Researchers said they found children aged 8-12 who frequently use language adaptations, or techspeak, when they text performed poorly on grammar tests.
In techspeak, shortcuts, such as homophones or omissions of non-essential letters and initials, are used to quickly and efficiently compose a text message, researchers said.
"They may use a homophone, such as 'gr8' for great, or an initial, like, 'LOL' for laugh out loud," said Drew Cingel, a former undergraduate student in communications at Penn State and currently a doctoral candidate in media at Northwestern University.
"An example of an omission that tweens use when texting is spelling the word would, w-u-d."
The use of these shortcuts may hinder a child's ability to switch between techspeak and the normal rules of grammar, Cingel said in a Penn State release.
Cingel gave middle school students in a central Pennsylvania school district a grammar assessment test.
Sending and receiving text adaptations were associated with poor performance on the test, researchers said.
"Overall, there is evidence of a decline in grammar scores based on the number of adaptations in sent text messages, controlling for age and grade," Cingel said.
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