Data indicate violent influence spreads like a disease

TDA affiliate Robert Bond, assistant professor of communication and sociology, is lead author of a new study that provides some of the best evidence to date that violence can spread through communities like a contagious disease.

Robert Bond

Robert Bond

Published online in the American Journal of Public Health, the study, co-authored by Ohio State communication and psychology professor Brad Bushman, found that adolescents were up to 183 percent more likely to carry out some acts of violence a friend had committed the same act—but also that the influence of one person’s violent act can spread up to two degrees of separation (friend of a friend) for hurting someone badly, three degrees (friend of a friend’s friend) for pulling a weapon on someone, and four degrees for serious fights. The influence declines with each degree of separation but is still noticeable.

Data from the study came from 5,913 young people (grades 7 to 12) who participated in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health and who were interviewed in-depth in 1994-95 and again in 1996.

The findings illustrate the value of anti-violence programs.

“If we can stop violence in one person, that spreads to their social network,” Bond says. “We’re actually preventing violence not only in that person, but potentially for all the people they come in contact with.”

More

Share this page
Suggested Articles
Tanya Berger-Wolf named new TDAI faculty director

Randy Moses, Ohio State’s Senior Associate Vice President for Research, announced today that Tanya Berger-Wolf has joined the university as faculty director of the Translational Data Analytics Institute. Tanya Berger-Wolf...

Newly renovated Pomerene Hall and restored Mirror Lake dedicated

Homecoming weekend kicked off Friday morning at The Ohio State University with a ceremony celebrating one of the iconic locations on campus, the historic Mirror Lake District. President Michael V....

Box-Steffensmeier elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

TDA affiliate Janet Box-Steffensmeier was among three Ohio State faculty elected to the 237th class of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Janet Box-Steffensmeier The 228 new members elected include some of...

University announces Mirror Lake restoration

The university is undertaking a restoration of historic Mirror Lake as part of its renovation of the surrounding district, which includes TDA’s future home in Pomerene Hall (shown above at...

HackOHI/O 2016 connects companies and students

HackOHI/O 2016 has mentoring and sponsorship opportunities for organizations interested in participating in Ohio State’s student-run hackathon, which will be held Nov. 19-20, 2016. Sponsor benefits include serving as a judge, hosting a challenge, demonstrating...