Psychology Ph.D. Dissertations


Excessive Appetite for Pornography: Development and Evaluation of the Pornography Craving Questionnaire (PCQ-12)

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)



First Advisor

Harold Rosenberg, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Carels Robert, Ph.D. (Committee Member)

Third Advisor

Anne Gordon, Ph.D. (Committee Member)

Fourth Advisor

Priscilla Coleman, Ph.D. (Committee Member)


Despite the prevalence of pornography use, and recent conceptualization of excessive, problematic use as an addiction, I could find no published scale to measure craving for pornography. Therefore, I conducted three studies employing young male pornography users to develop and evaluate such a questionnaire. In Study 1, I had participants rate their agreement with 20 potential craving items after reading a control script or a script designed to induce craving to watch pornography. I dropped eight items because of low endorsement and found that the craving script did not yield higher mean scores across the remaining 12 items. In Study 2, I revised both the questionnaire and cue exposure stimuli, and then evaluated several psychometric properties of the modified questionnaire. Item loadings from a principal components analysis, a high internal consistency reliability coefficient, and a moderate mean inter-item correlation supported interpreting the 12 revised items as a single scale. Correlations of craving scores with selected sexual history and personality variables provided support for criterion validity and discriminant validity, respectively. The enhanced imagery script did not impact reported craving; however, more frequent users of pornography reported higher craving than less frequent users regardless of script condition. In Study 3, craving scores demonstrated good one-week test-retest reliability and predicted the number of times participants used pornography during the following week. The questionnaire could be applied in clinical and research settings to plan and evaluate treatment and to assess the prevalence of craving among recreational and problematic users of pornography.