The relationship between heavy metal and rap music and adolescent turmoil: real or artifact?

Adolescence. 1994 Fall;29(115):613-21.


Adolescents and their parents were surveyed to investigate the association between heavy metal and rap music and adolescent psychosocial turmoil. Subjects were asked about current and past psychosocial functioning, as well as their music preferences. Adolescents who preferred heavy metal and rap music were compared with those who preferred other types of music. Results indicated that adolescents who preferred heavy metal and rap had a higher incidence of below-average school grades, school behavior problems, sexual activity, drug and alcohol use, and arrests. However, when gender was controlled, only below-average current and elementary school grades and a history of counseling in elementary school for school problems remained significant. Implications of these findings are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Alcoholism / psychology
  • Child
  • Child Behavior Disorders / psychology*
  • Choice Behavior*
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Gender Identity
  • Humans
  • Identity Crisis
  • Juvenile Delinquency / psychology*
  • Male
  • Music*
  • Personality Development*
  • Social Adjustment
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology