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Smartphone Use and Academic Performance: a Literature Review

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  • Amez, Simon
  • Baert, Stijn

Abstract

We present the first systematic review of the scientific literature on smartphone use and academic success. We synthesise the theoretical mechanisms, empirical approaches, and empirical findings described in the multidisciplinary literature to date. Our analysis of the literature reveals a predominance of empirical results supporting a negative association between students’ frequency of smartphone use and their academic success. However, the strength of this association is heterogeneous by (a) the method of data gathering, (b) the measures of academic performance used in the analysis, and (c) the measures of smartphone use adopted. The main limitation identified in the literature is that the reported associations cannot be given a causal interpretation. Based on the reviewed findings and limitations, directions for further research are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Amez, Simon & Baert, Stijn, 2019. "Smartphone Use and Academic Performance: a Literature Review," GLO Discussion Paper Series 416, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:416
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    1. Giorgio Di Pietro & Andrea Cutillo, 2006. "University Quality and Labour Market Outcomes in Italy," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 20(1), pages 37-62, March.
    2. Beland, Louis-Philippe & Murphy, Richard, 2016. "Ill Communication: Technology, distraction & student performance," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 61-76.
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    6. Matthew A Christensen & Laura Bettencourt & Leanne Kaye & Sai T Moturu & Kaylin T Nguyen & Jeffrey E Olgin & Mark J Pletcher & Gregory M Marcus, 2016. "Direct Measurements of Smartphone Screen-Time: Relationships with Demographics and Sleep," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 11(11), pages 1-14, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Amez, Simon & Denecker, Floor & Ponnet, Koen & De Marez, Lieven & Baert, Stijn, 2021. "Mobile DNA and Sleep Quality," IZA Discussion Papers 14816, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Stijn Baert & Sunčica Vujić & Simon Amez & Matteo Claeskens & Thomas Daman & Arno Maeckelberghe & Eddy Omey & Lieven De Marez, 2020. "Smartphone Use and Academic Performance: Correlation or Causal Relationship?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 73(1), pages 22-46, February.
    3. Amez, Simon & Vujić, Sunčica & De Marez, Lieven & Baert, Stijn, 2019. "Smartphone Use and Academic Performance: First Evidence from Longitudinal Data," GLO Discussion Paper Series 438, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    4. Amez, Simon & Vujić, Sunčica & Abrath, Margo & Baert, Stijn, 2021. "Deteriorated sleep quality does not explain the negative impact of smartphone use on academic performance," GLO Discussion Paper Series 879, Global Labor Organization (GLO).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Smartphone use; smartphone addiction; academic performance; literature review; causality;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software

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