by Kimberly S. Young, Ph. D.

Purpose: Measures the presence and severity of Internet and technology addiction, which is now viewed as a clinical disorder, requiring assessment and treatment.

Internet Addiction Test (IAT)

Age:  Middle School through Adult

Time:  5-10 minutes

           15 minutes, if administered verbally

           Report Format: Self-Report

Internet Addiction Test for Families (IAT-F)

Age:  Elementary School through High School

Time:  5-10 minutes

           15 minutes, if administered verbally

           Report Format: Completed by Parent or Caretaker

While the Internet is a relatively new technology, that has impacted the world, and provided many benefits, it has also had negative ramifications.  Individuals unable to control their use are jeopardizing school, employment and relationships.  The concept of “Internet Addiction” is used to explain uncontrollable, damaging use of technology.  It is characterized as an impulse control disorder, comparable to pathological gambling, because of overlapping diagnostic criteria and symptomatology.

Based on these studies, the IAT was constructed to capture the problematic behavior associated with compulsive use of technology, including online porn, internet gambling and compulsive use of online games and social media.

The Internet Addiction Test emerged as the first validated measure of Internet and technology addiction.  The Internet Addiction suite of tests brings together the Internet Addiction Test (IAT) and the Internet Addiction Test for Families (IAT-F).  The IAT is a self-report instrument for adolescents and adults.  The IAT-F is for children and adolescents and completed by an informant who knows the youth well.  Both instruments can be used together in assessment to obtain a well-rounded profile of the client’s Internet addiction and also to identify discrepancies amongst raters, who could benefit from psychoeducation. 

The assessments can be administered in a variety of mental health settings, including private practice clinics, schools, hospitals and residential programs.  They can be used when there is suspicion of Internet addiction, as part of a broad intake assessment, or for use in a wellness curriculum to help participants evaluate their own Internet behavior.  The IAT can also be a valuable pre-employment screening device, to detect internet addiction among job candidates, to improve productivity and reduce corporate liability.

Based on 20 self-report items, the IAT assesses for the presence of addiction to the Internet, electronic entertainment, social media, and general use of electronic devices, and also measures the severity of addiction, in terms of mild, moderate or severe.  Furthermore, because Internet addiction may be driven by different reasons and manifest in different ways, requiring different types of treatment, the IAT produces scores related to the following areas:

  • Escape
  • Compulsion
  • Neglecting duties
  • Anticipation
  • Lack of Control
  • Social Avoidance

The IAT-F contains the Parent-Child Internet Addiction Test (PCIAT), a 20-item-questionnaire for adolescents, and theProblematic and Risky Media Use in Children Checklist, an 8-item-checklist for use with children.  Both forms may be completed by a parent or other caregiver that knows the youth well.  Clinical cut-off scores and severity of addiction qualifiers are provided.  The PCIAT also helps identify which areas of functioning are most impaired, among:

  • Attention
  • Social Behavior
  • Aggressive Behavior

All assessment manuals provide information about Internet addiction, research involving use of these assessments, information about interpreting findings, and recommendations for healthy Internet behavior and how to address issues of Internet addiction.  Thus, these manuals can serve as the basis for a unit in a wellness curriculum on Internet addiction, as part of a treatment plan addressing Internet addiction, or for psychoeducation in individual or family therapy sessions.  Case studies illustrate the application of these instruments and show their utility.

All contact with web-based services is assessed, including:


*Internet-based games

*Social media

*Online entertainment

*All types of computers, screens, devices, phones, portable electronic devices and other forms of technology

It has proven to be a reliable measure that examines symptoms of addiction, such as:

*Preoccupation with Internet use

*Ability/inability to control online use

*Hiding/lying about online use

*Continuing online use, despite negative consequences of the behavior


The IAT was researched on a sample of adolescents and adults spanning ages 13 to 67.  Statistical analyses found sample size adequate for factor analysis, which was conducted and yielded six factors that the IAT assesses, yielding a score in each domain:

The PCIAT, for use with adolescents age 12 - 18, and Risky Media Use in Children Checklist, for use with children ages 5 - 11, adapted research used with the IAT for use as an informant-report, rather than self-report, checklist.  The PCIAT yields overall score levels of how likely Internet addiction is.

IAT - Internet Addiction Test Kit

IAT - Internet Addiction Test Kit

 Kit Includes: an administration manual containing reproducible copies of the IAT Response Form and Interpretation Form.
IAT-F - Internet Addiction Test for Families Kit

IAT-F - Internet Addiction Test for Families Kit

Kit Incldes: an administration manual containing reproducible copies of the Parent-Child Internet Addiction Test Response Form and...
IAT-C - Internet Addiction Test (IAT) Combo Kit

IAT-C - Internet Addiction Test (IAT) Combo Kit

Kit Includes: both the Internet Addiction Test (IAT) and Internet Addiction Test for Families (IAT-F).