Problem music and self-harming

Suicide Life Threat Behav. 2006 Oct;36(5):582-90. doi: 10.1521/suli.2006.36.5.582.


Academics and protest groups have claimed that "problem music" (hard rock, hip hop/rap, & punk) causes self-injurious thoughts/behaviors among fans. In this study we investigated whether the relationship is mediated by self-esteem, delinquency, and conservatism; and whether first exposure to problem music preceded self-injurious thoughts. A liking for problem music was associated with four of the five self-injurious measures, although these significant relationships were weakened (into nonsignificance in the case of two self-injurious measures) when the mediating variables were included. Listening to problem music did not precede self-injurious thoughts. Problem music is associated with self-injurious thoughts and behaviors, but this relationship is mediated by other factors and the former does not seem to cause the latter.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Causality
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Juvenile Delinquency / psychology
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Music / psychology*
  • Politics
  • Self Concept
  • Self-Injurious Behavior / epidemiology
  • Self-Injurious Behavior / psychology*
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology