Are You a Compulsive Texter? Study Illuminates Troubling Patterns

Are You a Compulsive Texter? Study Illuminates Troubling Patterns

LOL K BYE: new study published in Psychology of Popular Media Culture reports that teens' compulsive texting competes with their attention span for their studies and may indicate deeper problems. The study found that teenage compulsive texters showed traits similar to gamblers: losing sleep due to texting, difficulty cutting back and lying to hide the amount of time they spent texting. It also revealed a gender imbalance: the girls in the study texted far more than boys, with 12 per cent of girls and 3 per cent of boys doing so compulsively. Boys in the study who showed signs of compulsive texting were less likely to fare poorly in school, though the academic performance was self-reported. The study surveyed 211 eighth and 192  Caucasian 11th graders in a small town in the Midwest. Texting has become the dominant mode of communication among teenagers in recent years, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

The study's 14-item questionnaire was adapted from a pathological gambling survey. The authors of the new study modified it to identify problems with texting. Texting and excessive Internet have previously been linked to sleep problems and poor grades.

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