Relations Between College Students’ Cell Phone Use During Class and Grades

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In the present study, we examined the relations between daily in-class cell phone use and test grades among college students. Across 2 semesters and 6 separate courses, participants (N = 218; 174 females, 44 males; 50 freshmen, 54 sophomores, 76 juniors, and 38 seniors; Mage = 20.0 years, age range 18–23 years) completed a brief questionnaire at the end of each class period indicating the number of times they used their cell phone for social networking (e.g., email, texting, using Facebook), to access the Internet for information, for organization (e.g., update one’s calendar), or to play a game. Mixed-effects regression model analyses indicated that cell phone use was significantly and negatively associated with test scores regardless of student sex and grade point average (β = −0.287, p = .035). We discuss the results in terms of the ubiquitous nature of cell phone use among today’s wired generation and the implications it has for learning, achievement, and postcollege success.

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