'Excessive' student mobile phone use linked to more sexual partners


EXCERPT: Overuse of mobiles by university students may have offline consequences such as lower grades, drinking problems and more sexual partners, a study says. In a survey of more than 3,400 people taking degrees in the US, those who said they had problems with the amount of time they spent on their phones also reported having more sexual partners. But they also were more likely to report anxiety or depression.

[...] The results of the study have been published in the Journal of Behavioral Addictions. [...] Researchers from the University of Chicago, University of Cambridge, and the University of Minnesota developed the Health and Addictive Behaviours Survey. Its aim was to assess mental health and wellbeing among university students and to see what impact mobile phones had on them.

To establish whether mobile phone use was excessive, students were asked a variety of questions [...] One in five students answered yes to enough questions to be deemed as overusing their phones, with more than 60% of these being female. The study found that the proportion of students reporting two or more sexual partners in the past 12 months was significantly higher among those also reporting overuse of mobile phones - 37.4% compared with 27.2% who reported no problem use. The proportion with six or more sexual partners was more than double among those who said they overused their smartphones.

The reasons for this are difficult to pinpoint and are likely to be varied, said Dr Sam Chamberlain [...] The researchers also found that excessive drinking was significantly higher in those reporting problematic smartphone use, compared with those who felt their mobile use was normal. But they found no significant link with any other form of substance abuse or addiction. (MORE - details)

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