New study links smartphone use in students with increased anxiety and bad grades
Smartphones may not cause unhappiness amongst younger users, but the feeling of social obligation and constant distraction don't help
Monday 09 December 2013
A new study examining the influence of smartphones on students suggests that hanging on to your phone all the time can be bad for you in more ways than one.
The research from Kent State University looked at 500 students, noting that “high frequency cell phone users tended to have a lower GPA [academic scores], higher anxiety, and lower satisfaction with life relative to their peers who used the cell phone less often.”
Jacob Barkley, Aryn Karpinski and Andrew Lepp led the research, noting that whilst the findings do not suggest that smartphone usage is directly causing these negative traits, they do enable behaviours that lead to unhappiness and low grades.
Speaking to The Independent, Mr Barkley noted that “[Whilst] it is possible that cell use causes anxiety and poor academic performance, it is also possible that highly anxious people are more drawn to their cell phones for a variety of reasons.”
“I can envision a scenario where a student sits down to study material they find difficult or dull and they are drawn to other, non-academic activities. Their cell phone is an easy choice,” says Barkley.
When examining the relationship between smartphone use and academic performance, the researchers found that “high frequency users” were more likely to multi-task, a habit that has already been linked to lower grades in school.
The study also found that on average users would check their phones just six minutes after initiating a study session. This could propel a cycle of anxiety, with users feeling they are missing lead leading to lower academic performance leading to more worry.
The anxiety stemming from smartphones tended to originate from a feeling of social obligation, with the ever-connected device making it “difficult for some users to disconnect and find the solitude necessary to temporarily escape these perceived obligations.”
One student interviewed for the study noted that social networks made them feel "tied to their phone":
“[It’s] like it is a whole new world of obligations that I have because anybody can get a hold of me at any time by just thinking about me. You know, if my mom wanted to give me a call right now, and just talk for a second, she could.”
The researchers also note that whilst advertising for smartphones “hinges upon the assumption” that owning and using the device will “increase subjective well-being or happiness” studies do not bear out these conclusions.
New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain
By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen
Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy
New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning
Review: Mike Leigh's biopic is a rambling, rich character study
Life & Style blogs
How to carve a pumpkin for Halloween with this step-by-step tutorial
Five year old British boy becomes youngest ever qualified computer specialist
Health: When masturbation can be fatal: The practice of auto-erotic asphyxia is often concealed by a coroner's verdict. Monique Roffey looks at a lethal taboo
Sex with more than 20 women 'reduces risk of prostate cancer'
Woman successfully sues Google for showing her with 'part of her breast exposed' on Street View
Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not 'a magician with a magic wand'
Huge surge in Ukip support after EU funding row, according to new poll
Ukip ‘exploiting grooming scandal’ to secure party’s first police chief
Nigel Farage: 'There’s nothing wrong with white people blacking up'
Maureen Lipman says 'she can't vote Labour while Ed Miliband is leader'
Muslims, immigration and teenage pregnancy: British people are ignorant about almost everything
- 1 'Nasa Confirms Six Days of Darkness in December': No, they don't - it's a hoax
- 2 Canadian actor punched in face after 'Islamophobia' experiment goes wrong in wake of Ottawa shooting
- 3 Topshop at centre of row over body image as 'shocking' skinny mannequin photo goes viral
- 4 If you think Russell Brand’s new book is confused, you should read what his critics have to say about it
- 5 Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£35000 - £40000 Per Annum plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K: SThree: We consistently strive to be the...
£24000 - £25000 Per Annum plus company car and commission: Clearwater People S...
£25 - 32k DOE: Guru Careers: A digital-savvy Marketing Account Manager / Clien...