Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 36, Issue 3, pp 313–324 | Cite as

Music Taste Groups and Problem Behavior

  • Juul MulderEmail author
  • Tom ter Bogt
  • Quinten Raaijmakers
  • Wilma Vollebergh
Original Paper


Internalizing and externalizing problems differ by musical tastes. A high school-based sample of 4159 adolescents, representative of Dutch youth aged 12 to 16, reported on their personal and social characteristics, music preferences and social-psychological functioning, measured with the Youth Self-Report (YSR). Cluster analysis on their music preferences revealed six taste groups: Middle-of-the-road (MOR) listeners, Urban fans, Exclusive Rock fans, Rock-Pop fans, Elitists, and Omnivores. A seventh group of musically Low-Involved youth was added. Multivariate analyses revealed that when gender, age, parenting, school, and peer variables were controlled, Omnivores and fans within the Exclusive Rock groups showed relatively high scores on internalizing YSR measures, and social, thought and attention problems. Omnivores, Exclusive Rock, Rock-Pop and Urban fans reported more externalizing problem behavior. Belonging to the MOR group that highly appreciates the most popular, chart-based pop music appears to buffer problem behavior. Music taste group membership uniquely explains variance in both internalizing and externalizing problem behavior.


Music preferences Taste groups Adolescents Internalizing problems Externalizing problems 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juul Mulder
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tom ter Bogt
    • 2
  • Quinten Raaijmakers
    • 3
  • Wilma Vollebergh
    • 4
  1. 1.Received her MA in Psychology from the University of Groningen. Currently working on a PhD-thesis on the role of pop music in the development of adolescents at the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. University of AmsterdamAmsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)AmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Professor of Pop Music, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Researcher at the Trimbos Institute, Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addication, the Netherlands. Received his PhD in Education from the University of Utrecht. Interests include pop music, youth cultures, substance use, work ethic, behavioral and emotional problems.AmsterdamThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Associate Professor of Education, University of Utrecht, the Netherlands. Received his PhD in Social Psychology from the University of Utrecht. Current interests are moral development, identity, and research methodology.UtrechtThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Professor of Education, University of Leiden, the Netherlands; Director of Research at the Trimbos-Institute. Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and interests concern adolescent psychosocial distress, and adolescent health and risk behaviors.LeidenThe Netherlands

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