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Keywords:

  • Assessment;
  • psychometrics;
  • scale;
  • work addiction;
  • workaholism

Andreassen, C. S., Griffiths, M. D., Hetland, J. & Pallesen, S. (2012). Development of a work addiction scale. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology 53, 265–272.

Research into excessive work has gained increasing attention over the last 20 years. Terms such as “workaholism,”“work addiction” and “excessive work” have been used interchangeably. Given the increase in empirical research, this study presents the development of the Bergen Work Addiction Scale (BWAS), a new psychometrically validated scale for the assessment of work addiction. A pool of 14 items, with two reflecting each of seven core elements of addiction (i.e., salience, mood modification, tolerance, withdrawal, conflict, relapse, and problems) was initially constructed. The items were then administered to two samples, one recruited by a web survey following a television broadcast about workaholism (= 11,769) and one comprising participants in the second wave of a longitudinal internet-based survey about working life (= 368). The items with the highest corrected item-total correlation from within each of the seven addiction elements were retained in the final scale. The assumed one-factor solution of the refined seven-item scale was acceptable (root mean square error of approximation = 0.077, Comparative Fit Index = 0.96, Tucker-Lewis Index = 0.95) and the internal reliability of the two samples were 0.84 and 0.80, respectively. The scores of the BWAS converged with scores on other workaholism scales, except for a Work Enjoyment subscale. A suggested cut-off for categorization of workaholics showed good discriminative ability in terms of working hours, leadership position, and subjective health complaints. It is concluded that the BWAS has good psychometric properties.