Correlates of verbally aggressive communication in adolescents

C. Atkin, S. Smith, A. Roberto, T. Fediuk, T. Wagner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


This investigation identifies demographic, media, and social correlates of verbally aggressive communication in adolescence. Mail surveys were completed and returned by 2,300 adolescents between the ages of 13 and 15. These adolescents were asked about the prevalence of verbal and physical aggression, the context in which it occurred, demographics, and the interpersonal and media influences in their lives. The results indicate that verbal aggression is widespread, that committing and experiencing verbal aggression is largely reciprocal, that there is a strong relationship between committing verbal and physical aggression, and that peer social influence and listening to violently oriented music are mildly related to verbal aggression in adolescents. These findings suggest more resources should be allocated to teaching adolescents to understand and control verbal aggression. Further, they provide important answers to many prevention and intervention programmatic questions, including context, content, and targeting concerns. Since the negative consequences of verbal aggression are severe and long lasting, decreasing this destructive communication behavior should significantly improve the lives of many adolescents. These and other practical implications are expanded upon and discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-268
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Applied Communication Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescent
  • Peer social influence
  • Physical aggression
  • Prevention of aggression
  • Verbal aggression
  • Violently oriented music

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics


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