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Social media engagement and fear of missing out (FOMO) in primary school children

D’Lima, Peter and Higgins, Andrea 2021. Social media engagement and fear of missing out (FOMO) in primary school children. Educational Psychology in Practice 37 (3) , pp. 320-338. 10.1080/02667363.2021.1947200

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This study explored primary school children’s personal use and views of social media and the social and psychological drivers that may underpin engagement. 100 children, aged 9 – 11 years old, in a Welsh, urban local authority completed an online questionnaire investigating social media engagement (SME) and perceptions of use, Fear of Missing Out (FOMO), and ways to support young social media users. Six children were interviewed to further explore ways to overcome the reported challenges with SME. 82% of children surveyed used social media and a significant positive correlation was found between levels of FOMO and SME. Thematic analysis revealed that children enjoyed using social media and managed risks with assertiveness and initiative. However, conflict between competing motivations and underlying assumptions regarding stranger interaction could place children at risk. The findings convey a strong argument for more in-depth, psychologically informed, primary e-safety curricula addressing peer pressure, self-worth, and online interactions with strangers.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
ISSN: 0266-7363
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 29 June 2021
Date of Acceptance: 15 April 2021
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2023 22:35

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