Study: Music Choice a Predictor of Future Delinquency

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Headphones Picture from Flickr User HryckowianHeadphones Picture from Flickr User HryckowianMusical tastes of children in early adolescence may be a predictor of delinquency behaviors when the juveniles become older teenagers, according to a recent study published in the journal “Pediatrics.”

Researchers at Utrecht University in the Netherlands conducted a study using more than 300 young people, including youths in Canada, Sweden and the United States. The longitudinal test asked the subjects about their favorite musical genres when they were 12. Researchers also inquired about their delinquency histories from the time they turned 16.

According to the researchers, adolescents with a fondness for rock, hip-hop and techno music demonstrated “elevated minor delinquency concurrently and longitudinally,” while adolescents preferring pop, jazz and classical music were found to be less likely to report delinquency behaviors as teenagers.

The study indicates that music preferences during adolescence may be a “more powerful” indicator of later delinquency than pre-teen histories of delinquency. The researchers hypothesized that young people who enjoyed “deviant” music are likely to befriend other youths with similar musical tastes. The resulting peer pressure might lead to delinquent behaviors such as vandalism.

“This study is the first to provide evidence that an early preference for different types of noisy, rebellious, non-mainstream music genres is a strong predictor of concurrent and later minor delinquency,” the report reads. “Even when considering the potential co-founders, associations between music preferences and minor delinquency remained.”

Image Courtesty of Hryckowian