Punk Music Leads to Punk Teen Behaviour, Study Shows

A new report agrees with what grandma has been saying all along: Heavy metal and punk music can have a negative effect on teens after all.

A four-year-study, published in the journal Pediatrics looked at 309 teenagers and found kids who showed a love towards “deviant music” by age 12 were “more engaged in minor delinquency in late adolescence” till age 16.  These behaviours included shoplifting, vandalism, fighting and graffiti spraying.

This deviant music was categorized in the gothic, punk, heavy metal and hardcore dance genres. Other types of music, such as mainstream pop, jazz and classical music didn’t show the same results.

Dr Tom ter Bogt of Utrecht University, in Holland, who headed the study said “Music is the medium that separates mainstream youth from young people who may more easily adopt norm-breaking behaviors,” but also explained that it might not all be the music’s fault and could be a due to peer influence as well.

“In peer groups characterized by their deviant music taste, norm-breaking youth may ‘infect’ their friends with their behaviors,” he said.

But if you find your child listening to heavy metal or gothic music, don’t go into panic mode.

Dr Kathryn Modecki, an expert in adolescent delinquency from Murdoch University says “Most kids listen to this kind of music [and] it is very, very normal for kids to experiment with music and peers. It is the larger picture of the child who listens to this music, and hangs out with problematic kids and has signs of depression and anxiety” that you have to be on the lookout for.

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