Violence spreads like infection among friends

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t’s possible that the cure for violence could be spread through the same networks of friends as the violence itself.

Adolescents who engaged in violent activities were more likely to have friends – and friends of friends – who had been violent, a new study shows.

“Violent acts tend to cluster through social networks, and they spread like a contagious disease spreads from one person to another,” the study’s senior author Brad Bushman said in a phone interview.

A psychology and communications professor at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Bushman analyzed interviews from the 1990s with nearly 6,000 American students in grades seven through twelve.

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