Abstract This research paper introduces the Deenz Maladaptive Daydreaming Scale (DMDS-26), a tool designed to measure tendencies towards excessive daydreaming in college students aged 19-23. The scale aims to identify students who may be experiencing Maladaptive Daydreaming and assess its impact on their academic performance. A sample of 38 college students, consisting of 8 females and 30 males, participated in the study. The DMDS-26 demonstrated a high level of reliability (coefficient of 0.89) and successfully identified some students with tendencies towards Maladaptive Daydreaming. The findings suggest the importance of recognizing and addressing Maladaptive Daydreaming tendencies among college students to support their academic success. Introduction Maladaptive Daydreaming (MD) refers to an immersive form of daydreaming that significantly interferes with daily functioning and overall well-being. Individuals experiencing MD often find themselves consumed by vivid and elaborate daydreams, sometimes for hours at a time, to the extent that it disrupts their ability to engage in real-world activities and responsibilities. This phenomenon can have profound effects on various aspects of an individual's life, including their academic performance, social relationships, and psychological well-being. In academic settings, students affected by Maladaptive Daydreaming may struggle to concentrate on their studies, leading to decreased productivity and academic underachievement. Moreover, MD can impact social interactions, as individuals may prefer the company of their daydreams over real-life relationships, leading to feelings of isolation and loneliness. From a psychological perspective, Maladaptive Daydreaming can be a coping mechanism for dealing with stress, trauma, or unmet emotional needs. Recognizing and addressing MD is crucial not only for the affected individuals' well-being but also for the academic institutions and communities they are part of. Modern psychology is increasingly recognizing Maladaptive Daydreaming as a distinct psychological phenomenon and is striving to develop effective assessment tools and interventions to help individuals manage and cope with this condition. Recognizing the importance of identifying and addressing Maladaptive Daydreaming tendencies has led to the development of DMDS-26. Unlike traditional diagnostic measures that focus solely on clinical diagnosis, the DMDS-26 is designed to identify individuals who may exhibit inclinations towards pathological daydreaming traits, regardless of clinical status. This scale is valuable not only in non-clinical populations, such as students but also in clinical settings, where it can be utilized to track the progress of treatment interventions. By providing a comprehensive understanding of Maladaptive Daydreaming tendencies, the DMDS-26 facilitates early identification and intervention, ultimately promoting better academic outcomes and psychological well-being for affected individuals. MethodsDevelopment Process of the DMDS-26:Literature Review: The development of the Deenz Maladaptive Daydreaming Scale (DMDS-26) began with a comprehensive review of existing literature on Maladaptive Daydreaming. This involved examining peer-reviewed studies, clinical reports, and theoretical frameworks related to the phenomenon. The purpose of this review was to gain a thorough understanding of the key themes, behaviors, and characteristics associated with Maladaptive Daydreaming.Item Generation: Based on the insights gained from the literature review, a pool of potential items for the DMDS-26 was generated. These items were designed to capture various aspects of Maladaptive Daydreaming tendencies, including the frequency, intensity, duration, content, and impact of daydreaming episodes. Items were formulated to assess both positive and negative aspects of Maladaptive Daydreaming, such as the extent to which daydreaming provides comfort versus the extent to which it interferes with daily functioning.Expert Review: The initial pool of items was then subjected to expert review by psychologists, researchers, and clinicians with expertise in Maladaptive Daydreaming. These experts evaluated the clarity, relevance, and comprehensiveness of each item, providing feedback on areas for improvement. Items that were deemed unclear, redundant, or irrelevant were revised or eliminated based on the feedback from the expert reviewers.Pilot Testing: Following the expert review process, a pilot test of the DMDS-26 was conducted with a small sample of individuals who self-reported experiencing Maladaptive Daydreaming tendencies. This pilot test served to evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of the scale, as well as to identify any potential issues with item wording, response options, or formatting. Feedback from pilot test participants was used to further refine the items and ensure their clarity and relevance.Final Selection of Items: After iterative rounds of revision and refinement, the final selection of items for the DMDS-26 was made. Items were chosen based on their psychometric properties, including their ability to reliably and validly measure the construct of Maladaptive Daydreaming. The selected items were designed to be clear, concise, and easily understandable, making them suitable for use with diverse populations, including college students aged 19-23.Categorization of Items into Three Phases:Phase 1: "I Enjoy"This phase consists of items designed to assess the positive aspects of daydreaming, such as enjoyment, intensity, liking, and time spent engaged in daydreaming activities.Phase 2: "I Find it Hard to"This phase focuses on items that measure the cognitive and behavioral aspects of daydreaming, as well as the intensity of daydreaming episodes.Phase 3: "When I Daydream"This phase includes items that assess the overall impact of daydreaming on social and interpersonal relationships, as well as on overall well-being.Validation Process:Data Collection Methods: Participants were recruited from a sample of college students aged 19-23, representing both genders, through various recruitment methods such as university bulletin boards. Informed consent was obtained from all participants prior to their involvement in the study. Participants completed the Deenz Maladaptive Daydreaming Scale (DMDS-26), along with additional measures to assess related constructs, such as general daydreaming tendencies, academic performance, and psychological well-being.Data were collected anonymously to ensure confidentiality and minimize social desirability bias.Participant Demographics:The study sample consisted of 38 college students aged 19-23, with a gender distribution of 8 females and 30 males.Participant demographics were collected to provide context for the study findings and to ensure that the sample was representative of the target population of college students.Statistical Analyses: Reliability Analysis: Internal consistency reliability of the DMDS-26 was assessed using Cronbach's alpha coefficient. This analysis measures the extent to which items on the scale are correlated with each other, providing an indication of the scale's reliability.Validity Analysis: Construct validity of the DMDS-26 was examined using factor analyses, including both exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). EFA was conducted to explore the underlying factor structure of the scale and identify any potential subscales or dimensions. CFA was then used to confirm the hypothesized factor structure of the scale and assess its goodness of fit to the data.Convergent and Discriminant Validity: The convergent and discriminant validity of the DMDS-26 were assessed by examining its correlations with other measures of related constructs, such as general daydreaming tendencies, academic performance, and psychological well-being. Higher correlations with measures of daydreaming and lower correlations with measures of academic performance and psychological well-being were expected, demonstrating the scale's ability to differentiate between Maladaptive Daydreaming and other constructs.Ethical Considerations:The study was conducted in accordance with ethical guidelines for research involving human participants, ensuring the protection of participants' rights and well-being.Informed consent was obtained from all participants, and measures were taken to maintain confidentiality and anonymity throughout the data collection and analysis process.ResultsDescriptive Statistics: The mean DMDS-26 score for the sample of college students aged 19-23 was found to be 21.5, with a standard deviation of 5.2. The range of scores varied from a minimum of 13 to a maximum of 30. This suggests that, on average, participants scored moderately on the scale, with some variability in scores across the sample.Reliability Coefficient: The internal consistency reliability of the DMDS-26 was assessed using Cronbach's alpha coefficient, which yielded a high coefficient of 0.89. This indicates a strong level of internal consistency among the items on the scale, suggesting that the items are consistently measuring the same underlying construct of Maladaptive Daydreaming tendencies. Such a high coefficient indicates that the scale reliably captures the intended construct, enhancing confidence in its use for research and clinical purposes.Significant Findings: The validation study identified a subgroup of college students with elevated scores on the DMDS-26, indicating tendencies towards Maladaptive Daydreaming. Among the participants, 15 out of 38 (39.5%) scored above the cutoff for elevated Maladaptive Daydreaming tendencies. These individuals may experience challenges in academic work due to the impact of excessive daydreaming on their ability to concentrate and engage in learning activities effectively.Correlational analyses revealed that higher DMDS-26 scores were associated with lower academic performance, as evidenced by self-reported grades or objective measures such as GPA. Specifically, participants with elevated Maladaptive Daydreaming tendencies reported lower average GPAs (M = 2.8) compared to those with lower scores (M = 3.5). Additionally, students with higher DMDS-26 scores reported greater interference of daydreaming with their daily activities, including academic tasks, social interactions, and overall well-being.These findings underscore the importance of recognizing and addressing Maladaptive Daydreaming tendencies in college students, as they may have significant implications for academic success and overall psychological well-being.DiscussionInterpretation of Findings: The findings of the validation study provide valuable insights into the prevalence and impact of Maladaptive Daydreaming tendencies among college students aged 19-23. The identification of a subgroup of participants with elevated scores on the DMDS-26 suggests that Maladaptive Daydreaming is not uncommon in this population. These individuals may face challenges in academic settings due to difficulties in concentration and focus, as evidenced by the negative association between DMDS-26 scores and academic performance. The high internal consistency reliability of the DMDS-26 indicates that the scale effectively captures the construct of Maladaptive Daydreaming tendencies, providing a reliable tool for assessing this phenomenon in college students.Implications for Academic Institutions and Individuals: Identifying college students with Maladaptive Daydreaming tendencies has significant implications for academic institutions and the affected individuals. For academic institutions, recognizing and addressing Maladaptive Daydreaming can help support student success and well-being. Implementing interventions and support services tailored to the needs of students with Maladaptive Daydreaming tendencies can improve academic outcomes and enhance overall student satisfaction.For individuals affected by Maladaptive Daydreaming, recognition and intervention can lead to improved academic performance, better time management skills, and enhanced psychological well-being. Providing resources such as counseling, support groups, and cognitive-behavioral therapy can help individuals develop coping strategies and reduce the negative impact of excessive daydreaming on their daily lives.Limitations and Future Directions: Despite the valuable insights provided by the validation study, several limitations should be acknowledged. The relatively small sample size of 38 participants limits the generalizability of the findings and may have affected the statistical power of the analyses. Additionally, the use of self-reported measures, such as the DMDS-26 and academic performance, introduces the potential for response bias and inaccuracies in reporting.Future research should aim to address these limitations by conducting larger-scale studies with more diverse participant samples. Longitudinal studies could also provide valuable information on the stability of Maladaptive Daydreaming tendencies over time and their impact on academic and psychosocial outcomes. Additionally, qualitative research methods, such as interviews and focus groups, could offer deeper insights into the lived experiences of individuals with Maladaptive Daydreaming and inform the development of more targeted interventions.ConclusionThe validation study of the Deenz Maladaptive Daydreaming Scale (DMDS-26) has provided valuable insights into the prevalence and impact of Maladaptive Daydreaming tendencies among college students aged 19-23. The findings indicate that Maladaptive Daydreaming is not uncommon in this population, with a subgroup of participants exhibiting elevated scores on the DMDS-26, suggesting a propensity towards excessive daydreaming behaviors.The high internal consistency reliability of the DMDS-26 underscores its utility as a reliable tool for assessing Maladaptive Daydreaming tendencies in college students. By identifying individuals with elevated scores on the scale, academic institutions can better understand the challenges faced by students affected by Maladaptive Daydreaming and implement targeted interventions to support their academic success and psychological well-being.The implications of identifying college students with Maladaptive Daydreaming tendencies are significant, both for academic institutions and the affected individuals. Implementing interventions and support services tailored to the needs of students with Maladaptive Daydreaming can improve academic outcomes, enhance overall student satisfaction, and foster a more inclusive learning environment.Despite the valuable insights provided by the validation study, several limitations should be acknowledged, including the relatively small sample size and the use of self-reported measures. Future research should aim to address these limitations by conducting larger-scale studies with more diverse participant samples and utilizing longitudinal research designs to explore the stability of Maladaptive Daydreaming tendencies over time.In conclusion, the validation of the DMDS-26 highlights the importance of recognizing and addressing Maladaptive Daydreaming tendencies among college students. By raising awareness of this phenomenon and providing targeted support, academic institutions can empower students to overcome the challenges associated with excessive daydreaming and achieve their academic and personal goals.Declarations Competing interests: The authors declare no competing interests. Conflict of Interest: no conflicts of interest. Funding: No funding was received for this research. Approval was granted by the Institutional Ethics Committee, IGNU Ref:- Letter No.453DREPO- 02/01/2024Appendix The Deenz Maladaptive Daydreaming Scale (DMDS-26) is also available online through the DrDeenz platform, offering the convenience of automatic scoring and enhancing time efficiency in assessment processes. This digital version of the scale streamlines the scoring process, eliminating the need for manual scoring and reducing the time and resources required for data collection and analysis.