Study: Texting could lead to risky behaviors for teens

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Teens and texting go together like peas and carrots. According to a new study, too much texting could be associated with risky behaviors among teens.

A group of Ohio researchers found teenagers who text and use social networking sites excessively are more likely to engage in smoking, drinking and sex.

"That's very concerning to me because I care about children and I don't want to see anything else open up to their worlds, which are already too full," said Jean Knowlton, whose 12-year-old daughter sends about 3,000 texts each month.

When Knowlton found out how much her daughter was texting, she started regulating her cell phone use.

But one local psychologist says the study doesn't necessarily mean that texting is the problem.

"It could be that people aren't keeping a close eye on you," Dr. Brad Smith said. "So you engage in things like too much texting.  You probably eat too many Fritos and watch too much TV and you've got all this free time. If you have afternoons that are unstructured that's a real risk time for kids to get into trouble."

Dr. Smith says parents shouldn't limit their kid's texting because of the study. He says they should limit texting if they think it may be leading to negative behaviors like sleepiness and bad grades.

"So, if it's a constant functional problem that you can link back to texting, you may want to set some limits," Dr. Smith said.

Researchers at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine conducted the study. CLICK HERE If you would like to read more about it.

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