Social networking sites addiction and FoMO: The mediating role of envy and the moderating role of need to belong

  • Lipeng Yin
  • Pengcheng WangEmail author
  • Jia Nie
  • Jinjin Guo
  • Jiaming Feng
  • Li LeiEmail author


Previous research has documented that social networking sites (SNS) addiction is positively related to FoMO (Fear of Missing Out). However, little is known about the mediating and moderating mechanisms underlying this relation. The current study tested the mediating effect of envy in the association between SNS addiction and FoMO, and whether this mediating process was moderated by need to belong. The model in this study was examined with 704 Chinese adolescents (mean age = 16.80 years, SD = 0.92). The participants completed questionnaires regarding SNS addiction, envy, FoMO, and need to belong. The results showed that SNS addiction was positively associated with FoMO. Mediation analysis indicated that envy mediated the association between SNS addiction and FoMO. Moderated mediation analysis further revealed that the mediated path was stronger for adolescents with higher degrees of need to belong. These findings highlight the significance of confirming the mechanisms that moderate the mediated paths between SNS addiction and FoMO. Besides, the findings provide a potential way to understand the consequences of SNS addiction better and help to reduce the negative impact of high levels of FOMO on adolescents.


SNS addiction FoMO Envy Need to belong Adolescents 



The present study was supported by the Outstanding Innovative Talents Cultivation Funded Programs 2017 of Renmin University of China, the Key Research Institute in Humanities and Social Sciences of the Ministry of Education (Academy of Psychology and Behavior, Tianjin Normal University) (14JJD190005), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities, and the Research Funds of Department of Psychology of Renmin University of China.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Human Participants and Animal Studies

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Conflict of Interests

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology, The Center of Internet + Social PsychologyRenmin University of ChinaBeijingChina
  2. 2.School of Information Resource ManagementRenmin University of ChinaBeijingChina

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