The old adage that statistics can prove almost anything appears to be true when it comes to college students and mobile devices. While a Wakefield Research project last summer found that students would be more likely to study if content could be accessed from their smartphone, a professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln found that 90% of the students in his study were distracted by their device, using it in class for something other than schoolwork.
Now, medical researchers at Kent State University, Kent, OH, have linked cellphone usage to lower grades and diminished levels of happiness. The study, published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, surveyed more than 500 students, comparing how much time they spent on their phones to their cumulative grade-point averages.
The analysis found that the more students used their cellphones, the lower their GPA and the higher their anxiety. The researchers added that they could not show for certain that cellphone usage led to poorer grades and higher stress, but that it was worth noting because college students are also the most likely to adopt the technology.
“While it is plausible that spending a lot of time calling and texting affects academic performance, it could equally be argued that these results suggest students who are more anxious, perform less well in class, and are more unhappy are more likely to use cellphones,” wrote Catherine Paddock, for Medical News Today.