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Critical Media Literacy
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Music


Under 2

  • Many studies have questioned the true cause of the "Mozart Effect"; thus parents may not want to put too much weight in the fact that listening to Mozart's music will enhance their child's skills and abilities. 1
  • Several studies and experiments have shown that music can have benefits for infants in neonatal intensive care units. 2
  • One study found that the style in which a mother sings to her infant can control the infant's interaction and mood; thus parents may want to consider using singing as a parenting tool. 3

Ages 3-9

  • Many studies have found that music lessons have positive short and long term effects on children; thus parents may want to encourage their child to take up music lessons. 1
  • Some studies have shown that music can enhance motor performance in young children; thus parents may want to expose their children to age-appropriate music. 2
  • Many studies have questioned the true cause of the "Mozart Effect"; thus parents may not want to put too much weight in the fact that listening to Mozart's music will enhance their child's skills and abilities. 3
  • Though research has not been conducted on this particular age group, studies show that music fulfills important needs for children and adolescents; thus parents may want to allow their children to listen to music while monitoring for age-appropriateness and lyrical content. 4 Also, some studies have found that watching music videos can have negative effects on adolescents; thus parents may want to monitor their child's viewing of music videos.5

Ages 10-12

  • Many studies have found that music lessons have positive short and long term effects on children; thus parents may want to encourage their children to take up music lessons. 1
  • Studies have shown that the effect of background music vary from beneficial to harmful to academic performance; thus parents may want to monitor their child's studying behavior and academic performance. 2
  • Many studies have found links between listening to certain types of music (mainly rap, hip hop and heavy metal) and risky behaviors including substance use, suicidal thoughts, drunk driving and vandalism. Researchers argue, however, as to what role music plays in engaging in these behaviors. Some argue that music provides an emotional outlet for adolescents and thus decreases their chances of engaging in this behavior. Others argue that music amplifies the negative emotions the adolescents may be feeling and thus increases their chances of engaging in this behavior. Most researchers do agree that there are other circumstances in the adolescents life (such as having problematic relationships with their parents, being abused or being socially-rejected) that lead adolescents to seek out this type of music; thus most researchers do not believe listening to these types of music causes adolescents to engage in risky behaviors. Parents may want to know the types of music their child listens to and monitor and discuss behaviors that have been linked to listening to those types of music. Also, parents should be active in their adolescent's life so that you can identify any of the other circumstances that may lead them to engage in risky behavior. 3
  • Though research has not been conducted on this particular age group, studies show that music fulfills important needs for adolescents; thus parents may want to allow their adolescent to listen to music while monitoring for age-appropriateness and lyrical content. 4 Also, some studies have found that watching music videos can have negative effects on adolescents; thus parents may want to monitor their adolescent's viewing of music videos. 5

Ages 13-15

  • Many studies have found that music lessons have positive short and long term effects on children; thus parents may want to encourage their child to take up music lessons. 1
  • Studies have shown that the effect of background music vary from beneficial to harmful to academic performance; thus parents may want to monitor their child's studying behavior and academic performance. 2
  • Many studies have found links between listening to certain types of music (mainly rap, hip hop and heavy metal) and risky behaviors including substance use, suicidal thoughts, drunk driving and vandalism. Researchers argue, however, as to what role music plays in engaging in these behaviors. Some argue that music provides an emotional outlet for adolescents and thus decreases their chances of engaging in this behavior. Others argue that music amplifies the negative emotions the adolescents may be feeling and thus increases their chances of engaging in this behavior. Most researchers do agree that there are other circumstances in the adolescents life (such as having problematic relationships with their parents, being abused or being socially-rejected) that lead adolescents to seek out this type of music; thus most researchers do not believe listening to these types of music causes adolescents to engage in risky behaviors. Parents may want to know the types of music their child listens to and monitor and discuss behaviors that have been linked to listening to those types of music. Also, parents should be active in their adolescent's life so that you can identify any of the other circumstances that may lead the to engage in risky behavior. 3
  • Studies show that music fulfills important needs for adolescents; thus parents may want to allow their adolescent to listen to music while monitoring for age-appropriateness and lyrical content. 4
  • Some studies have found that watching music videos can have negative effects on adolescents; thus parents may want to monitor their adolescent's viewing of music videos.5

Ages 16-19

  • Studies have shown that the effect of background music vary from beneficial to harmful to academic performance; thus parents may want to monitor their child's studying behavior and academic performance. 1
  • Many studies have found links between listening to certain types of music (mainly rap, hip hop and heavy metal) and risky behaviors including substance use, suicidal thoughts, drunk driving and vandalism. Researchers argue, however, as to what role music plays in engaging in these behaviors. Some argue that music provides an emotional outlet for adolescents and thus decreases their chances of engaging in this behavior. Others argue that music amplifies the negative emotions the adolescents may be feeling and thus increases their chances of engaging in this behavior. Most researchers do agree that there are other circumstances in the adolescents life (such as having problematic relationships with their parents, being abused or being socially-rejected) that lead adolescents to seek out this type of music; thus most researchers do not believe listening to these types of music causes adolescents to engage in risky behaviors. Parents may want to know the types of music their child listens to and monitor and discuss behaviors that have been linked to listening to those types of music. Also, parents should be active in their adolescent's life so that you can identify any of the other circumstances that may lead the to engage in risky behavior 2
  • Some studies have found that watching music videos can have negative effects on adolescents; thus parents may want to monitor their adolescent's viewing of music videos.3
  • One study found that techno and open-air music events attracted heavier drug users than other music events; thus parents may want to know the type of music events that their adolescent is attending and consider accompanying her/him to the event.4
  • Though research has not been conducted on this particular age group, studies show that music fulfills important needs for adolescents; thus parents may want to allow their adolescent to listen to music while monitoring for age-appropriateness and lyrical content.5

Footnotes

Ages Under 2

1. Many researchers have suggested that the Mozart effect is not due to listening to the music of Mozart. Instead, some researchers say the reason why children perform better when listening to Mozart is because listening to music increases their level of arousal and affects their mood (Cassity, Connell & Beegie, 2007; Schnellenberg, 2005). So it is not the music of Mozart that increases children's performance but the fact that they are more aroused and in better moods that increases their performance. Some researchers (i.e. Cassity, Connell & Beegie, 2007; Schnellenberg, 2005) claim the increase in performance would be seen if a nonmusical event created a similar emotional reaction in the children.

2. Many studies and experiments (as cited in Blumenfeld & Eisenfeld, 2006) show that music can have a healing power and can impact clinical results for infants in neonatal intensive care units. Also as cited in Blumenfeld and Eisenfeld, (2006), music has been shown to reduce pain and stress for these infants. Long term effects of music in neonatal intensive care units include faster weight gain and a decrease in average length of stay in the unit. On the other hand, Blumenfeld and Eisenfeld (2006) themselves found no difference in feeding habits of infants when mothers sang, or didn't sing, to the infants in the neonatal intensive care unit.

3. Rock, Trainor and Addison (1999) found that the style in which a mother sings to her 6-7 month old child can control infant stress and can communicate emotional information. Specifically they found that when mothers sang lullaby-style songs, the infants focused their attention inwards to themselves and when mothers sang play-style songs, the infants focused their attention outward to the external world.

Ages 3-9

1. Enrollment in music lessons has been linked with better verbal memory, and better math, reading, verbal and spatial skills in children (Chan, Ho & Cheung, 1998; Ho, Cheung, & Chan, 2003; Schnell, 2004; Brown University, 2006; Eleanor, 2007). Ho, Cheung and Chan (2003) found that children aged 6-15 who received music training had better verbal memory, but not better visual memory, than children who did not receive music training. This finding was consistent with their earlier findings that beginning music training before the age of 12 was linked with long lasting positive effects on verbal memory in children and adolescents later in life (Chan, Ho & Cheung, 1998). Brown University Child and Adolescent Behavior Letter (2006) reported on a year-long study which suggested that music lessons may increase children's literacy, verbal and math skills. This link is made more concretely by Schnell (2004) who found that 6 year olds who were randomly enrolled in music lessons had higher IQs in reading, mathematics, verbal skills and spatial skills after 36 weeks of lessons than children who were either enrolled in drama lessons or no lessons.

2. Studies have found that rhythm and music can help the development of young children's motor skills. Painter (1966) specifically focused on rhythmic accompaniment during motor skill execution and found that such accompaniment enhanced the learning of these motor skills. Brown, Sherrill and Gench (1981) compared a group of four to six year olds who received a combined physical education and music class to a group of the same aged children who received only physical education. Results showed that the motor skills of the children enrolled in the combination class had improved significantly more so than those of the children enrolled in the regular physical education class. Most recently Zachopoulou et al (2004) ran a similar experiment in which they randomly assigned four to six year olds to either regular physical education or a music and movement program. Ninety children participated and results showed that the children who received the music and movement program improved significantly better at jumping and dynamic balance than children who received the regular physical education program.

3. Many researchers have suggested that the Mozart effect is not due to listening to the music of Mozart. Instead, some researchers say the reason why children perform better when listening to Mozart is because listening to music increases their level of arousal and affects their mood (Cassity, Connell & Beegie, 2007; Schnellenberg, 2005). So it is not the music of Mozart that increases children's performance but the fact that they are more aroused and in better moods that increases their performance. Some researchers (i.e. Cassity, Connell & Beegie, 2007; Schnellenberg, 2005) claim the increase in performance would be seen if a nonmusical event created a similar emotional reaction in the children.

4. Music seems to fulfill many needs for children and adolescents. Through examining essays, statements and reflections written by middle and high school students Campbell, Connell and Beegle (2007) found that adolescents perceived many benefits to music. Music played a role in their identity formation, had emotional and social benefits and had "life" benefits including building character and teaching life skills. North, Hargreaves and O'Neill (2000) surveyed 2465 13-14 year old students in England and found that music fulfilled four main needs. It fulfilled emotional needs such as getting through a difficult time, relieving tension and stress and expressing emotion. It also fulfilled social needs by creating an image and showing that the adolescent was trendy and cool. Thirdly, it fulfilled pleasing needs which included the need to please parents, teachers and friends. And finally music fulfilled an "aesthetic motivation" through enjoyment and an increased ability to be creative. Similarly Tarrant, North and Hargreaves (2000) examined the reasons why adolescents living in England (mean age 14.66) and adolescents living in the U.S. (mean age 15.88) listened to music. The three main reasons were "self actualization" reasons including to be creative, to express emotion and to create an image of one 's self, to fulfill emotional needs by decreasing boredom and loneliness and relieving tension, and to fulfill social needs by being popular with others, pleasing friends and decreasing loneliness.

Many researchers have looked specifically at the emotional benefits of listening to music. When examining 10th to 12th graders Scheel and Westefeld (1999) found that listening to music had a positive effect on the adolescents' moods. Hakanen (1995) found that 14 to 19 year old African Americans associated positive emotions to different music genres. For example, jazz was associated with pride, hope and confidence while rap was associated with happiness and excitement. Also, some researchers have looked at the emotional benefits of listening to heavy metal and rap music. Arnett (as cited in Scheel & Westefeld, 1999) argued that allowing heavy metal music fans to listen to heavy metal music may have a positive liberating effect. Similarly Martin et al (1993) and Wooten (1992) both cited in Scheel and Westefeld (1999), found that heavy metal fans experienced an increase in positive emotion after listening to heavy metal music. Martin et al caution, however, that a small population felt worse after listening to said music. Finally, after interviewing 106 12 to 17 year old male felony offenders, most of whose main music choice was rap, Gardstrom (1999) proposed that the Drive Reduction Theory may be applicable. In this context, this theory says that music serves as an expressive vehicle. This means that the listeners express their negative emotion through the music. Because the listeners already have an outlet for expressing their negative emotions, listening to heavy metal then reduces the likelihood that these offenders would experience an emotional or physical outburst.

5. Studies have linked exposure to music videos to violence, aggression, sexual promiscuity, drug and alcohol use, and unhealthy body image beliefs (i.e. Wingood, DiClemente, Bernhardt, Harrington, Davies & Robillard, 2003; Stephens & Few, 2007; Peterson, Wingood, DiClemente, Harrington & Davies, 2007; Bell, Lawton & Dittmar, 2007). For example, Wingood et al (2003) and Peterson et al (2007) examined the relationship between exposure to rap music videos and several outcomes in 522 African American females who were 16 to 19 years of age. They found that adolescents who had greater exposure to such videos had an increased likelihood of hitting a teacher, being arrested, having multiple sexual partners, acquiring an STD and using drugs and/or alcohol than adolescents who had lower exposure to these videos; higher exposure was also linked with unhealthy body image beliefs. Peterson et al (2007) also found that participants who perceived more portrayals of sexual stereotypes in rap music videos were more likely to binge drink, use marijuana, have multiple sexual partners and have unhealthy body images than participants to perceived fewer portrayals of sexual stereotypes.

To investigate the impact that using thin models in music videos has on adolescent girls' body dissatisfaction Bell et al (2007) assigned 87 female adolescents aged 16-19 to one of three groups. The first group learned a list of words, the second group watched music videos and the third group only listened to the songs that were portrayed in the music videos; to clarify, the third group did not view the videos but only heard the songs. The adolescents completed a body dissatisfaction survey before and after their task. Results showed that those who watched the music videos had larger increases in body dissatisfaction than those who listened to the same music but did not view the music videos and those who learned a set of words.

Ages 10-12

1. Enrollment in music lessons has been linked with better verbal memory, and better math, reading, verbal and spatial skills in children (Chan, Ho & Cheung, 1998; Ho, Cheung, & Chan, 2003; Schnell, 2004; Brown University, 2006; Eleanor, 2007). Ho, Cheung and Chan (2003) found that children aged 6-15 who received music training had better verbal memory, but not better visual memory, than children who did not receive music training. This finding was consistent with their earlier findings that beginning music training before the age of 12 was linked with long lasting positive effects on verbal memory in children and adolescents later in life (Chan, Ho & Cheung, 1998). Brown University Child and Adolescent Behavior Letter (2006) reported on a year-long study which suggested that music lessons may increase children's literacy, verbal and math skills. Though not conducted on children aged 10-12, this link is made more concretely by Schnell (2004) who found that 6 year olds who were randomly enrolled in music lessons had higher IQs in reading, mathematics, verbal skills and spatial skills after 36 weeks of lessons than children who were either enrolled in drama lessons or no lessons. Finally, Eleanor (2007) found that music participation was positively correlated with future aspirations in 7th grade students.

2. In a recent extensive study Anderson (2007) examined the effects of lyrical music on the reading comprehension of 7th and 8th graders. The sample of 334 students completed a reading comprehension task with no background music and with Billboard Magazine's Top Hit Singles background music. Anderson found that when listening to music, the students' reading performance decreased significantly. This negative effect was strongest for those who said they preferred listening to music while studying. Kiger (1989) found that sophomores performed best on a reading task when they had slow, soft, repetitive background music playing as opposed to reading in silence or with high information-load music playing. He goes on to say that research on background music "indicates a range of effects from significant improvement to significant impairment of performance depending on the type of music used (rock vs. classical) or listeners' preference (Burton, 1986; Etaugh & Michaels 1975; Fogelson, 1973; Hilliard & Tolin, 1979)" (p. 531).

3. Listening to heavy metal music has been linked to higher likelihood of having suicidal thoughts, engaging in deliberate self harm, feeling depressed, having lower self esteem, having more school problems and engaging in delinquent and reckless behavior in adolescents (Greenfield et al, 1987; Arnett, 1991; Took & Weiss, 1994; Russel, 1997; Scheel & Westefeld, 1999; Persaud, 2004; Chen et al, 2006). Some of the delinquent and reckless behaviors examined have been drunk driving, speeding, risky sexual behavior, assault, using alcohol, tobacco and/or hard drugs and being arrested. Also, in all 50 States Stack et al (as cited in Scheel & Westefeld, 1999) found that the larger the heavy metal following an area had, the higher the number of adolescent suicides that occurred in that area. However, heavy metal music has been linked in to increased positive affect in adolescents who enjoy heavy metal music (i.e. Arnett, 1991 as cited in Scheel & Westefeld, 1999; Wooten, 1992 as cited in Scheel & Westefeld, 1999). Drive Reduction Theory may be applicable to this situation. In this context, this theory posits that music serves as an expressive vehicle and therefore reduces the likelihood that listeners will experience an emotional or physical outburst (Gardstrom, 1999). That being said Martin et al (as cited in Scheel & Westefeld, 1999) found that a small population of heavy metal fans felt worse after listening to said music. This small population was more "disturbed" on some measurements including likelihood of depression, self harm and suicidal thoughts.

Other researchers have looked at types of music other than heavy metal. Some studies have found that adolescents who prefer listening to rap and hip hop music are more likely to use alcohol, marijuana and other drug, have below-average school grades and more school behavior problems and engage in other deviant behavior such as violence, gang activity, theft, and risky sexual behavior (Took & Weiss, 1994; Miranda & Claes, 2004;Chen et al, 2006) In their study of many types of music Chen et al (2006) found that different types of music are linked to different behaviors. Individuals aged 15-25 who preferred rap music were more likely to use alcohol, marijuana and club drugs and to engage in aggressive behavior. Individuals who preferred world music were less likely to use alcohol and marijuana. Individuals who preferred country and western music were less likely to use club drugs and those preferring rock music were less likely to engage in aggressive behavior. One researcher found that adolescents aged 12-15 who claimed that rave music was their favorite type of music were more likely to be substance users while Chen et al (2006) found that listening to techno or reggae music was linked to higher likelihood of alcohol and drug use.

On a more positive note, Miranda and Claes (2004) found that female adolescents who preferred soul music had lower levels of depression while Mulder et al (2007) found that liking pop music seemed to serve as a buffer to problem behavior in adolescents. Also, some studies have shown that rap and hip hop music can have positive influence on adolescents. For example, Hakanen (1995) found that 14 to 19 year old African Americans associated rap music with happiness and excitement while Sullivan (2003) found that African American adolescents saw rap music as life affirming. Also, many studies (i.e. Rose, 1994; Elligan, 2004; Watts et al, 2002) argue that rap music has empowering qualities that, among other things, can increase "critical consciousness" and increase resistance to oppressive conditions. Cella, Tulsky, Sarafian, Thomas and Tomas (as cited in Tyson, 2005) reported that a smoking prevention program that incorporated rap music into the program was successful in elementary schools and Staszko (2006) successfully used hip hop music as an intervention strategy in a violence prevention program for adolescents. Staszko argues that hip hop music can be a coping mechanism for many adolescents.

Finally, many researchers (i.e. Persaud, 2004; North & Hargraeves, 2005; North & Hargraeves, 2006) argue that music does not cause adolescents to act in a certain way. Persaud (2004) for example, argues that instead music is a reflection of the adolescents' tendencies and preferences. He argues that many young people with preexisting mental issues may seek out certain types of music, in this case heavy metal music, because it resonates with them; they can relate to the music. Persaud also says, however, that the music may reinforce their issues as well. In another study when adolescent felony offenders were asked whether or not there was a link between the music they listened to (which was mostly rap) and their criminal behavior only 4% said they believed there was a connection (Gardstrom, 1999). All this being said, it is important to remember that exposure to media has been linked to an increase in violent and aggressive behavior, alcohol and tobacco use and sexual activity (Villani, 2001).

4. Music seems to fulfill many needs for children and adolescents. Through examining essays, statements and reflections written by middle and high school students Campbell, Connell and Beegle (2007) found that adolescents perceived many benefits to music. Music played a role in their identity formation, had emotional and social benefits and had "life" benefits including building character and teaching life skills. North, Hargreaves and O'Neill (2000) surveyed 2465 13-14 year old students in England and found that music fulfilled four main needs. It fulfilled emotional needs such as getting through a difficult time, relieving tension and stress and expressing emotion. It also fulfilled social needs by creating an image and showing that the adolescent was trendy and cool. Thirdly, it fulfilled pleasing needs which included the need to please parents, teachers and friends. And finally music fulfilled an "aesthetic motivation" through enjoyment and an increased ability to be creative. Similarly Tarrant, North and Hargreaves (2000) examined the reasons why adolescents living in England (mean age 14.66) and adolescents living in the U.S. (mean age 15.88) listened to music. The three main reasons were "self actualization" reasons including to be creative, to express emotion and to create an image of one 's self, to fulfill emotional needs by decreasing boredom and loneliness and relieving tension, and to fulfill social needs by being popular with others, pleasing friends and decreasing loneliness.

Many researchers have looked specifically at the emotional benefits of listening to music. When examining 10th to 12th graders Scheel and Westefeld (1999) found that listening to music had a positive effect on the adolescents' moods. Hakanen (1995) found that 14 to 19 year old African Americans associated positive emotions to different music genres. For example, jazz was associated with pride, hope and confidence while rap was associated with happiness and excitement. Also, some researchers have looked at the emotional benefits of listening to heavy metal and rap music. Arnett (as cited in Scheel & Westefeld, 1999) argued that allowing heavy metal music fans to listen to heavy metal music may have a positive liberating effect. Similarly Martin et al (1993) and Wooten (1992) both cited in Scheel and Westefeld (1999), found that heavy metal fans experienced an increase in positive emotion after listening to heavy metal music. Martin et al caution, however, that a small population felt worse after listening to said music. Finally, after interviewing 106 12 to 17 year old male felony offenders, most of whose main music choice was rap, Gardstrom (1999) proposed that the Drive Reduction Theory may be applicable. In this context, this theory says that music serves as an expressive vehicle. This means that the listeners express their negative emotion through the music. Because the listeners already have an outlet for expressing their negative emotions, listening to heavy metal then reduces the likelihood that these offenders would experience an emotional or physical outburst.

5. Studies have linked exposure to music videos to violence, aggression, sexual promiscuity, drug and alcohol use, and unhealthy body image beliefs (i.e. Wingood, DiClemente, Bernhardt, Harrington, Davies & Robillard, 2003; Stephens & Few, 2007; Peterson, Wingood, DiClemente, Harrington & Davies, 2007; Bell, Lawton & Dittmar, 2007). For example, Wingood et al (2003) and Peterson et al (2007) examined the relationship between exposure to rap music videos and several outcomes in 522 African American females who were 16 to 19 years of age. They found that adolescents who had greater exposure to such videos had an increased likelihood of hitting a teacher, being arrested, having multiple sexual partners, acquiring an STD and using drugs and/or alcohol than adolescents who had lower exposure to these videos; higher exposure was also linked with unhealthy body image beliefs. Peterson et al (2007) also found that participants who perceived more portrayals of sexual stereotypes in rap music videos were more likely to binge drink, use marijuana, have multiple sexual partners and have unhealthy body images than participants to perceived fewer portrayals of sexual stereotypes.

To investigate the impact that using thin models in music videos has on adolescent girls' body dissatisfaction Bell et al (2007) assigned 87 female adolescents aged 16-19 to one of three groups. The first group learned a list of words, the second group watched music videos and the third group only listened to the songs that were portrayed in the music videos; to clarify, the third group did not view the videos but only heard the songs. The adolescents completed a body dissatisfaction survey before and after their task. Results showed that those who watched the music videos had larger increases in body dissatisfaction than those who listened to the same music but did not view the music videos and those who learned a set of words.

Ages 13-15

1. Enrollment in music lessons has been linked with better verbal memory, and better math, reading, verbal and spatial skills in children (Chan, Ho & Cheung, 1998; Ho, Cheung, & Chan, 2003; Schnell, 2004; Brown University, 2006; Eleanor, 2007). Ho, Cheung and Chan (2003) found that children aged 6-15 who received music training had better verbal memory, but not better visual memory, than children who did not receive music training. This finding was consistent with their earlier findings that beginning music training before the age of 12 was linked with long lasting positive effects on verbal memory in children and adolescents later in life (Chan, Ho & Cheung, 1998). Brown University Child and Adolescent Behavior Letter (2006) reported on a year-long study which suggested that music lessons may increase children's literacy, verbal and math skills. Though not conducted on children aged 13-15, this link is made more concretely by Schnell (2004) who found that 6 year olds who were randomly enrolled in music lessons had higher IQs in reading, mathematics, verbal skills and spatial skills after 36 weeks of lessons than children who were either enrolled in drama lessons or no lessons. Finally, Eleanor (2007) found that music participation was positively correlated with future aspirations in 7th grade students.

2. In a recent extensive study Anderson (2007) examined the effects of lyrical music on the reading comprehension of 7th and 8th graders. The sample of 334 students completed a reading comprehension task with no background music and with Billboard Magazine's Top Hit Singles background music. Anderson found that when listening to music, the students' reading performance decreased significantly. This negative effect was strongest for those who said they preferred listening to music while studying. Kiger (1989) found that sophomores performed best on a reading task when they had slow, soft, repetitive background music playing as opposed to reading in silence or with high information-load music playing. He goes on to say that research on background music "indicates a range of effects from significant improvement to significant impairment of performance depending on the type of music used (rock vs. classical) or listeners' preference (Burton, 1986; Etaugh & Michaels 1975; Fogelson, 1973; Hilliard & Tolin, 1979)" (p. 531).

3. Listening to heavy metal music has been linked to higher likelihood of having suicidal thoughts, engaging in deliberate self harm, feeling depressed, having lower self esteem, having more school problems and engaging in delinquent and reckless behavior in adolescents(Greenfield et al, 1987; Arnett, 1991; Took & Weiss, 1994; Russel, 1997; Scheel & Westefeld, 1999; Persaud, 2004; Chen et al, 2006). Some of the delinquent and reckless behaviors examined have been drunk driving, speeding, risky sexual behavior, assault, using alcohol, tobacco and/or hard drugs and being arrested. Also, in all 50 States Stack et al (as cited in Scheel & Westefeld, 1999) found that the larger the heavy metal following an area had, the higher the number of adolescent suicides that occurred in that area. However, heavy metal music has been linked in to increased positive affect in adolescents who enjoy heavy metal music (i.e. Arnett, 1991 as cited in Scheel & Westefeld, 1999; Wooten, 1992 as cited in Scheel & Westefeld, 1999). Drive Reduction Theory may be applicable to this situation. In this context, this theory posits that music serves as an expressive vehicle and therefore reduces the likelihood that listeners will experience an emotional or physical outburst (Gardstrom, 1999). That being said Martin et al (as cited in Scheel & Westefeld, 1999) found that a small population of heavy metal fans felt worse after listening to said music. This small population was more "disturbed" on some measurements including likelihood of depression, self harm and suicidal thoughts.

Other researchers have looked at types of music other than heavy metal. Some studies have found that adolescents who prefer listening to rap and hip hop music are more likely to use alcohol, marijuana and other drug, have below-average school grades and more school behavior problems and engage in other deviant behavior such as violence, gang activity, theft, and risky sexual behavior (Took & Weiss, 1994; Miranda & Claes, 2004;Chen et al, 2006) In their study of many types of music Chen et al (2006) found that different types of music are linked to different behaviors. Individuals aged 15-25 who preferred rap music were more likely to use alcohol, marijuana and club drugs and to engage in aggressive behavior. Individuals who preferred world music were less likely to use alcohol and marijuana. Individuals who preferred country and western music were less likely to use club drugs and those preferring rock music were less likely to engage in aggressive behavior. One researcher found that adolescents aged 12-15 who claimed that rave music was their favorite type of music were more likely to be substance users while Chen et al (2006) found that listening to techno or reggae music was linked to higher likelihood of alcohol and drug use.

On a more positive note, Miranda and Claes (2004) found that female adolescents who preferred soul music had lower levels of depression while Mulder et al (2007) found that liking pop music seemed to serve as a buffer to problem behavior in adolescents. Also, some studies have shown that rap and hip hop music can have positive influence on adolescents. For example, Hakanen (1995) found that 14 to 19 year old African Americans associated rap music with happiness and excitement while Sullivan (2003) found that African American adolescents saw rap music as life affirming. Also, many studies (i.e. Rose, 1994; Elligan, 2004; Watts et al, 2002) argue that rap music has empowering qualities that, among other things, can increase "critical consciousness" and increase resistance to oppressive conditions. Cella, Tulsky, Sarafian, Thomas and Tomas (as cited in Tyson, 2005) reported that a smoking prevention program that incorporated rap music into the program was successful in elementary schools and Staszko (2006) successfully used hip hop music as an intervention strategy in a violence prevention program for adolescents. Staszko argues that hip hop music can be a coping mechanism for many adolescents.

Finally, many researchers (i.e. Persaud, 2004; North & Hargraeves, 2005; North & Hargraeves, 2006) argue that music does not cause adolescents to act in a certain way. Persaud (2004) for example, argues that instead music is a reflection of the adolescents' tendencies and preferences. He argues that many young people with preexisting mental issues may seek out certain types of music, in this case heavy metal music, because it resonates with them; they can relate to the music. Persaud also says, however, that the music may reinforce their issues as well. In another study when adolescent felony offenders were asked whether or not there was a link between the music they listened to (which was mostly rap) and their criminal behavior only 4% said they believed there was a connection (Gardstrom, 1999). All this being said, it is important to remember that exposure to media has been linked to an increase in violent and aggressive behavior, alcohol and tobacco use and sexual activity (Villani, 2001).

4. Music seems to fulfill many needs for children and adolescents. Through examining essays, statements and reflections written by middle and high school students Campbell, Connell and Beegle (2007) found that adolescents perceived many benefits to music. Music played a role in their identity formation, had emotional and social benefits and had "life" benefits including building character and teaching life skills. North, Hargreaves and O'Neill (2000) surveyed 2465 13-14 year old students in England and found that music fulfilled four main needs. It fulfilled emotional needs such as getting through a difficult time, relieving tension and stress and expressing emotion. It also fulfilled social needs by creating an image and showing that the adolescent was trendy and cool. Thirdly, it fulfilled pleasing needs which included the need to please parents, teachers and friends. And finally music fulfilled an "aesthetic motivation" through enjoyment and an increased ability to be creative. Similarly Tarrant, North and Hargreaves (2000) examined the reasons why adolescents living in England (mean age 14.66) and adolescents living in the U.S. (mean age 15.88) listened to music. The three main reasons were "self actualization" reasons including to be creative, to express emotion and to create an image of one 's self, to fulfill emotional needs by decreasing boredom and loneliness and relieving tension, and to fulfill social needs by being popular with others, pleasing friends and decreasing loneliness.

Many researchers have looked specifically at the emotional benefits of listening to music. When examining 10th to 12th graders Scheel and Westefeld (1999) found that listening to music had a positive effect on the adolescents' moods. Hakanen (1995) found that 14 to 19 year old African Americans associated positive emotions to different music genres. For example, jazz was associated with pride, hope and confidence while rap was associated with happiness and excitement. Also, some researchers have looked at the emotional benefits of listening to heavy metal and rap music. Arnett (as cited in Scheel & Westefeld, 1999) argued that allowing heavy metal music fans to listen to heavy metal music may have a positive liberating effect. Similarly Martin et al (1993) and Wooten (1992) both cited in Scheel and Westefeld (1999), found that heavy metal fans experienced an increase in positive emotion after listening to heavy metal music. Martin et al caution, however, that a small population felt worse after listening to said music. Finally, after interviewing 106 12 to 17 year old male felony offenders, most of whose main music choice was rap, Gardstrom (1999) proposed that the Drive Reduction Theory may be applicable. In this context, this theory says that music serves as an expressive vehicle. This means that the listeners express their negative emotion through the music. Because the listeners already have an outlet for expressing their negative emotions, listening to heavy metal then reduces the likelihood that these offenders would experience an emotional or physical outburst.

5. Studies have linked exposure to music videos to violence, aggression, sexual promiscuity, drug and alcohol use, and unhealthy body image beliefs (i.e. Wingood, DiClemente, Bernhardt, Harrington, Davies & Robillard, 2003; Stephens & Few, 2007; Peterson, Wingood, DiClemente, Harrington & Davies, 2007; Bell, Lawton & Dittmar, 2007). For example, Wingood et al (2003) and Peterson et al (2007) examined the relationship between exposure to rap music videos and several outcomes in 522 African American females who were 16 to 19 years of age. They found that adolescents who had greater exposure to such videos had an increased likelihood of hitting a teacher, being arrested, having multiple sexual partners, acquiring an STD and using drugs and/or alcohol than adolescents who had lower exposure to these videos; higher exposure was also linked with unhealthy body image beliefs. Peterson et al (2007) also found that participants who perceived more portrayals of sexual stereotypes in rap music videos were more likely to binge drink, use marijuana, have multiple sexual partners and have unhealthy body images than participants to perceived fewer portrayals of sexual stereotypes.

To investigate the impact that using thin models in music videos has on adolescent girls' body dissatisfaction Bell et al (2007) assigned 87 female adolescents aged 16-19 to one of three groups. The first group learned a list of words, the second group watched music videos and the third group only listened to the songs that were portrayed in the music videos; to clarify, the third group did not view the videos but only heard the songs. The adolescents completed a body dissatisfaction survey before and after their task. Results showed that those who watched the music videos had larger increases in body dissatisfaction than those who listened to the same music but did not view the music videos and those who learned a set of words.

Ages 16-19

1. In a recent extensive study Anderson (2007) examined the effects of lyrical music on the reading comprehension of 7th and 8th graders. The sample of 334 students completed a reading comprehension task with no background music and with Billboard Magazine's Top Hit Singles background music. Anderson found that when listening to music, the students' reading performance decreased significantly. This negative effect was strongest for those who said they preferred listening to music while studying. Kiger (1989) found that sophomores performed best on a reading task when they had slow, soft, repetitive background music playing as opposed to reading in silence or with high information-load music playing. He goes on to say that research on background music "indicates a range of effects from significant improvement to significant impairment of performance depending on the type of music used (rock vs. classical) or listeners' preference (Burton, 1986; Etaugh & Michaels 1975; Fogelson, 1973; Hilliard & Tolin, 1979)" (p. 531).

2. Listening to heavy metal music has been linked to higher likelihood of having suicidal thoughts, engaging in deliberate self harm, feeling depressed, having lower self esteem, having more school problems and engaging in delinquent and reckless behavior in adolescents(Greenfield et al, 1987; Arnett, 1991; Took & Weiss, 1994; Russel, 1997; Scheel & Westefeld, 1999; Persaud, 2004; Chen et al, 2006). Some of the delinquent and reckless behaviors examined have been drunk driving, speeding, risky sexual behavior, assault, using alcohol, tobacco and/or hard drugs and being arrested. Also, in all 50 States Stack et al (as cited in Scheel & Westefeld, 1999) found that the larger the heavy metal following an area had, the higher the number of adolescent suicides that occurred in that area. However, heavy metal music has been linked in to increased positive affect in adolescents who enjoy heavy metal music (i.e. Arnett, 1991 as cited in Scheel & Westefeld, 1999; Wooten, 1992 as cited in Scheel & Westefeld, 1999). Drive Reduction Theory may be applicable to this situation. In this context, this theory posits that music serves as an expressive vehicle and therefore reduces the likelihood that listeners will experience an emotional or physical outburst (Gardstrom, 1999). That being said Martin et al (as cited in Scheel & Westefeld, 1999) found that a small population of heavy metal fans felt worse after listening to said music. This small population was more "disturbed" on some measurements including likelihood of depression, self harm and suicidal thoughts.

Other researchers have looked at types of music other than heavy metal. Some studies have found that adolescents who prefer listening to rap and hip hop music are more likely to use alcohol, marijuana and other drug, have below-average school grades and more school behavior problems and engage in other deviant behavior such as violence, gang activity, theft, and risky sexual behavior (Took & Weiss, 1994; Miranda & Claes, 2004;Chen et al, 2006) In their study of many types of music Chen et al (2006) found that different types of music are linked to different behaviors. Individuals aged 15-25 who preferred rap music were more likely to use alcohol, marijuana and club drugs and to engage in aggressive behavior. Individuals who preferred world music were less likely to use alcohol and marijuana. Individuals who preferred country and western music were less likely to use club drugs and those preferring rock music were less likely to engage in aggressive behavior. One researcher found that adolescents aged 12-15 who claimed that rave music was their favorite type of music were more likely to be substance users while Chen et al (2006) found that listening to techno or reggae music was linked to higher likelihood of alcohol and drug use.

On a more positive note, Miranda and Claes (2004) found that female adolescents who preferred soul music had lower levels of depression while Mulder et al (2007) found that liking pop music seemed to serve as a buffer to problem behavior in adolescents. Also, some studies have shown that rap and hip hop music can have positive influence on adolescents. For example, Hakanen (1995) found that 14 to 19 year old African Americans associated rap music with happiness and excitement while Sullivan (2003) found that African American adolescents saw rap music as life affirming. Also, many studies (i.e. Rose, 1994; Elligan, 2004; Watts et al, 2002) argue that rap music has empowering qualities that, among other things, can increase "critical consciousness" and increase resistance to oppressive conditions. Cella, Tulsky, Sarafian, Thomas and Tomas (as cited in Tyson, 2005) reported that a smoking prevention program that incorporated rap music into the program was successful in elementary schools and Staszko (2006) successfully used hip hop music as an intervention strategy in a violence prevention program for adolescents. Staszko argues that hip hop music can be a coping mechanism for many adolescents.

Finally, many researchers (i.e. Persaud, 2004; North & Hargraeves, 2005; North & Hargraeves, 2006) argue that music does not cause adolescents to act in a certain way. Persaud (2004) for example, argues that instead music is a reflection of the adolescents' tendencies and preferences. He argues that many young people with preexisting mental issues may seek out certain types of music, in this case heavy metal music, because it resonates with them; they can relate to the music. Persaud also says, however, that the music may reinforce their issues as well. In another study when adolescent felony offenders were asked whether or not there was a link between the music they listened to (which was mostly rap) and their criminal behavior only 4% said they believed there was a connection (Gardstrom, 1999). All this being said, it is important to remember that exposure to media has been linked to an increase in violent and aggressive behavior, alcohol and tobacco use and sexual activity (Villani, 2001).

3. Studies have linked exposure to music videos to violence, aggression, sexual promiscuity, drug and alcohol use, and unhealthy body image beliefs (i.e. Wingood, DiClemente, Bernhardt, Harrington, Davies & Robillard, 2003; Stephens & Few, 2007; Peterson, Wingood, DiClemente, Harrington & Davies, 2007; Bell, Lawton & Dittmar, 2007). For example, Wingood et al (2003) and Peterson et al (2007) examined the relationship between exposure to rap music videos and several outcomes in 522 African American females who were 16 to 19 years of age. They found that adolescents who had greater exposure to such videos had an increased likelihood of hitting a teacher, being arrested, having multiple sexual partners, acquiring an STD and using drugs and/or alcohol than adolescents who had lower exposure to these videos; higher exposure was also linked with unhealthy body image beliefs. Peterson et al (2007) also found that participants who perceived more portrayals of sexual stereotypes in rap music videos were more likely to binge drink, use marijuana, have multiple sexual partners and have unhealthy body images than participants to perceived fewer portrayals of sexual stereotypes.

To investigate the impact that using thin models in music videos has on adolescent girls' body dissatisfaction Bell et al (2007) assigned 87 female adolescents aged 16-19 to one of three groups. The first group learned a list of words, the second group watched music videos and the third group only listened to the songs that were portrayed in the music videos; to clarify, the third group did not view the videos but only heard the songs. The adolescents completed a body dissatisfaction survey before and after their task. Results showed that those who watched the music videos had larger increases in body dissatisfaction than those who listened to the same music but did not view the music videos and those who learned a set of words.

4. Chinet, Stephan, Zobel and Halfon (2007) randomly selected 302 16-46 year old individuals who were attending dance music events in Switzerland to fill out a lifestyle self report questionnaire. The mean age of the sample was 22.70 years of age. The current and lifetime level of substance use (including alcohol, cannabis, cocaine, amphetamine and hallucinogen use) was higher for this sample than it was for the general population. Also, this sample was taken from six different dance music events and results show that techno and open air events attracted more substance users than other dance music events.

5. Music seems to fulfill many needs for children and adolescents. Through examining essays, statements and reflections written by middle and high school students Campbell, Connell and Beegle (2007) found that adolescents perceived many benefits to music. Music played a role in their identity formation, had emotional and social benefits and had "life" benefits including building character and teaching life skills. North, Hargreaves and O'Neill (2000) surveyed 2465 13-14 year old students in England and found that music fulfilled four main needs. It fulfilled emotional needs such as getting through a difficult time, relieving tension and stress and expressing emotion. It also fulfilled social needs by creating an image and showing that the adolescent was trendy and cool. Thirdly, it fulfilled pleasing needs which included the need to please parents, teachers and friends. And finally music fulfilled an "aesthetic motivation" through enjoyment and an increased ability to be creative. Similarly Tarrant, North and Hargreaves (2000) examined the reasons why adolescents living in England (mean age 14.66) and adolescents living in the U.S. (mean age 15.88) listened to music. The three main reasons were "self actualization" reasons including to be creative, to express emotion and to create an image of one 's self, to fulfill emotional needs by decreasing boredom and loneliness and relieving tension, and to fulfill social needs by being popular with others, pleasing friends and decreasing loneliness.

Many researchers have looked specifically at the emotional benefits of listening to music. When examining 10th to 12th graders Scheel and Westefeld (1999) found that listening to music had a positive effect on the adolescents' moods. Hakanen (1995) found that 14 to 19 year old African Americans associated positive emotions to different music genres. For example, jazz was associated with pride, hope and confidence while rap was associated with happiness and excitement. Also, some researchers have looked at the emotional benefits of listening to heavy metal and rap music. Arnett (as cited in Scheel & Westefeld, 1999) argued that allowing heavy metal music fans to listen to heavy metal music may have a positive liberating effect. Similarly Martin et al (1993) and Wooten (1992) both cited in Scheel and Westefeld (1999), found that heavy metal fans experienced an increase in positive emotion after listening to heavy metal music. Martin et al caution, however, that a small population felt worse after listening to said music. Finally, after interviewing 106 12 to 17 year old male felony offenders, most of whose main music choice was rap, Gardstrom (1999) proposed that the Drive Reduction Theory may be applicable. In this context, this theory says that music serves as an expressive vehicle. This means that the listeners express their negative emotion through the music. Because the listeners already have an outlet for expressing their negative emotions, listening to heavy metal then reduces the likelihood that these offenders would experience an emotional or physical outburst.


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