Severity of depression and anxiety in relation to problematic smartphone use in the United Arab Emirates: The mediational roles of rumination and fear of missing out

Zahir Vally, Ahmad M. Alghraibeh, Jon D. Elhai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Social scientists have increasingly examined psychological constructs that may mediate the relationship between depressive and anxious affect and excessive, problematic smartphone use (PSU). The aim of this study was to examine two potential mediational variables – the fear of missing out (FOMO) and rumination – in accounting for the relationship between levels of both depression and anxiety with PSU. A sample of 264 Emirati (citizens of the United Arab Emirates) college students completed measures of depression, anxiety, FOMO, rumination, and PSU via an online-administered survey. At the bivariate correlational level, all psychological variables were significantly related to PSU severity. Mediational analyses revealed that FOMO significantly mediated relations between both depression and anxiety with PSU severity. These results were mirrored when rumination was tested as a mediator. This study joins growing recent work on the importance of FOMO and rumination to PSU, and this is the first study to test these psychological variables related to PSU in a Middle Eastern sample. Our results suggest that both FOMO and rumination may be important factors accounting for this association.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-431
Number of pages9
JournalHuman Behavior and Emerging Technologies
Volume3
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021

Keywords

  • Arab
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • fear of missing out
  • internet addiction
  • mediation
  • problematic smartphone use
  • rumination
  • smartphone addiction
  • smartphone usage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Human-Computer Interaction

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