Measuring internet skills in a general population: A large-scale validation of the short Internet Skills Scale in Slovenia

Darja Grošelj*, Alexander J.A.M. van Deursen, Vesna Dolničar, Tomaž Burnik, Andraž Petrovčič

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

This study assessed the construct and criterion validity of the short version of the Internet Skills Scale and examined whether its four dimensions–Operational, Information Navigation, Social, and Creative skills–are influenced by a higher-order dimension of general internet skills as one second-order factor. In 2018, a face-to-face survey comprising of the 20-item Internet Skills Scale and 22 other items related to digital inclusion was conducted in a sample of 814 internet users in Slovenia. The results of exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses, as well as other multivariate methods, showed that the Internet Skills Scale is characterized by high to adequate convergent and divergent validity. Acceptable criterion validity was observed for Operational and Information Navigation skills. In terms of measurement invariance, the data supported configural and metric invariance, whereas the scalar invariance was not fully confirmed, suggesting that older adults’ lower scores on the Creative skills items were not related to lower levels of internet skills in the same way as they were among younger individuals. Last, the results provided original evidence of the Internet Skills Scale as a second-order construct, meaning that a single summative Internet Skills Scale score could be created as an adequate measure of an individual’s internet skills.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-81
Number of pages19
JournalInformation society
Volume37
Issue number2
Early online date12 Jan 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021

Keywords

  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • factor analysis
  • internet skills
  • Internet Skills Scale
  • scale validation
  • survey research
  • Digital inclusion

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