Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Profanity in TV and video games linked to teen aggression

17.10.2011
While it's been long established that watching violent scenes increases aggression levels, a new study in the medical journal Pediatrics suggests that profanity in the media may have a similar effect. Pediatrics is the top-ranked journal in its field and among the top 2 percent most-cited scientific and medical journals in the world.

The study appears to be the first to examine the impact of profanity in the media, which sounds surprising considering how central language is to movie and TV ratings.

To explore this overlooked issue, scholars at Brigham Young University gathered information from 223 middle school students in the Midwest. The data is not longitudinal, but BYU family life professor Sarah Coyne explains that the statistical techniques applied give more clues than would simple correlation tests.

Specifically, the statistical modeling points to a chain reaction: Exposure to profanity is associated with acceptance and use of profanity, which in turn influence both physical and relational aggression.

"On the whole, it's a moderate effect" said Coyne, the lead author of the Pediatrics study. "We even ran the statistical model the opposite way to test if the violent kids used more profanity and then sought it out in the media, but the first path we took was a much better statistical fit even when we tried other explanations."

Brad Bushman, a media expert at Ohio State University who was not involved with the study, concurs after reviewing the research.

"This research shows that profanity is not harmless," said Bushman, a mass communications professor. "Children exposed to profanity in the media think that such language is 'normal,' which may reduce their inhibitions about using profanity themselves. And children who use profanity are more likely to aggress against others. These are very important findings for parents, teachers, and pediatricians."

The connection between profanity and adolescent aggression remained significant even while accounting for the influence of portrayals of aggression in the shows and games popular with the middle school students involved in the study.

"Profanity is kind of like a stepping stone," Coyne said. "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."

In one regard, Coyne says the ratings systems were "ahead of their time" by steering young people away from profanity without scientific research to state why. Yet she also sees a new gap in the video game ratings system when it comes to educating parents about games that enable online interaction between players.

Coyne and other BYU faculty and students adhere to BYU's "Honor Code" which includes a commitment to use clean language. Co-authors on the study include former grad student Laura Stockdale, Professor David Nelson and current grad student Ashley Fraser.

Joe Hadfield | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.byu.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht New model connects respiratory droplet physics with spread of Covid-19
21.07.2020 | University of California - San Diego

nachricht Risk of infection with COVID-19 from singing: First results of aerosol study with the Bavarian Radio Chorus
03.07.2020 | Klinikum der Universität München

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: TU Graz Researchers synthesize nanoparticles tailored for special applications

“Core-shell” clusters pave the way for new efficient nanomaterials that make catalysts, magnetic and laser sensors or measuring devices for detecting electromagnetic radiation more efficient.

Whether in innovative high-tech materials, more powerful computer chips, pharmaceuticals or in the field of renewable energies, nanoparticles – smallest...

Im Focus: Tailored light inspired by nature

An international research team with Prof. Cornelia Denz from the Institute of Applied Physics at the University of Münster develop for the first time light fields using caustics that do not change during propagation. With the new method, the physicists cleverly exploit light structures that can be seen in rainbows or when light is transmitted through drinking glasses.

Modern applications as high resolution microsopy or micro- or nanoscale material processing require customized laser beams that do not change during...

Im Focus: NYUAD astrophysicist investigates the possibility of life below the surface of Mars

  • A rover expected to explore below the surface of Mars in 2022 has the potential to provide more insights
  • The findings published in Scientific Reports, Springer Nature suggests the presence of traces of water on Mars, raising the question of the possibility of a life-supporting environment

Although no life has been detected on the Martian surface, a new study from astrophysicist and research scientist at the Center for Space Science at NYU Abu...

Im Focus: Manipulating non-magnetic atoms in a chromium halide enables tuning of magnetic properties

New approach creates synthetic layered magnets with unprecedented level of control over their magnetic properties

The magnetic properties of a chromium halide can be tuned by manipulating the non-magnetic atoms in the material, a team, led by Boston College researchers,...

Im Focus: A new method to significantly increase the range and stability of optical tweezers

Scientists of Tomsk Polytechnic University jointly with a team of the V.E. Zuev Institute of Atmospheric Optics of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences have discovered a method to increase the operation range of optical traps also known

Optical tweezers are a device which uses a laser beam to move micron-sized objects such as living cells, proteins, and molecules. In 2018, the American...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2020”: The final touches for surfaces

23.07.2020 | Event News

Conference radar for cybersecurity

21.07.2020 | Event News

Contact Tracing Apps against COVID-19: German National Academy Leopoldina hosts international virtual panel discussion

07.07.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Share and browse technologies, research and best practices on COVID-19

03.08.2020 | Information Technology

Strong evidence – Essential regulatory gene for the formation of heart valves discovered

03.08.2020 | Life Sciences

Understanding collective behavior in networks better

03.08.2020 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>