FoMO, but not self-compassion, moderates the link between social media use and anxiety in adolescence

Journal article


Einstein, Danielle A., Dabb, Carol and Fraser, Madeleine. (2023). FoMO, but not self-compassion, moderates the link between social media use and anxiety in adolescence. Australian Journal of Psychology. 75(1), p. Article 2217961. https://doi.org/10.1080/00049530.2023.2217961
AuthorsEinstein, Danielle A., Dabb, Carol and Fraser, Madeleine
Abstract

Objective
Social media use is ubiquitous during adolescence, and emerging research suggests an association with anxiety symptoms in some individuals. Two psychological constructs which may moderate this relationship are Fear of Missing Out (FoMO) and self-compassion. Higher FoMO tendencies may exacerbate the link between social media use and anxiety symptoms through greater fixation on social comparison, whereas higher self-compassion may weaken this link. The purpose of this study was to examine whether FoMO and self-compassion independently moderate the relationship between social media use and anxiety symptoms in adolescents.

Method
Participants included 951 adolescents (Mage = 13.69, SD = 0.72; 54% male). Online questionnaires assessed frequency of social media use, anxiety symptoms, FoMO, and self-compassion.

Results
FoMO moderated the relationship between social media use and anxiety, ΔR2 = .022, ΔF(1,945) = 26.26, p < .001. Increased social media use was associated with increased anxiety symptoms in adolescents high in FoMO and reduced anxiety for adolescents low in FoMO. Self-compassion was not a significant moderator.

Conclusion
These findings have implications for social media use, public guidelines and clinical practice and support adoption of a discerning approach to adolescent’s social media use.

Keywordssocial media; FoMO; self-compassion; anxiety; adolescence
Year2023
JournalAustralian Journal of Psychology
Journal citation75 (1), p. Article 2217961
PublisherTaylor & Francis
ISSN0004-9530
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/00049530.2023.2217961
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85162714288
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
Page range1-14
Publisher's version
License
File Access Level
Open
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online08 Jun 2023
Publication process dates
Accepted22 May 2023
Deposited08 Aug 2023
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