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Study: Profanity Linked To Teen Aggression

Getty Images/Joe Raedle

There’s a new study out that finds profanity is NOT harmless.  Numerous studies have looked at the link between watching violence in the media and increased teen aggression, but few have considered the relationship between profanity and your child’s behavior. 

The study by Brigham Young University  found teens exposed to profanity generally accept and use inappropriate language, which impacts both physical and relational aggression.  The study looked at more than 200 middle school students and their exposure to television and video games.  BYU family life professor Sarah Coyne, the lead author in the study, is quoted as saying:

“Profanity is kind of like a stepping stone.  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.”

Researchers found the more teens hear others use profanity, the more it because acceptable to use themselves.  It’s compared to a chain reaction, with profanity ultimately leading to increased aggression among teenagers.

The study is published in the medical journal Pediatrics.

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