A new study has found that college students who use their cell phones frequently had lower grades, higher anxiety and were less happy than other students.
For their study, Kent State University researchers Andrew Lepp, Ph.D., Jacob Barkley, Ph.D., and Aryn Karpinski, Ph.D., all faculty members in the university’s College of Education, Health and Human Services, surveyed more than 500 university students.
Researchers investigated the smartphone habits of equal numbers of students in each year of study and were given voluntary access to the GPA results of all participants in order to get a better understanding of how their grades were affected. Students were also tested for daily anxiety levels and quizzed about how happy they were and also had to divulge how much they’d used their phone each day.
The survey sought to find out whether there was a correlation between the amount a phone was used and the academic performance and anxiety levels of the user. The survey found that grades dropped and anxiety levels rose among students with above average mobile phone use. High-frequency phone users were significantly less happy than their peers.
The Kent State University researchers also found that students who used their phone a lot were likely to be less active and less fit than students who didn’t use their phones as much. The study included cardiorespiratory fitness tests.
Publishing their findings in the journal Computers In Human Behaviour, the team said “Taken as a whole, these results suggest that students should be encouraged to monitor their cell phone use and reflect upon it critically so that it is not detrimental to their academic performance, mental and physical health, and overall well-being or happiness”.