Today, smartphones are central to college students’ lives, keeping them constantly connected with friends, family and the Internet. Students’ cell phones are rarely out of reach whether the setting is a college classroom, library, recreational center, cafeteria or dorm room. As cell phone use continues to increase, a recently released study considered whether use of the device is related to measurable outcomes important for student success, such as academic performance, anxiety and happiness.
For the study, Kent State University researchers surveyed more than 500 university students. Daily cell phone use was recorded along with a clinical measure of anxiety and each student’s level of satisfaction with their own life, or in other words happiness. Finally, all participants allowed the researchers to access their official university records in order to retrieve their actual, cumulative college grade point average (GPA). All students surveyed were undergraduate students and were equally distributed by class (freshman, sophomore, junior and senior).
Results of the analysis showed that cell phone use was negatively related to GPA and positively related to anxiety. Following this, GPA was positively related to happiness while anxiety was negatively related to happiness. Thus, for the population studied, high frequency cell phone users tended to have lower GPA, higher anxiety, and lower satisfaction with life (happiness) relative to their peers who used the cell phone less often. The statistical model illustrating these relationships was highly significant.
The study was published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior.
Source: Kent State University