Different cultures, similar daydream addiction? An examination of the cross-cultural measurement equivalence of the Maladaptive Daydreaming Scale

Nirit Soffer-Dudek, Eli Somer, Hisham M. Abu-Rayya, Bariş Metin, Adriano Schimmenti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background and aims: Maladaptive Daydreaming (MD) is a proposed mental disorder, in which absorption in rich, narrative fantasy becomes addictive and compulsive, resulting in emotional, social, vocational, or academic dysfunction. Most studies on MD were carried out on aggregated international samples, using translated versions of the Maladaptive Daydreaming Scale (MDS-16). However, it is unknown whether the properties of MD are affected by culture. Thus, we investigated the cross-cultural measurement invariance of the MDS-16. Methods: We recruited both individuals self-identified as suffering from MD and non-clinical community participants from four countries: the USA, Italy, Turkey, and the UK (N = 1,081). Results: Configural invariance was shown, suggesting that the hypothesized four-factor structure of the MDS-16 (including Yearning, Impairment, Kinesthesia, and Music) holds across cultures. Metric invariance was shown for Impairment, Kinesthesia, and Music, but not for Yearning, suggesting that the psychological meaning of the latter factor may be understood differently across cultures. Scalar invariance was not found, as MD levels were higher in the USA and UK, probably due to the over-representation of English-speaking members of MD communities, who volunteered for the study. Discussion and conclusions: We conclude that the urge to be absorbed in daydreaming and the fantasies' comforting and addictive properties may have different meanings across countries, but the interference of MD to one's daily life and its obstruction of long-term goals may be the central defining factor of MD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1056-1067
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Behavioral Addictions
Volume9
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2021

Keywords

  • Cross-cultural
  • Daydreaming
  • Fantasy
  • Maladaptive Daydreaming
  • Measurement invariance
  • Mental disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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