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August 19, 2014 02:41 PM

Middle School Texting Concerns

If you have a middle school student at home who does a lot of texting, it may be time to sit them down for "the talk."

New research shows that middle school students who send an excessive number of text messages are more likely to report they are sexually active.

Researchers polled more than 1,200 students ages 10 to 15 years old. They found that students who text 100 or more times a day were more likely to report either sending or receiving sexually-explicit text and picture messages on their cell phones. Twenty percent reported receiving at least one sexting message; just five percent admit to sending one. Students who either send or received a sexting message were also more likely to report they were sexually active.

"Teenagers, and even pre-teenagers, they don't have the capability to stop themselves from acting impulsively. So, it's very easy to send a text out without thinking about the ramifications," Child Psychiatrist Dr. Joe Austerman said.

Researchers say they're concerned about the trend because studies show that the earlier a person becomes sexually active, the more likely they are to contract a sexually transmitted disease or have an unplanned pregnancy.

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