Journal of Poetry Therapy

, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 131–144 | Cite as

Hip Hop Therapy: An Exploratory Study of a Rap Music Intervention with At-Risk and Delinquent Youth

  • Edgar H. Tyson
Article

Abstract

This article presents the results of an exploratory study of the therapeutic potential of a rap music intervention in group work with youth. “Hip-Hop Therapy (HHT)” is an innovative synergy of rap music, bibliotherapy, and music therapy. A pretestposttest experimental design with random assignment to groups was used to compare outcomes of youth that attended HHT sessions (n = 5) and youth that attended comparison group therapy sessions (n = 6) at a residential facility for at-risk and delinquent youth. Post-hoc qualitative data are also presented to provide depth to our understanding of the experiences of the youth in the HHT group. Because rap music has become increasingly popular among youth, it was expected that under a specific set of conditions rap music would improve the therapeutic experience and outcomes for youth. Taken together, the quantitative and qualitative results partially supported the hypothesis. Implications for clinical practice, as well as future directions in research are noted.

bibliotherapy cultural sensitivity music therapy poetry therapy rap music 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Apprey, M., & Ragland, Z. (1974). Community music therapy with adolescents. Journal of Music Therapy, 11, 147–155.Google Scholar
  2. Barongan, C., & Nagayama-Hall, G. C. (1995). The influence of misogynous rap music on sexual aggression against women. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 19, 195–207.Google Scholar
  3. Chappell, K. (2001). Hip-hop at the crossroads: Will lyrics and perceptions change? Ebony, (September), 110–114.Google Scholar
  4. Clendenon-Wallen, J. (1991). The use of music therapy to influence the self-confidence and self-esteem of adolescents who are sexually abused. Music Therapy Perspectives, 9, 73–81.Google Scholar
  5. Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences (2nd ed.). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawerence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  6. Corcoran, K. & Fischer, J. (1994). Measures for clinical practice: A source book. Vol. 1, Couples, families, and children. (2nd ed.). NY: New York, Free Press.Google Scholar
  7. Darrow, A. & Molloy, D. (1998). Multicultural perspectives in music therapy: An examination of the literature, educational curricula, and clinical practices in culturally diverse cities in the United States. Music Therapy Perspectives, 16(1), 27–32.Google Scholar
  8. Dyson, M.E. (1996). Between god and gangsta Rap: Bearing witness to black culture. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Epstein, J.S., Pratto, D.J., & Skipper, J.K. (1990). Teenagers, behavioral problems, and preferences for heavy metal and rap music: A case study of a southern middle school. Deviant Behavior, 11, 381–394.Google Scholar
  10. Farley, J. (1999, Feburary 8). Hip-hop nation. Time, 54–64.Google Scholar
  11. Fischoff, S. P. (1999). Gansta' rap and murder in Bakersfield. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 29(4), 795–805.Google Scholar
  12. Fried, C. B. (1999). Who's afraid of rap: Differential reactions to music lyrics. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 29(4), 705–721.Google Scholar
  13. Friedlander, L. H. (1994). Group music psychotherapy in an inpatient psychiatric setting for children: A developmental approach. Music Therapy Perspective, 12(2), 92–97.Google Scholar
  14. Gardstrom, S. C. (1999). Music exposure and criminal behavior: Perceptions of juvenile offenders. Journal of Music Therapy, 36(3), 207–221.Google Scholar
  15. Henderson, E. A. (1996). Black nationalism and rap music. Journal of Black Studies, 26(3), 308–339.Google Scholar
  16. Holman, W.D. (1996). The power of poetry: Validating ethnic identity through a bibliotherapeutic intervention with a Puerto Rican adolescent. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 13(6), 371–383.Google Scholar
  17. Hudson, W. W. (1992). The WALMYR assessment scales scoring manual. Tempe, AZ: WALMYR Publishing Co.Google Scholar
  18. Hynes, A.M., & Hynes-Berry (1994). Biblio/poetry therapy-The interactive process: A handbook. St. Cloud, MN: North Star Press.Google Scholar
  19. Johnson, J. D., Trawalter, S., & Dovidio, J. F. (2000). Converging interracial consequences of exposure to violent rap music on stereotypical attributions of blacks. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 36(3), 233–251.Google Scholar
  20. Keyes, C. L. (2000). Empowering self, making choices, creating spaces: Black female identity via rap music performance. Journal of American Folklore, 113(449), 255–269.Google Scholar
  21. Kim, B. S. K., Omizo, M. M., & D'Andrea, M. J. (1998). The effects of culturally consonant group counseling on the self-esteem and internal locus of control orientation among Native American adolescents. Journal for Specialists in Group Work, 23(2), 145–163.Google Scholar
  22. Lipsitt, L. P. (1958). A self-concept scale for children and its relationship to the children's form of the Manifest Anxiety Scale, Child Development, 29, 463–472.Google Scholar
  23. Mark, A. (1986). Adolescents discuss themselves and drugs through music. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 5, 241–245.Google Scholar
  24. Martinez, T. A. (1997). Popular culture as oppositional culture: Rap as resistance. Sociological Perspectives, 40(2), 265–286.Google Scholar
  25. Mazza, N. (1999). Poetry therapy: Interface of the arts and psychology. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.Google Scholar
  26. Mendel, R. A. (2000). Less hype, more help: Reducing juvenile crime, what works-and what doesn't. Washington, D.C: American Youth Policy Forum.Google Scholar
  27. Ogles, B. M., Lunnen, K. M., & Bonesteel, K. (2001). Clinical significance: History, application, and current practice. Clinical Psychology Review, 21(3), 421–446.Google Scholar
  28. Pardeck, J.T. (1995). Bibliotherapy: An innovative approach to helping children. Early Child Development, 83–88.Google Scholar
  29. Pardeck, J.T. (1992). Using bibliotherapy in treatment with children in residential care. Resdential Treatment for Children & Youth, 9(3), 73–90.Google Scholar
  30. Pardeck, J.T., & Pardeck, J.A. (1993). Bibliotherapy. A clinical approach to helping children. New York: Gordon and Breach.Google Scholar
  31. Potter, R. A. (1995). Spectacular Vernaculars: Hip hop and the politics of postmodernism. Albany: State University Press.Google Scholar
  32. Pressley, A. (1992). Rap music by black male artists: A psychotheological interpretation. The Western Journal of Black Studies, 16(2), 92–97.Google Scholar
  33. Rose T. (1994). Black noise: Rap music and black culture in contemporary America. Hanover: Wesleyan University Press.Google Scholar
  34. Saleebey, D. (1996). The strengths perspective in social work practice: Extensions and cautions. Social Work, 41(3), 296–305.Google Scholar
  35. Standley, J.M., & Prickett, C.A. (Eds.). (1994). Research in music therapy: A tradition of excellence. MD: National Association of Music Therapy, Inc.Google Scholar
  36. Zillman, D., Aust, C., Hoffman, K., Love, C., Ordman, V., Pope, J.T., Seigler, P.D., & Gibson, R. (1995). Radical rap: Does it further ethnic division? Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 16(1&2), 1–25.Google Scholar
  37. Zimpler, D. G. (1992). Group work with juvenile delinquents. Journal for Specialists in Group Work, 17(2), 116–126.Google Scholar
  38. Woldu, G. H. (1997). Teaching rap music: Musings at semester's end. College Music Symposium, 37, 65–71.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edgar H. Tyson
    • 1
  1. 1.Knoxville College of Social WorkUniversity of TennesseeUSA

Personalised recommendations