Media multitasking impact in homework, executive function and academic performance in Spanish adolescents

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The emergence of multi-function devices has created a perceived need to always be connected to multiple media devices, which is called media multitasking. This phenomenon is linked to defi cits in cognitive control affecting executive function and learning and academic achievement in adolescents. The present study aimed to explore the relationship of MM, executive functions and academic performance. Method: The sample comprised 977 students aged between 11 and 18 from 6 schools. Media multitasking while doing homework was assessed by the media multitasking index (MMI); executive function was assessed using the DEX-SP and three WISC-IV Subscales; participants' current school marks for mathematics and Spanish language were used to assess academic performance. Results: Media multitasking in adolescents is negatively related to executive function and academic achievement. Adolescents who media multitask more while doing homework report more dysexecutive problems. The results of a subsample (n=114) show worse cognitive functioning of the components related to working memory and process speed and lower academic achievement in language and mathematics. Conclusions: In the current environment of technology overload, where MM is increasingly frequent, it is necessary to develop adaptive strategies that allow adolescents to focus their attention on tasks and avoid distractions ​
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