A study conducted by university researchers indicates that college students who use Facebook spend less time studying and have lower grade point averages than their counterparts who don't use the social-networking
website.

"We can't say that use of Facebook leads to lower grades and less studying, but we did find a relationship there," said Aryn Karpinski, co-author of the study and a doctoral student in education at Ohio State University.
Karpinski also said other factors -- including personality traits -- could play a role.

Karpinski conducted the study with Adam Duberstein of Ohio Dominican University. Their research was presented last month at the annual meeting of the American Education Research Association. According to the
study's findings, more than 75 percent of Facebook users claimed that their use of the website did not interfere with their studies.

Karpinski said the study showed the opposite. "There's a disconnect between students' claim that Facebook use doesn't impact their studies, and our finding showing they had lower grades and spent less time
studying," she said. Facebook users in the study typically had GPAs between 3.0 and 3.5. Non-Facebook users had GPAs between 3.5 and 4.0. Facebook users also said they spent an average of one to five hours a
week studying, while non-users studied 11 to 15 hours each week.

Of the 219 students polled at Ohio State, 102 were undergraduates and 117 were graduate students. Of the participants, 148 students said they had Facebook accounts.

Other study findings included:

* 85 percent of undergraduates were Facebook users, while only 52 percent of graduate students had Facebook accounts.

* Science, technology, engineering, math and business majors were more likely to use Facebook than were students majoring in the humanities and social sciences.

* There were no differences in Facebook use between members of different racial and ethnic groups that were part of the study, or between men and women.

* Younger and full-time students were more likely to be Facebook users.