Date of Award

8-2016

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Psychology

Abstract

Collegiate alcohol abuse is an ongoing problem in the United States (Core Institute, 2014). While there have been numerous investigations into this concern, the precise nature of what motivates alcohol misuse in this population still contains areas of uncertainty. One such area could be the newly identified phenomenon known as Fear of Missing Out (FoMO). Research into FoMO demonstrates it as a motivator for individuals to seek socially rewarding experiences (Przybylski et al., 2013); this characteristic indicates it as a potential risk factor for collegiate alcohol abuse. When considering alcohol’s ubiquitous nature as a social facilitator in college campuses, these trait characteristics raise the concern that college students high in FoMO would be at an elevated risk for alcohol abuse. Therefore, the present study sought to examine the relationship between FoMO and collegiate alcohol use. Specifically, this investigation sought to determine if FoMO predicted how likely an individual was to drink, as well as their levels of alcohol craving. Additionally, this experiment sought to replicate initial demographic characteristics of FoMO, as well as assessing its relationship to individual psychological need satisfaction. Results of the present study did not identify a link between FoMO and self-reported drinking likelihood, but did identify FoMO as a predictor of alcohol craving. Interestingly, additional analyses failed to replicate Przybylski et al.’s (2013) finding that males report higher levels of FoMO than females and also failed to link FoMO to overall psychological need satisfaction. These findings represent several areas for continued investigation.

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