Besides being more dangerous than driving while intoxicated, texting poses other health risks. According to a November 2010 study conducted at the Western Reserve School of Medicine, teens that text excessively increase their risk of poor health behaviors including smoking, drinking, and sexual activity.
What Is Hypertexting?
Hypertexting, defined by the study as texting more than 120 messages during the school day, have placed teens in a new health risk category. The research revealed that teens that engaged in hypertexting are increasingly likely to have tried cigarettes, illicit drugs, alcohol, binge drinking and have had four or more sexual partners.
Hypertexting Health Risk Behavior Data
- More likely to have tried cigarettes: 40%
- More likely to have tried alcohol: 2 times
- More likely to be binge drinkers: 43%
- More likely to have used illicit drugs: 41%
- More likely to have engaged in a physical altercation: 55%
- More likely to have had sex: 3 ½ times
- More likely to have had 4 or more sexual partners: 90%
Who is at Risk?
The research concluded that almost 20% of the teen population surveyed engaged in hypertexting. Those at risk were predominantly female, from lower socioeconomic status, minority, and from home’s where no father was present.