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U.S. News

Sex, Drugs More Common in Hyper-Texting Teens

November 12, 2010

Teens who text more than 120 times per day are more likely to have had sex or used drugs and alcohol than teens who send fewer messages, according to research presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association in Denver.


So-called hyper-texters constitute about 20 percent of teens. They are 3.5 times as likely as more moderate texters to have had sex and more likely to have been in a physical fight, to binge drink, to take illegal drugs or to use medicine that was not prescribed for them.

About one in nine teens were classified as "hyper-networkers," spending three or more hours a day on social networking sites. Hyper-networkers were not as likely as hyper-texters to have had sex, but were more likely than heavy texters to report having been involved in drinking or fighting.

The research by Dr. Scott Frank, as associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, does not suggest that hyper-texting leads to sex or substance abuse. Frank does conclude, however, that hyper-texting suggests something of a hands-off approach by the teens' parents.

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

The research is based on confidential paper surveys completed last year by more than 4,200 students at 20 Cleveland public high schools.

Back to other news for November 2010

Adapted from:
Associated Press
11.09.2010; Mike Stobbe

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
See Also
More Statistics on Young People and HIV/AIDS in the U.S.

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