How Student Anxiety, GPAs and Happiness Are Linked To Cell Phone Use


A recent survey given to college students may indicate that spending too much time using a cell phone can have a negative effect on students' GPAs, anxiety level and overall happiness.

It could also indicate that students who are anxious, have a lower GPA, and tend to be less happy are more likely to be found on their cell phone.

The Survey

The survey was given at Kent State University in Ohio to 500 students – an equal distribution of freshman, sophomore, junior and senior undergraduates. The research involved comparing and analyzing a student’s self-report on cell phone use, the student’s official grade point average (GPA), and two psychological inventories administered to each student: Beck’s Anxiety Inventory and the Satisfaction with Life index.

Analysis of the data showed that as cell phone use went up, GPAs went down, and that heavy cell phone use is associated with higher anxiety. The survey also confirmed what common sense would dictate: that students with higher GPAs tended to be happier while increased anxiety was linked to unhappiness.

A Healthy Balance

Our phones are amazing tools that benefit us in many ways, but how we use them may also be a barometer of our sense of well-being.

If you are a student who frequently uses a cell phone but your grades are where you want them, you are not overly anxious, and are reasonably satisfied with your life, your cell phone use is obviously not preventing you from reaching your goals or enjoying life.

However, if you are a student who is often on a cell phone, your grades are mediocre, or you are anxious, unhappy or generally dissatisfied with life, you might want to reconsider the amount time spent calling, texting or browsing. There are two possibilities related to the KSU survey:

  1. The phone is a distraction; some of that phone time needs to be used for study and healthy socializing.
  2. You may be using the phone as a coping tool for anxiety disorder or depression and need to get more involved in campus social activities or seek help from the student counseling center.

"These [survey] findings add to the debate about student cell phone use, and how increased use may negatively impact academic performance, mental health, and subjective well-being or happiness,” concluded the researchers.

Source: Medical News Today


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