The Relationship Between Fear Of Missing Out and Depressive Symptoms in Dutch Adolescents: The Mediating Role of Social Comparison and Social Media Self-Regulation Failure
Schouwen, Saranne van
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Given that mental health is a growing concern in today’s society, in the current study it was examined whether FOMO had an effect on depressive symptoms among Dutch adolescents over time and whether the effect is mediated by social comparison and Social Media Self-Regulation Failure (SMSRF). Social comparison refers to evaluating how you are doing by comparing yourself to others. SMSRF is defined as the failure to exert self-control over your social media use. The data set of the Digital Youth Project was used to answer the research question. A non-significant longitudinal relationship between higher levels of FOMO and higher levels of depressive symptoms was found. However, higher levels of FOMO was found to be associated with higher levels of depressive symptoms in cross-sectional data. Nevertheless, a significant longitudinal association was found between higher levels of social comparison and higher levels of depressive symptoms. Additionally, findings showed that higher levels of FOMO were related to higher levels of SMSRF, which in turn were related to higher levels of depressive symptoms. These results contribute to understanding the underlying mechanisms that could lead to depression in adolescence.