Document Type


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Psychology Research and Behavior Management

Publication Date



Purpose: The growing awareness and concern about the excessive use of social media have led to an increasing number of studies investigating the underlying factors contributing to this behavior. In the literature, it is discussed that problematic social media use (PSMU) can impact individuals’ mental health and well-being. Drawing on the Interaction of Person-Affect-Cognition-Execution (I-PACE) model, this study aimed to examine the association between the need for affect (affect approach and affect avoidance) and PSMU (operationalized via the social media disorder scale), as well as the mediating role of fear of missing out (FoMO) in that relation. Participants and Methods: Data were collected via an online survey from 513 participants in European and Arabic countries. Regression and mediation analyses were conducted to explore the relationships between affect approach, affect avoidance, FoMO, and PSMU. Results: Regression analysis results indicated that both affect approach and affect avoidance as part of the need for affect construct significantly predicted PSMU in both cultural contexts. Mediation analysis showed that FoMO partially mediated the relationship between affect approach and PSMU in the Arab sample but not in the European sample. Beyond this, FoMO partially mediated the relationship between affect avoidance and PSMU in both cultural samples. Conclusion: The present study indicates that managing emotions could be an effective strategy to combat PSMU. In line with this and against the background of the data business model behind social media companies, we deem it to be of importance to minimize triggers related to FoMO in the design of social media platforms (for example, push notifications). This might be particularly relevant for individuals with a high inclination towards affect approach and affect avoidance.




Informa UK Limited



First Page


Last Page



Computer Sciences


affect approach, affect avoidance, cross cultural, fear of missing out, need for affect, problematic social media use

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Indexed in Scopus


Open Access


Open Access Type

Gold: This publication is openly available in an open access journal/series