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I can’t believe I missed that! How the fear of missing out impacts on alcohol behaviours

Crawford, Joel, Jones, Andrew, Rose, Abi and Cooke, Richard (2024) I can’t believe I missed that! How the fear of missing out impacts on alcohol behaviours. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 258. p. 111273. ISSN 1879-0046

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Abstract or description


The Fear of Missing Out (FoMO), which is often experienced over missing opportunities for social gains associated with drinking, has been linked to heavy episodic drinking and experiencing negative consequences. The UK Coronavirus (COVID-19)-related lockdown provided a unique context to study FoMO’s ability to predict of alcohol consumption. The aim of the current study was to test if FoMO predicted alcohol consumption during a time of social restrictions.


One hundred and five UK adults (aged 18–30, 61% female) participated in a study using an ecological momentary assessment design. Surveys were completed on smartphones and assessed FoMO and drinking intentions, three time a day (morning, afternoon, evening) over three consecutive weekends (Friday, Saturday, Sunday). Alcohol consumption was recorded once per day, based on previous day consumption.


Repeated mixed model analyses found FoMO significantly predicted quantity of alcohol consumption (b =.05, p =.01) and drinking intentions (b =.47, p <.001), but did not predict frequency of consumption. Being male (b = 2.93, p =.02) and higher intentions (b = 0.5, p <.001) predicted higher quantity of consumption. Drinking intentions was the only variable to predict frequency of consumption (b =.004, p <.001).


The study showed FoMO can predict quantity of alcohol consumption and drinking intentions, which are linked to increased negative consequences. Future studies should assess FoMO against other predictive factors. Results provide an insight into how a social predictor influenced alcohol consumption during a time of restrictions.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Alcohol; Fear of missing out; FoMO; Ecological momentary assessment; Drinking intentions. COVID-19
Faculty: School of Life Sciences and Education > Psychology and Counselling
Depositing User: Richard COOKE
Date Deposited: 22 Apr 2024 12:44
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2024 12:44

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