Study Links Swearing on TV to Teen Aggression

Jim Liebelt | Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University | Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Study Links Swearing on TV to Teen Aggression

A new study finds that the more profanity teens are exposed to through television and video games, the more accepting they are of swearing and the more likely they are to use profanity themselves. Those kids who swore more were also more likely to engage in physical aggression.

"Profanity is kind of like a stepping stone," said study researcher Sarah Coyne, of Brigham Young University. "You don't go to a movie, hear a bad word, and then go shoot somebody. But when youth both hear and then try profanity out for themselves it can start a downward slide toward more aggressive behavior."

The researchers found links between the amount of swearing in video games and television and how often the students used profanity themselves; participants who used more swear language were more likely than other students to exhibit physical and relational violence. However, because the study is correlational it can only show that swearing on TV is indirectly linked to aggression, not whether one causes the other.

Source: Fox News