Page last updated: Aug 2021
Fear of missing out and binge-drinking among adolescents

Fear of missing out and binge-drinking among adolescents No previous studies have examined the crosssectional association between fear of missing out (FOMO) and binge-drinking among adolescents. The aim of a study published in the Drug and Alcohol Review was: (i) to estimate the magnitude of this association; (ii) to assess the impact of potential confounders (i.e. sensation-seeking, symptoms of depression and self-regulation); and (iii) determine if it is uniform across all levels of these characteristics.

Data for the study was from a cross-sectional study of adolescents at 33 middle schools in Norway, stratified according to geographic location, urban and rural locations, and standard of living. 2,646 adolescents (mean age 16.2 years, 43% boys) were included in the study. Self-report data were collected on binge-drinking, FOMO, sensationseeking, symptoms of depression and selfregulation. Overall, 21% of adolescents reported bingedrinking ≤ once per month in the past 12 months, while 9% reported binge-drinking more than once per month. Analyses showed that the crude effect, where greater FOMO was associated with greater risk of binge-drinking, was substantial (relative-risk ratio = 1.50 [1.35, 1.66]), but somewhat attenuated after including all potential confounders (relativerisk ratio = 1.28 [1.14, 1.43]). Effect modification analyses showed that the effect of FOMO on binge-drinking ≤ once per month was stronger for adolescents with symptoms of low level depression and weaker for adolescents at high levels of depression.

The researchers conclude that Norwegian adolescents with higher FOMO have greater risk of binge-drinking.

Source: Brunborg GS, Skogen JC, Burdzovic Andreas J. Fear of missing out and binge-drinking among adolescents. Drug Alcohol Rev. 2021 Jul 25.

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