Examining Fear of Missing Out (FoMO) as a Moderator of the Association Between Peak Drinks and Alcohol-Induced Blacking Out




Lowery, Ashley
Zhou, Zhengyang
Astorga, Angeles
Lewis, Melissa


0000-0003-1410-7696 (Lowery, Ashley)

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Purpose: Heavy drinking remains a public health concern among adolescents and young adults due to adverse outcomes including blackouts. Moreover, studies have also linked heavy drinking to the Fear of Missing Out (FoMO). Further investigation into the relationship between FoMO and alcohol-induced blackouts is merited. Therefore, this study aims to examine whether FoMO moderates the association between peak alcohol consumption and experiencing alcohol-induced blackouts. Methods: Participants ages 15-25 (N = 233; Mean age = 21.54 (SD = 2.46); 36% male) completed both baseline and daily surveys as part of a larger EMA intervention study Zero-inflated Poisson model was fit to examine the interaction effect between FoMO and peak drinks on self-reported experiences of alcohol-induced blackouts, controlling for relevant covariates (i.e., age, biological sex). Results: Findings indicated the effect of peak alcohol consumption was moderated by FoMO on both the likelihood (log odds ratio = 0.048, p-value = 0.017) and average number (log incidence rate ratio = 0.296, p-value = 0.003) of alcohol-induced blackouts. Specifically, the effect of peak alcohol consumption on alcohol-induced blackouts was stronger for the average number of blackouts but weaker for the likelihood of experiencing any blackouts among those with higher level of FoMO. Conclusions: Findings support previous literature examining FoMO as a risk factor for experiencing alcohol-related harm among adolescents and young adults. Therefore, future research should seek to target FoMO cognitions as an additional way to reduce heavy drinking among adolescents and young adults.