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Washington State University

Boredom in Adolescents and Young Adults

Boredom is a common experience but as researchers, we don’t fully understand when boredom may be helpful or harmful. To answer these questions and better understand the experience of boredom in adolescence and young adulthood, we are collecting quantitative, qualitative, and physiological data to better understand the experience of boredom.

Research questions currently being addressed include:

  • How does boredom change historically and developmentally?
  • How has COVID-19 impacted experiences of boredom?
  • How is boredom related to cognition?
  • What are the neurological correlates of boredom?
  • How do individuals cope with boredom? Why do some have difficulty coping?

Person wearing EEG cap during computerized boredom task.
Person wearing EEG cap during computerized boredom task.

Related Publications

Collaborators include Dr. Sammy Perone. Related publications include:

  • Perone, S., Anderson, A., & Weybright, E. (accepted). Older and wiser? Age-related change in state and trait boredom during adolescence and associations with neural correlates of self-regulation. Adaptive Human Behavior and Physiology.
  • Weybright, E. H., *Doering E. L., & Perone, S. (2022). Difficulties with emotion regulation during COVID-19 and associations with boredom in college students [Special Issue]. Behavioral Sciences, 12(8), 296.
  • *Anderson, A. J., *McMeen, C. E., Perone, S., & Weybright, E. H. (2022). Sound and silence: The effects of environmental conditions on state boredom [Special Issue]. Behavioral Sciences, 12(8), 282.
  • Weybright, E., Beckmeyer, J. J., Caldwell, L. L., Wegner, L., *Doering, E., & Smith, E. (2022). Can’t you see I’m getting bored? The social context as a moderator of adolescent leisure boredom and alcohol use. Youth & Society. Advance online publication.
  • *Jackson, A., *Anderson, A., Weybright, E., & Lanigan, J. (2021). Hungry or bored? The impact of COVID-19 on boredom and dietary behaviors. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 53(8), P706-711.
  • Perone, S., *Anderson A. J., & Weybright, E. H. (2020). It’s all relative: Contextual influences on boredom and neural correlates of regulatory processes. Psychophysiology, 58(3), e13746.
  • Weybright, E. H., Schulenberg, J., & Caldwell, L. L. (2020). More bored today than yesterday? National trends in adolescent boredom from 2008-2017. Journal of Adolescent Health, 66(3), 360-365. Press Release
  • Perone, S., Weybright, E. H., & Anderson, A. J. (2019). Over and over again: Changes in frontal EEG asymmetry across a boring task. Psychophysiology, 56(10), 1-12. Press Release
  • Weybright, E. H., Caldwell, L. L., Ram, N., Smith, E. A., & Wegner, L. (2015). Boredom prone or nothing to do? Distinguishing between trait and state leisure boredom and its association with substance use in South African adolescents. Leisure Sciences, 37(4), 311-331. PMCID: PMC4465374
  • Miller, J., Caldwell, L. L., Weybright, E. H., Smith, E. A., Vergnani, T., & Wegner, L. (2014). Was Bob Seger right? Relation between free time boredom and [risky] sex. Leisure Sciences, 36(1), 52-67. doi: 10.1080/01490400.2014.860789 PMCID: PMC4326014