Study: Texting Teens = Risky Behavior?

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The results of a new study reveal that teens who do a lot of texting are more vulnerable to risky behavior.

The research focused on students who send and receive texts at least 120 times a day or who spend at least three hours a day social networking.

The study's authors aren't suggesting that "hyper-texting" leads to sex, drinking or drugs. However, they say it's startling to see an apparent link between excessive messaging and that kind of risky behavior.

The study concludes that a significant number of teens are very susceptible to peer pressure and also have permissive or absent parents, said Dr. Scott Frank, the study's lead author and an associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

"If parents are monitoring their kids' texting and social networking, they're probably monitoring other activities as well," Frank said.

The study was done at 20 public high schools in the Cleveland area last year and is based on confidential paper surveys of more than 4,200 students.

A Kaiser Family Foundation study found that about half of children ages 8 to 18 send text messages on a cell phone in a typical day. The texters estimated they average 118 texts per day. That study also found that only 14 percent of kids said their parents set rules limiting texting.

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