Title

Texting, textese and literacy abilities: A naturalistic study.

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2012

Publication Source

Journal of Research in Reading

Volume

online

Inclusive pages

1-18

Publisher

Wiley

Peer Reviewed

yes

Abstract

In this study, we examined texting behaviours, text message characteristics (textese) of actual sent text messages and the relationships between texting, textese and literacy abilities in a sample of 183 American undergraduates. As compared to previous naturalistic and experimental studies with English-speaking adults, both texting frequency and textism density (proportion of textese) were greater, but category density analyses were similar to a recent experimental study with undergraduates. Interestingly, whilst overall textism density was negatively related to reading and spelling, some textism categories (e.g., omitted apostrophes) were negatively related to literacy skills, while others (e.g., accent stylisation) were positively related to literacy skills. The use of predictive texting was a moderator in this relationship. Our results may help explain the discordant fi ndings between children and adults with regard to textese use and literacy skills, and also highlight the importance of conducting analyses of category density and predictive texting in studies of texting and literacy.

Keywords

text messaging; literacy; young adults; undergraduates; naturalistic

Disciplines

Psychology

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