My Topics

4 March 2014

Cell Phone Use Relates to Lower School Grades and Wellbeing

Keywords: health, survey, North America, SMS, education, happiness, mobile, mobile phone, technology, young adults,

A study in Computers in Human Behavior investigates whether calling and texting on the cell phone relates to students’ school grades, anxiety, and satisfaction with life. It turns out that cell phone use relates negatively to students’ grades and satisfaction with life. In addition, students who use their cell phone often are more anxious than other students.

Take aways

  • Students who use their cell phone often:
    • have lower grade averages,
    • are less satisfied with their lives,
    • and are more anxious.
  • Students spend on average five hours per day using their cell phones.
  • It is important to make students aware of the fact that calling and texting on their cell phone can relate negatively to their grades and mental and physical health. 

Study information

  • The question?

    Does cell phone use relates to students’ school grades, anxiety, and satisfaction with life?

  • Who?

    536 college students (mean age: 21 years; 69% female)

  • Where?

    United States

  • How?

    Students completed a survey during class about their satisfaction with life, anxiety, and total amount of time spent using their cell phone and texting. Students also gave the researchers permission to see their grades and to calculate their grade average.

Facts and findings

  • Students who used their cell phone often had lower grade averages and were less satisfied with their lives compared to those who were less active with their cell phone.
  • In addition, they reported higher anxiety than those who used their cell phone less often.
  • Students reported that they spent an average of 5 hours per day using their cell phones and sent an average of 77 text messages per day.
  • Critical note: This study does not allow for any conclusions about cause (using cell phones) and effect (students’ grades, anxiety, and life satisfaction). The results only show that making use of cell phones is associated with students’ grades, anxiety, and life satisfaction, but cannot say anything about what causes what.