Social media affects female college grades

Social networking is associated with a poorer academic performance, new research has suggested. Published in the journal Emerging Adulthood, the findings revealed college-aged women in the US who spend a lot of time on sites such as Facebook, as well as texting and using other forms of media, during their freshman year may score lower grade point averages.

Investigators from The Miriam Hospital's Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine questioned 483 female college students and discovered in addition to girls using almost 12 hours of media per day, negative academic outcomes were linked to social networking, mobile phone use, television viewing and magazine reading.

Jennifer Walsh, lead author of the study, said: "Women who spend more time using some forms of media report fewer academic behaviors, such as completing homework and attending class, lower academic confidence and more problems affecting their school work."

These issues can include a lack of sleep and even substance abuse, Ms Walsh added.

Chartered Psychologist Dr Arthur Cassidy said: "Social networking, whilst still being empirically tested, has to date provided some significant research findings. A recent UK survey study of Internet trolls (see www. found that 19 year old males are more likely to be victims of internet trolls and other aspects of negative social networking behaviour.

'This American study has made several important points and focused more on female teenage identity. Female freshers are more vulnerable to internet activity and may devote more time to it as they negotiate their identities from late adolescence into young adulthood.

'As they are more emotionally communicative in contrast to their male counterparts, they are more vulnerable to psychological dependency and feedback from others on social networking sites.”