Psychometric properties of the Sexting Motivations Questionnaire for adolescents and young adults




sexting motivations, body image, sexual purposes, instrumental/ aggravated reasons, adolescents, young adults


There has been a lack of research into the motivations for sexting. This study presents a self report instrument, the Sexting Motivations Questionnaire (SMQ), evaluating three sexting motivations: sexual purposes, instrumental/aggravated reasons and body image reinforcement. We also investigated which sexting motivations predict different sexting behaviors, distinguishing between experimental and more harmful sexting. The study involved 509 participants aged from 13 to 35 (Mage = 21.4; SDage = 4.6; 63.7% females) who reported having sent sexts during the last year. Explorative factor analysis revealed three factors: sexual purposes, instrumental/aggravated reasons, and body image reinforcement. The results showed that sexual purposes were the most frequently reported, followed by body image reinforcement, and instrumental/aggravated reasons were reported in low but alarming percentages. Only instrumental/aggravated reasons turned out to predict more harmful sexting behaviors, such as publicly posting own sexts and the socalled ‘not allowed sharing’ of a partner’s sexts. These motivations could lead to aggravated sexting. Our findings confirmed the good reliability and criterion validity of the SMQ, a new instrument for assessing sexting motivations in young people.