Teenagers who text 120 times a day are nearly three-and-a-half times more likely to have sex and resort to alcohol and drugs.
Researchers said there was a definite link between excessive messaging and risky behaviour. They suggested that those who were ‘hyper-texting’ were likely to have lax or absent parents, reports the Daily Mail.
Lead author Scott Frank from Case Western Reserve University in Denver, US, said: “If parents are monitoring their kids’ texting and social networking, they’re probably monitoring other activities as well.”
The study was based on confidential surveys taken by 4,200 students at 20 high schools in Cleveland, according to a Case Western statement.
It revealed that around one in five students were hyper-texters and about one in nine were hyper-networkers those who spend three or more hours a day on Facebook and other social networking websites. Both conditions were more common among girls.
Hyper-texters were also more likely to have been involved in physical fights, binge drinking and drugs.
Compared to the heavy texters, the hyper-networkers were not as likely to have had sex, but more likely to have been involved in other risky behaviours like drinking or fighting.