Research on How Cell Phone Use Effects Happiness, Anxiety and GPA

Though we know that people who use their cell phones are able to make quick “shallow decisions” such as I want this text or I don’t want to take this call, what is worrisome to me is cell phone use is preventing people from having healthy social interactions, and in fact is making social interactions more stressful. I keep up with the social psychology and neurobiology research on cell phone and computer use and I think this article is particularly interesting. Read it below and email me with your thoughts.
Link to article

Computers in Human Behavior
Volume 31, February 2014 Pages 343-350.
The relationship between cell phone use, academic performance, anxiety, and Satisfaction with Life in college students


  Measured cell phone use (CPUse) to include the device’s complete range of functions.

  CPUse was negatively related to students’ actual Grade Point Average (GPA).

  CPUse was positively related to anxiety (as measured by Beck’s Anxiety Inventory).

  GPA was positively and anxiety was negatively related to Satisfaction with Life (SWL).

  Path analysis showed CPUse is related to SWL as mediated by GPA and anxiety.

While functional differences between today’s cell phones and traditional computers are becoming less clear, one difference remains plain – cell phones are almost always on-hand and allow users to connect with an array of services and networks at almost any time and any place. The Pew Center’s Internet and American Life Project suggests that college students are the most rapid adopters of cell phone technology and research is emerging which suggests high frequency cell phone use may be influencing their health and behavior. Thus, we investigated the relationships between total cell phone use (N = 496) and texting (N = 490) on Satisfaction with Life (SWL) in a large sample of college students. It was hypothesized that the relationship would be mediated by Academic Performance (GPA) and anxiety. Two separate path models indicated that the cell phone use and texting models had good overall fit. Cell phone use/texting was negatively related to GPA and positively related to anxiety; in turn, GPA was positively related to SWL while anxiety was negatively related to SWL. These findings add to the debate about student cell phone use, and how increased use may negatively impact academic performance, mental health, and subjective well-being or happiness.

Mobile phones; GPA; Anxiety; Satisfaction with Life; Technology; Post-secondary education

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Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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