Loyola University Chicago

Department of Psychology


Brynn Huguenel

Brynn Huguenel
Training Track: Clinical
Advisor: Colleen Conley, Ph.D.
Office: Coffey Hall 308 and 202
Webpage: Research Gate


Brynn is interested in the risk and resilience factors of mental health outcomes during periods of stress, namely the transition into emerging adulthood and college. Additionally, she is interested in the implementation and evaluation of preventative and intervention programs, including mindfulness and technology-based approaches. In the IMPACT lab, she completed a Master’s thesis examining the interrelationships between social media use and negative mental health outcomes of college students.

Masters Thesis Title

Fear of missing out: A moderated mediation approach to social media use

Masters Thesis Abstract

Literature examining the relation between social media use and mental health outcomes remains mixed and inconclusive. The current study explores whether fear of missing out (FOMO) mediates the relation between social networking site (SNS) use and negative mental health outcomes. Further, this study examines the relation in a more nuanced way by including multidimensional measures of SNS use and moderators of Facebook activities and individual-level characteristics. These research questions have been framed within the developmental context of emerging adulthood. Data was collected from undergraduate students (N=296) who participated in two time points of a short-term longitudinal survey. The assessment included various measures of psychological and physical functioning, SNS use, and well-being. Two mediation analyses using bootstrapping methods were performed to examine whether the intensity of Facebook use predicts anxiety or depression, as mediated by FOMO. A longitudinal moderated multiple regression analysis examined whether specific Facebook activities moderates the relation between intensity of Facebook use and FOMO. Finally, a second set of longitudinal moderated multiple regression analyses examined whether the individual characteristics of social comparison and social connectedness moderate the relations between FOMO and negative mental health outcomes. Exploratory analyses varying the configuration of these variables were also examined post-hoc. Results indicated that time spent on SNSs, in combination with attachment to Facebook, does not predict anxiety or depression symptoms, and none of the examined moderators emerged as significant. Post-hoc analyses showed that social connectedness moderated the relation between FOMO and anxiety. Further, passive behaviors on social media indirectly predicted higher levels of anxiety and depression through increases in FOMO. This study gives pause in making sweeping negative conclusions about SNS use, finding that the manner in which one uses SNSs may be more important than duration of time spent online.

Masters Thesis Committee

Drs. Colleen Conley and Grayson Holmbeck