Negative consequences from heavy social networking in adolescents: The mediating role of fear of missing out (2017)

J Adolesc. 2017 Feb;55:51-60. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2016.12.008.

Oberst U1, Wegmann E2, Stodt B3, Brand M4, Chamarro A5.


Social networking sites (SNS) are especially attractive for adolescents, but it has also been shown that these users can suffer from negative psychological consequences when using these sites excessively. We analyze the role of fear of missing out (FOMO) and intensity of SNS use for explaining the link between psychopathological symptoms and negative consequences of SNS use via mobile devices. In an online survey, 1468 Spanish-speaking Latin-American social media users between 16 and 18 years old completed the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), the Social Networking Intensity scale (SNI), the FOMO scale (FOMOs), and a questionnaire on negative consequences of using SNS via mobile device (CERM). Using structural equation modeling, it was found that both FOMO and SNI mediate the link between psychopathology and CERM, but by different mechanisms. Additionally, for girls, feeling depressed seems to trigger higher SNS involvement. For boys, anxiety triggers higher SNS involvement.

KEYWORDS: Adolescents; FOMO; Fear of missing out; Negative consequences of mobile device use; Social networking intensity; Social networking sites

PMID: 28033503

DOI: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2016.12.008