Texting and sleepPosted: October 20, 2013
Texting While Stressed: Implications for Students’ Burnout, Sleep, and Well-Being
Karla Klein Murdock (Washington and Lee University)
Text messaging has become an integral part of social life, especially among adolescents and young adults. As a potentially continuously accessible form of communication, texting may affect individuals’ psychosocial functioning in interesting—and unexplored— ways. The current study examines links among interpersonal stress, text messaging behavior, and 3 indicators of college students’ health and well-being: burnout, sleep problems, and emotional well-being. It was proposed that high rates of text messaging may exacerbate the effects of interpersonal stress on these aspects of students’ health and well-being. Participants included 83 first-year undergraduate students. Results of hierarchical regression analyses indicated that higher levels of interpersonal stress were significantly associated with compromises in all 3 areas of functioning. A higher number of daily texts was directly associated with more sleep problems. The number of daily texts moderated the association between interpersonal stress and both burnout and emotional well-being; interpersonal stress was associated with poorer functioning only at higher levels of texting. Promising future directions for research on texting behavior are discussed.