Anxiety and stress severity are related to greater fear of missing out on rewarding experiences: A latent profile analysis

Psych J. 2021 Oct;10(5):688-697. doi: 10.1002/pchj.455. Epub 2021 May 12.


The fear of missing out on rewarding social experiences (FOMO) is an increasingly studied psychological construct, related to negative affectivity and increased online social engagement. Yet the heterogeneity of FOMO across individuals is not known. We conducted a latent profile analysis (LPA) of FOMO self-report ratings to determine sample heterogeneity and uncover underlying subgroups (profiles) of participants. We recruited 920 undergraduate participants through a Chinese university for an online survey, administering the FOMO Scale and the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale-21. Results demonstrated support for a four-profile LPA model based on FOMO ratings. Using multinomial logistic regression, more severe latent profiles (i.e., those with the greatest amount of FOMO endorsed) were associated with female sex, and higher stress and anxiety severity. Results suggest four distinct latent profiles based on FOMO ratings; findings are discussed in the context of self-determination theory.

Keywords: anxiety; depression; fear of missing out; latent profile analysis; stress.

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety*
  • Fear
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Problem Behavior*
  • Students
  • Universities