Magazine article Work & Family Life

Are Kids Growing Up Wired for Distraction?

Magazine article Work & Family Life

Are Kids Growing Up Wired for Distraction?

Article excerpt

Several new studies suggest that young people are spending too much time texting, gaming and on social networking websites - to the detriment of their schoolwork. Economics professor Jacob Vigdor, Ph.D., of Duke University, who led some of the research, found that when kids "are left to their own devices, the impetus isn't to do homework but play around."

The trend these days is for students to juggle their homework and entertainment. A study by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that half of kids from 8 to 18 are using the Internet, watching TV or using some other form of media either "most" (3 1 percent) or "some" (25%) of the time that they are doing homework.

Many parents, worried about the distractions, try to limit their children's computer time, but it's difficult to monitor texting on cellphones. And because parents themselves also want to be able to call their child at any time, taking the phone away is not always an option.

Children's media choices tend to reflect their personalities, according to David Reilly, principal of Woodside High School in Redwood City, California. For example, social butterflies are more likely to be heavy texters and Facebook users. …

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