Use of Foul Language Among Chinese Adolescents: Developmental Change and Relations With Psychosocial Competences

Tan Lei Shek, Li Lin

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This longitudinal study examined the developmental change of foul language use and its relations to emotional competence, social competence, and moral competence over high school years. Methods Data were from a six-year longitudinal study between grade 7 and grade 12 with an annual assessment on 3,328 Hong Kong adolescents (mean age = 12.59 ±.74 years). Multiple-group latent growth curve modeling based on six waves of longitudinal data were conducted. Results Results showed that the use of foul language increased, but the increase rate slowed down over time; males showed faster increase rate yet faster deceleration than did females. In addition, changes in emotional competence, social competence, and moral competence negatively predicted the change in use of foul language across males and females, respectively. Conclusions Adolescents are vulnerable to increasing their use of foul language. However, promoting emotional competence, social competence, and moral competence could be helpful to minimize the increasing trend of use of foul language.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-319
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017


  • Developmental change
  • Emotional competence
  • Moral competence
  • Social competence
  • Use of foul language

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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