Celebrity worship, defined as an excessive preoccupation with a famous media figure, has been of considerable research interest in the past two decades. There is growing evidence for the association between psychiatric symptoms (e.g., depression, anxiety, dissociative experiences) and celebrity worship. However, research on possible mediators that can provide an explanation for this association is scarce. This study aims to explore the complexity of the association between psychiatric symptoms and celebrity worship in the context of desire for fame, maladaptive daydreaming, and need to belong. An online questionnaire was administered to a sample of Hungarian adolescents and adults (N = 437; 78.3% male; Mage = 24.7 years, SD = 7.4). Applying a path analytic approach, it was found that desire for fame and maladaptive daydreaming mediated the relationship between psychiatric symptoms and celebrity worship. These findings can possibly contribute to a better understanding of the association between these two constructs.
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