Heavy metal music has negative impacts on youth

Young people at risk of depression are more likely to listen habitually and repetitively to heavy metal music. University of Melbourne researcher Dr Katrina McFerran has found.

Young people at risk of are more likely to listen habitually and repetitively to heavy metal music. University of Melbourne researcher Dr Katrina McFerran has found.

A senior lecturer in at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, Dr McFerran is immersed in a new study that aims to find out why some young people use heavy metal music in a negative way.

By conducting in-depth interviews with 50 young people aged between 13 and 18, along with a of 1000 young people, Dr McFerran is looking to develop an model that can be integrated into schools to impact positively before behavioral problems occur.

“The mp3 revolution means that young people are accessing music more than ever before and it’s not uncommon for some to listen to music for seven or eight hours a day,” she said.

“Most young people listen to a range of music in positive ways; to block out crowds, to lift their mood or to give them energy when exercising, but young people at of depression are more likely to be listening to music, particularly heavy metal music, in a negative way.

“Examples of this are when someone listens to the same song or album of heavy metal music over and over again and doesn’t listen to anything else. They do this to isolate themselves or escape from reality.

“If this behavior continues over a period of time then it might indicate that this young person is suffering from depression or anxiety, and at worst, might suggest suicidal tendencies.”

Dr McFerran said parents should be aware of their children’s music listening habits, pick up on early warning signs and take early action.

“If parents are worried, they should ask their children questions like – how does that music make you feel? If children say the music reflects or mirrors the way they feel then ask more about what the music is saying,” she said.

“If listening doesn’t make them feel good about themselves, this should ring alarm bells. Alternatively, if parents notice a downturn in their child’s mood after listening to music this is also a cause for showing interest and getting involved.”

As part of her study Dr McFerran is seeking input from , particularly those who suffer from depression and anxiety to better understand the affects of heavy metal.  She is also interested in hearing from parents along with their teenagers.

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Isaacsname
not rated yet Oct 20, 2011
Isn't this sort of like ,idk..for lack of a better term, " self-reinforcing entrainment " ? I see people do this all the time. They listen usually to one genre of music repetitively.

Hush ?
kaasinees
4.2 / 5 (5) Oct 20, 2011
correlation, causation?
JRDarby
5 / 5 (1) Oct 20, 2011
Examples of this are when someone listens to the same song or album of heavy metal music over and over again and doesnt listen to anything else. They do this to isolate themselves or escape from reality.


That's a specious conclusion. Why is it necessarily to isolate themselves? Can't metal provide the same psychological balm that the author says "normal" music provides? It seems like the author is just projecting his own biases against heavy metal onto the study and drawing conclusions from them.

If she wants input, here's some: when I was a teenager I listened exclusively to metal and repetitively in the same way described above. I didn't listen to metal to block out the real world. I listened because I like the sound of it in the same way that some people like the sound of pop. It also gave me a sense of empowerment that I didn't feel normally. Furthermore, because metal is fringey a sense of communitas develops around people that listen to it, so metal can be a community.
FrankHerbert
2.5 / 5 (11) Oct 20, 2011
JRDarby, I actually had a professor that conducted such a study and she concluded that the genre or mood of music didn't matter, as long as the subject enjoyed it.
JRDarby
5 / 5 (1) Oct 20, 2011
JRDarby, I actually had a professor that conducted such a study and she concluded that the genre or mood of music didn't matter, as long as the subject enjoyed it.


That makes sense to me. It seems to depend more on the person rather than the music. The person brings whatever personality characteristics, biases, tastes, etc. to the music: this seems to imply that the music they choose and their reactions to the music should be more determined by the person than the music.
Noumenon
2 / 5 (8) Oct 20, 2011
It seems like the author is just projecting his own biases against heavy metal onto the study and drawing conclusions from them.


It seems that the author is also a PC coward, since it would have made more sense to do such a study on rap "music" instead, especially given its popularity and its obviously degenerating and negative theme.
Noumenon
2.8 / 5 (9) Oct 20, 2011
Examples of this are when someone listens to the same song or album of heavy metal music over and over again and doesnt listen to anything else.


There are some genres of music that are complex enough that many listening sessions are required to get the most out of it,... progressive rock and classical music come to mind.

I would like to know how many albums of any genre of music McFerran owns and listens to on a regular basis. If the number is very small or zero, her own ignorance of music could cause a bias in the study.
Nerdyguy
4 / 5 (7) Oct 20, 2011
This sounds familiar. Not the first time a researcher has postulated that a "specific" type of music is inherently bad. How does one even begin to define what constitutes "heavy metal". For example, is this the same as "hard rock"? Where are the boundaries? Which specific criteria can be used to differentiate between musical categories? Is the Eagles song "Heavy Metal" actually "heavy metal" or, despite the name, is it more akin to "hard rock"?

McFerran suggests that there is such a thing as a "heavy metal" album. In reality, entertainers in every category typically use a mix of styles on any album. Hard/soft, slow/fast.

This is bad science and should be met with skepticism.

LuckyExplorer
1 / 5 (1) Oct 21, 2011
The headline mixes up cause and effect!

That rises the question is that also true for the authors of the study?
Are they biased?
ROBTHEGOB
not rated yet Oct 21, 2011
Heh heh, heh heh. DUH!!!
Ojorf
1 / 5 (1) Oct 22, 2011
Seems like most commenters read the misleading headline and it stuck in their minds, instead of the article. Nowhere does it state that any music has a negative effect on the listener. C'mon it quite clearly said that: 'Young people at risk of depression are more likely to listen habitually and repetitively to heavy metal music.'
From my experience the more 'screwed-up' kids in school with me were definitely more likely too be in the heavy metal crowd.
voltaire96
3.5 / 5 (6) Oct 22, 2011
i have been listening to heavy metal music my entire life and am not depressed. these are the same crazy studies they have been putting out since the 1980's. Why not target pop music instead.
FrankHerbert
2.1 / 5 (11) Oct 22, 2011
It seems that the author is also a PC coward, since it would have made more sense to do such a study on rap "music" instead, especially given its popularity and its obviously degenerating and negative theme.


Noumenon is a proud racist.
Nerdyguy
5 / 5 (3) Oct 22, 2011
It seems that the author is also a PC coward, since it would have made more sense to do such a study on rap "music" instead, especially given its popularity and its obviously degenerating and negative theme.


Noumenon is a proud racist.


Not sure if this was meant to be humorous and I don't know anything about Noumenon. But, I too immediately thought of rap music. I found it ironic that the author wasn't bashing on rap, which is a much more common thing to hear at this time. I grew up in the 70s/80s and, when I saw the term "heavy metal" it seemed to me that the study author was a couple of decades out of date. lol

Does anyone under the age of 30 even say "heavy metal" any more?
Noumenon
2.8 / 5 (9) Oct 22, 2011
It seems that the author is also a PC coward, since it would have made more sense to do such a study on rap "music" instead, especially given its popularity and its obviously degenerating and negative theme.


Noumenon is a proud racist.


Outright slander. Luckily for you it's only a screen name.

Why would you say this? Why would my comment appear racist to you? Please explain. I know you are not being sarcastic because you called me a racist via PM. How old are you?

I despise people who regard another race as being inferior. I am very much anti-racist. In fact as I explained to you previously, your idiotic flippent use of that term only serves to dilute it's impact.
JohnMoser
2 / 5 (8) Oct 23, 2011
"Noumenon is a proud racist."

This is coming from a proud imbecile.
infringer
5 / 5 (1) Oct 23, 2011
I think the real truth is that people are not depressed by this they are just more awake and unlike the prozac effects of other musical genres that talk about what a fantasical world we have metal music spits out reality rather then some fantasy driven crap ola about owning a country home and being a cowboy with a white picket fence dogs and kids or the alternative of a big time big money hip hop rap pop star metal music is a rise against the inhumanity of our non civilized civilization that push and rebel these unspoken truths to the billboards so that the truths can be seen in there minds eye by the millions around the world. They expel things like corporate greed. They expect fair treatment and doing this all without being fake or what have you metal music is here and it will not be ignored nor taken away it will only grow stronger as the peoples lives are destroyed mindless non caring people with greedy little fingers. If it was not for metal protests for fairness and rights then?
PJS
not rated yet Oct 26, 2011
@voltaire96 They're not saying metal causes depression, just that depressed kids like metal.