A study in the United States has proven that texting can affect the academic performance of girls but does not have an impact on the academics of boys.
The study which was published by the American Psychological Association found that the impact on academic performance was due to the fact that girls use texting to interact with friends and nurture relationships while boys only use it to share basic information.
The study also showed that texting became a compulsive behaviour for the girls, which affected their ability to concentrate on their school work, and ultimately impacted on their grades.
According to the team of researchers at the Delaware County Community College, where the research took place, compulsive behaviour rather than frequent behaviour is where the problem lies.
“It appears that it is the compulsive nature of texting, rather than sheer frequency, that is problematic.
“Compulsive texting is more complex than frequency of texting.
“It involves trying and failing to cut back on texting, becoming defensive when challenged about the behaviour, and feeling frustrated when one can’t do it,” Dr Kelly Lister-Landman of Delaware County Community College said.
For the study, researchers analysed the behaviour of 211 girls and 192 boys in grades eight and 11 from schools in the US.
The research team designed a “Compulsive Texting Scale” which monitored whether texting affected the ability of the participants to complete assigned tasks and also got them to provide answers to a questionnaire.
Similarly, Dr Lister-Landman said: “Borrowing from what we know about internet communication, prior research has shown that boys use the internet to convey information while girls use it for social interaction and to nurture relationships.
“Girls in this developmental stage also are more likely than boys to ruminate with others, or engage in obsessive, preoccupied thinking, across contexts.
“Therefore, it may be that the nature of the texts girls send and receive is more distracting, thus interfering with their academic adjustment.”
Previous research has shown that texting is the preferred mode of communication among adolescents.