Because of the high prevalence of smartphone use in early adolescence, communication between classroom peers increasingly occurs via online chat groups. Recent studies indicate that online classmate groups are places in which different forms of peer exclusion can occur, including being banned from participating in the groups, not being invited to join them, or being shunned by online peers. In order to avoid being offended by peers, students may even decide to self-exclude from participating in the groups. Peer exclusion represents a significant source of suffering for early adolescents, with long-lasting consequences on their well-being. In this study, we investigated the relationship between exclusion from WhatsApp classmate groups and emotional symptoms among early adolescents. Additionally, the fear of missing out (FoMO) was examined as a potential mediator of the relationship between peer exclusion and emotional distress. The sample consisted of 398 middle schoolers (age: M = 12.54 years; SD = 0.96) residing in Italy. We found that positive relationships existed between peer exclusion, emotional symptoms, and FoMO. Findings supported the role of FoMO as a mediator in the link between peer exclusion and emotional symptoms. Results are discussed in light of the implications for the assessment of the quality of student-student interactions.

Alone, together: Fear of missing out mediates the link between peer exclusion in WhatsApp classmate groups and psychological adjustment in early-adolescent teens

Marengo D.;Settanni M.;Fabris M. A.;Longobardi C.
2021

Abstract

Because of the high prevalence of smartphone use in early adolescence, communication between classroom peers increasingly occurs via online chat groups. Recent studies indicate that online classmate groups are places in which different forms of peer exclusion can occur, including being banned from participating in the groups, not being invited to join them, or being shunned by online peers. In order to avoid being offended by peers, students may even decide to self-exclude from participating in the groups. Peer exclusion represents a significant source of suffering for early adolescents, with long-lasting consequences on their well-being. In this study, we investigated the relationship between exclusion from WhatsApp classmate groups and emotional symptoms among early adolescents. Additionally, the fear of missing out (FoMO) was examined as a potential mediator of the relationship between peer exclusion and emotional distress. The sample consisted of 398 middle schoolers (age: M = 12.54 years; SD = 0.96) residing in Italy. We found that positive relationships existed between peer exclusion, emotional symptoms, and FoMO. Findings supported the role of FoMO as a mediator in the link between peer exclusion and emotional symptoms. Results are discussed in light of the implications for the assessment of the quality of student-student interactions.
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Cybervictimization; early adolescents; fear of missing out; online chat groups; peer exclusion; psychological adjustment; social development; WhatsApp
Marengo D.; Settanni M.; Fabris M.A.; Longobardi C.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2318/1789423
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