Heavy metal music and adolescent suicidality: an empirical investigation

Adolescence. Summer 1999;34(134):253-73.


This study investigated the relationship between preference for heavy metal music and vulnerability to suicide among 121 high school students. Heavy metal fans had less strong reasons for living (especially male fans) and had more thoughts of suicide (especially female fans). For a large majority, listening to music (all types) had a positive effect on mood. Overall, the results indicate that preference for heavy metal music among adolescents may be a "red flag" for increased suicidal vulnerability, but also suggest that the source of the problem may lie more in personal and familial characteristics than in any direct effects of the music. Implications for intervention and for future research are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior
  • Affect
  • Attitude
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Music*
  • Suicide*