, Volume 20, Issue 6, pp 573-592

Heavy metal music and reckless behavior among adolescents

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Abstract

Adolescents who liked heavy metal music were compared to those who did not on a variety of outcome variables, particularly focusing on reckless behavior. Boys who liked heavy metal music reported a higher rate of a wide range of reckless behavior, including driving behavior, sexual behavior, and drug use. They were also less satisfied with their family relationships. Girls who liked heavy metal music were more reckless in the areas of shoplifting, vandalism, sexual behavior, and drug use, and reported lower self-esteem. Both boys and girls who liked heavy metal music were higher in sensation seeking and more self-assured with regard to sexuality and dating. In regression analyses, the relation between reckless behavior and liking heavy metal music was sustained for five out of twelve variables concerning reckless behavior, including three of four among girls, when sensation seeking and family relationships were entered into the equation before liking or not liking heavy metal music.

Received Ph.D. from University of Virginia. Research interests include adolescent musical preferences, reckless behavior, and socialization.