Adolescents’ motivations to perpetrate hate speech and links with social norms

Wachs, Sebastian and Wettstein, Alexander and Bilz, Ludwig and Gámez-Guadix, Manuel Adolescents’ motivations to perpetrate hate speech and links with social norms. Comunicar, 2022, vol. 30, n. 71, pp. 9-20. [Journal article (Paginated)]

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English abstract

Hate speech has become a widespread phenomenon, however, it remains largely unclear why adolescents engage in it and which factors are associated with their motivations for perpetrating hate speech. To this end, we developed the multidimensional “Motivations for Hate Speech Perpetration Scale” (MHATE) and evaluated the psychometric properties. We also explored the associations between social norms and adolescents’ motivations for hate speech perpetration. The sample consisted of 346 adolescents from Switzerland (54.6% boys; Mage=14; SD=0.96) who reported engagement in hate speech as perpetrators. The analyses revealed good psychometric properties for the MHATE, including good internal consistency. The most frequently endorsed subscale was revenge, followed by ideology, group conformity, status enhancement, exhilaration, and power. The results also showed that descriptive norms and peer pressure were related to a wide range of different motivations for perpetrating hate speech. Injunctive norms, however, were only associated with power. In conclusion, findings indicate that hate speech fulfills various functions. We argue that knowing the specific motivations that underlie hate speech could help us derive individually tailored prevention strategies (e.g., anger management, promoting an inclusive classroom climate). Furthermore, we suggest that practitioners working in the field of hate speech prevention give special attention to social norms surrounding adolescents.

Spanish abstract

El discurso de odio se ha convertido en un fenómeno generalizado. Sin embargo, todavía no está claro por qué los adolescentes se involucran en el discurso de odio y qué factores están asociados con las motivaciones para perpetrarlo. Con esta finalidad, desarrollamos una medida multidimensional, la «Escala de Motivaciones para Perpetrar Discurso de Odio» (MHATE), y evaluamos sus propiedades psicométricas. Asimismo, investigamos las asociaciones entre las normas sociales y las motivaciones para participar en el discurso de odio. La muestra estuvo compuesta por 346 adolescentes suizos (54,6% chicos; Medad=14; DT=0,96) que informaron haber perpetrado discurso de odio. Los análisis revelaron buenas propiedades psicométricas de MHATE, incluyendo adecuada consistencia interna. La subescala con mayor frecuencia fue venganza, seguida de las de ideología, conformidad con el grupo, mejora del estatus, regocijo y poder. Las normas descriptivas y la presión de iguales estuvieron relacionadas con varias motivaciones para perpetrar discurso de odio. Las normas prescriptivas, sin embargo, solo se asociaron con el poder. En conclusión, los hallazgos indican que el discurso de odio cumple varias funciones. Conocer las motivaciones específicas para el discurso de odio ayuda a derivar estrategias de intervención individualmente adaptadas (ej., manejo de la ira, promover un clima escolar inclusivo). Además, sugerimos que los profesionales que trabajan en la prevención del discurso de odio presten especial atención a las normas sociales que rodean a los adolescentes.

Item type: Journal article (Paginated)
Keywords: Hate speech; cyberhate; motives; social norms; injunctive norms; peer pressure; Discurso de odio; ciberodio; motivos; normas sociales; normas cautelares; presión de los pares
Subjects: B. Information use and sociology of information > BJ. Communication
G. Industry, profession and education.
G. Industry, profession and education. > GH. Education.
Depositing user: Alex Ruiz
Date deposited: 21 Mar 2022 07:45
Last modified: 21 Mar 2022 07:45


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