Study links mobile phone use to child misbehaviour

7 Dec 2010

When pregnant women regularly use mobile phones, their children are more likely to have behavioural problems, researchers studying the health effects of mobile phone use have suggested in a study.

The study, while it does not prove that mobile phone use causes the misbehaviour and doesn’t suggest any way it could, bears further investigation, the US researchers said.

“It is hard to understand how such low exposures could be influential,” Dr Leeka Kheifets, an epidemiologist at the University of California Los Angeles who led the study, told Reuters.

“It is just something that needs to be pursued.”

Kheifets said the research team tried to account for other possible causes, such as social status, the child’s gender, stress during pregnancy, whether or not the child was breastfed and the mother’s history of behavioural problems.

“One thought was that it was it not cellphone use but mothers’ inattention that led to behaviour problems. While it was important, it didn’t explain the association that we found.”

The World Health Organization, the American Cancer Society and the National Institutes of Health have found no proof that mobile phone use can damage health.

The study has been published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.