Photo of Kent State student with cell phoneKent 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.
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). In addition, 82 different, self-reported majors were represented.
The results 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 has been published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior.