Date of Award

Summer 2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Psychology and Behavioral Sciences

First Advisor

Mary Margaret Livingston


The American Psychiatric Association (APA) encouraged research in the area of Internet Gaming Disorder, by including it in the Conditions for Further Study section of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , 5th Edition (DSM-5; APA, 2013). The present study attempted to determine which personality traits were associated with problematic Facebook use, a subset of problematic Internet use. The Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale (BFAS), Narcissistic Personality Inventory-Sixteen (NPI-16), International Personality Item Pool (IPIP) items related to extraversion, IPIP items related to neuroticism, Internet Addiction Test (1AT), Facebook Intensity Scale (FBI), a demographic information form, and Exploratory Facebook Use Questionnaire were used to determine if specific personality traits were associated with problematic Facebook use.

Participants were 295 Facebook users, recruited through social media. Participants reported more Facebook friends and the average participant age was over a decade older than in prior studies. The average number of hours spent on Facebook per day was similar to previous research.

Females reported having significantly more Facebook friends and yielded significantly lower scores on personality measures than males. On the three measures of problematic Facebook use, results were mixed. Females produced lower scores than males on two measures and higher scores on a third measure. Additionally, results suggest narcissism, extraversion, and neuroticism predict problematic Facebook use in males, but not females.

Higher levels of narcissism and extroversion were found to be associated with higher scores on measures of problematic Facebook use. Additionally, neuroticism and extraversion were significant positive predictors of problematic Facebook use. Positive endorsement of Exploratory Facebook Use Questions was associated with higher scores on two measures of problematic Facebook use. Lastly, participants with higher problematic Internet use also reported higher levels of problematic Facebook use. Continued research is needed to understand better the full nature of problematic Internet and/or subsets (i.e., problematic Facebook use).