Validity and reliability of the short version of the Problematic Pornography Consumption Scale (PPCS-6-A) in adolescents

Psychol Addict Behav. 2021 Jun;35(4):486-500. doi: 10.1037/adb0000722. Epub 2021 Apr 8.


Objective: Despite the high prevalence of adolescents' pornography use and increasing societal concerns about it, the examination of problematic pornography use (PPU) among this population is still scarce, potentially due to the lack of well-validated, reliable measures. The aims of the present study were to validate a short, theory-based measure of PPU in a diverse sample of adolescents and identify a potentially at-risk problematic pornography user group.

Method: We used a sample of 802 adolescents (35% girls; 14% sexual minority; Mage = 15.4 years, SD = 0.6) who reported lifetime pornography use, collected as part of an ongoing longitudinal study on adolescents' sexual health. To examine the psychometric properties of the short, six-item version of the Problematic Pornography Consumption Scale for adolescents (PPCS-6-A), we conducted confirmatory factor analysis, gender and sexual orientation measurement invariance testing, and assessed theoretically relevant correlates (e.g., masturbation frequency). We conducted latent profile analysis to identify adolescents at risk of PPU.

Results: The PPCS-6-A demonstrated strong psychometric properties in terms of factor structure, measurement invariance (i.e., boys vs. girls, and heterosexual vs. sexual minority adolescents), and reliability, and correlated reasonably with the assessed variables. Ten percent of participants were identified as being at-risk of PPU.

Conclusions: The PPCS-6-A can be considered a short, reliable, and valid scale to assess PPU in adolescents, and may distinguish between low-risk and at-risk problematic users. Its use in future studies could lead to a better understanding of the prevalence and characteristics of adolescents' PPU. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Erotica / psychology*
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Heterosexuality
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests / standards*
  • Paraphilic Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Paraphilic Disorders / psychology
  • Prevalence
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Sexual and Gender Minorities