You would be hard pressed to find the mum of a teenager who hasn't taken a back seat to the games console or television screen, wouldn't you?

And while it can be incredibly hurtful at times, recent research suggests that our children's frustrating habit of ignoring us while watching their favourite show or playing an online game has a genuine grounding in science.

According to experts in the field, recent findings suggest that individuals do not possess the ability to multitask effectively before reaching adulthood.

Using two groups of volunteers - one aged between 11 and 17 and the other aged between 22 and 30 - researchers discovered that the older group were more capable of performing a memory task while being distracted by social interactions.

The task saw participants attempt to remember a two and three-digit number while taking part in a social interaction which required volunteers to simultaneously move objects between slots in a shelving unit.

Following the exercise, participants were required to recall the numbers they memorised at the beginning of the task, with results showing that those in the older age range performed better,

Offering an explanation for the contrast, scientists have suggested that brain functions which allow individuals to store overlapping inputs do not properly develop until adulthood meaning that our children are simply incapable of juggling as many thoughts and tasks as their parents.

Highlighting the importance of their findings, lead author, Kathryn Mills, of the University College London Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience said: "These results might have implications for how adults who work with adolescents structure activities with adolescents. For example, in-class group work might be particularly difficult for adolescents who are already struggling with the assignment topic."

Concluding the study, researchers asserted: "Overall, adolescents were less adept at multitasking than adults when under high cognitive load. These results suggest that multitasking during social interactions incurs performance deficits, and that adolescents are more sensitive than adults to the effects of cognitive load while multitasking."

The study has been published in the Royal Society journal Open Science.