognitive Interviews / Pilot Testing








Criterion (gold-standard)



Ease of Use


Scoring Clarity


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