Media multitasking and well-being of university students

Shan Xu, Zheng Wang, Prabu David

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


This study examines the impact of media multitasking behaviors on university students' social and psychological well-being (indicated by social success, normalcy, and self-control measures). To address inconsistent findings in recent literature, we characterized media multitasking behaviors by motivations, characteristics, and contexts. In particular, we examined the motivation of the primary task and the synchronicity of the task when social interactions were involved. Synchronous social interactions were found to be significantly and positively associated with social success, normalcy, and self-control. However, as predicted, media multitasking during synchronous social interactions was associated with lower social success. Further, although increased media multitasking during cognitive activities was linked with decreased self-control, media multitasking during entertainment activities was correlated with increased social success, normalcy, and self-control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)242-250
Number of pages9
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016


  • Motivation
  • Multitasking
  • Self-control
  • Social success
  • Synchronicity
  • Well-being


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