Researchers at Case Western Reserve University presented a study which they conducted on over 4,000 students at 20 city high schools in Ohio revealing that those high school students who spent the greatest time texting on their cell phones or spending time on social network sites, or both, are at a greater risk for worse behaviors, such as eating problems, alcohol and drug abuse, depression, smoking and absenteeism from school.
The study showed that about one-fifth of the students sent a minimum of 120 text messages each day, and about one-tenth were on social network sites like Facebook, for more than three hours per day. Four percent were engaged in both of these extreme behaviors.
Those four percent had double the risk of nonusers for smoking, binge drinking, fighting, thinking about suicide and missing school or sleeping in school.
“This is a red flag for parents – a red flag for their parenting” he said, “because they need to be monitoring and taking charge of the choices their kids are making. We want parents to set more restrictive rules for their kids regarding texting and networking, just as they would set rules about whether their child can go out on a school night and socialize for three hours.”