Teens who text a lot are more likely to engage in high-risk social behaviors, a new study found. But before you snatch your kid's cell phone, take a look at the rest of her life.
Hyper-texters, or teenagers who send more than 120 text messages a day are at the highest risk for these behaviors, according to researchers at Case Western University.
However, the research team isn't suggesting that texting causes drinking, drug use, fighting, and sexual promiscuity. Rather, they see a strong correlation between kids who text a lot and kids who don't get a lot of supervision and support at home.
The kids most likely to be involved in hyper-texting are girls, minorities and children from single-parent homes. They are also the demographic groups most at-risk for drug use, early sexuality, and other problems.
The studies lead author told the AP:
If parents are monitoring their kids' texting and social networking, they're probably monitoring other activities as well.
In other words, it's not the texting that's the problem.
That said, teen texting can be a major nuisance. Excessive texting might be a red flag for other problems emerging. What do you do to help your kids (or your spouse) be responsible with their cell phones?
For 4 ways to help teens text responsibly, visit Babble's Strollerderby.
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