Examining the relationship between self-reported mood management and music preferences of Australian teenagers

<p>The influence of music on the moods and behaviour of young people has been much contested. Whilst some parties accuse the music industry of purposefully poisoning the minds of youth, others understand the relationship between teenagers and their music preferences as reciprocal. This article reports on an investigation examining what 111 Australian adolescents reported about changes in their mood before and after listening to self-selected genres of music. Most young people reported using music to improve their mood, particularly when their initial state was already positive, however when feeling sad or stressed, some young people reported a worsening mood. Correlational analysis revealed that whilst the distressed young people in this sample were more likely to prefer listening to angry music and have a preference for metal, this did not have a more negative effect on their mood than any other genre of music. The researchers conclude that mixed methodologies may be better suited for examining this complex phenomenon and for avoiding overly simplistic interpretations of data. Music therapists are encouraged to initiate dialogue with distressed young people in order to increase their consciousness about whether their mood improves or worsens when listening to self-selected music.</p>