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A correlational study on music preference


Music has long been said to have influenced the lives of every individual in ways which are more than the imaginable. More than setting the mod, it makes us remember things which happened long time ago and it makes us imagine a bright future through its melody and rhythm. Overtime, based on the philosophical traditions in the world, music is said to be promoting harmonious living not only for the individual, but for the society as well in general. Furthermore, it is also said that this idea has long been forgotten by the traditions in the Western philosophy although some still argues that music has more to offer in our ethical lives and reflection. Music is particularly important in the social lives of the adolescents. They do cruise in streets with their cars fully set-up with subwoofers and speakers as they favorite genre of music plays along normally rock, electric, or heavy metal. Various researches have shown that music is very important and essential in the lives of the adolescents especially on how they were able to satisfy social, emotional, and developmental needs. This only goes to show the big influence of music preference on the major decisions and activities in which the adolescent is inclined.

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Suicide has long been a global threat to the human race especially among adolescents. In the United States alone, suicide has been said as the third leading cause of death among adolescents aged 15-19. The same case is also true globally. Although this phenomenon is said to ba a major alarming global problem, such has been still identified as preventable through a series of measures and practices which should be observed in order to prevent the occurrence of such. Part of this preventive and management of suicide attempts in the society include measures which are geared towards collaboration with community leaders or the proper authorities including health professionals, researchers, and all levels of the government which are concerned with the threat of this issue.

In the course of the study to be conducted, the researcher will present the correlation between the adolescents’ preference of music and their attempts to commit suicide. The research operates on the notion that the choice of music has a variable effect on why teenagers are inclined into attempting to end their lives. The study will look into psychological aspects which are associated to choice of music and how such incident can trigger an individual to commit suicide. The purpose of this research is to be able to identify such correlation and relate it to actual incidences of attempted suicide and how such can be prevented. The questions which the research will try to answer will include those reason on why music has been associated to an adolescent’s attempt to commit suicide, what kind of music triggers such occurrence, what other factors does music does aside from what has been mentioned, and. how can such incident be prevented. The researcher expects that these research questions will be answered at the end of the research through the help of data and relevant information which will be presented and extracted from reliable sources of study in order to strengthen the foundation of this paper and to gain more insights regarding the issue at hand. It is the expectation of the researcher to know what exactly is the correlation between the two variables of study: music preference and suicide attempts among adolescents. This study is of utmost important to be bale to give enlightenment on the issue and to be able to come up with various recommendations on what music should be played in order to lessen the occurrences of suicide, provided that there is a recognizable correlation between the two variables.


In order to successfully carry out the main purpose of the study, the researcher will make use of relevant data which are available to gain more insights regarding the issue. One of the main sources of information for this study will include secondary data sources. These sources will include references extracted from books, academic journals, scholarly articles, internet, and other form sof media which will provide the researcher with more insights regarding the topic. The secondary sources will be useful in providing the research with a strong foundation and also to be bale to back-up and strengthen the claims and the hypotheses of the author regarding the issue. Furthermore, although the researcher recognizes the difficulty of such measure, an individual who attempted suicide will also be interviewed and asked regarding his music preferences. By this, the study will be able to provide insights on the correlation between suicide and teenagers’ choice or preference of music which they listen to. More than the individuals themselves, another valuable source of primary data for this research will be psychologists and behavioral doctors who will also be interviewed and asked about how music relates to the possibility of the occurrence of suicide attempts.

In the process of this research, the research design which will be used by the researcher is exploratory research. This classification of research design is concerned with providing insights into, and an understanding of, the problem confronting the researcher. This type of research design is normally used on cases where the problems need to be defined more precisely, identify relevant courses of action, and gain additional insights or information before a particular approach can be developed. Moreover, the sample which will be chosen for the purpose of this study will only be small and at the same time non-representative. The primary and secondary data which will be gathered will be qualitative in nature rather than being quantitative. Given this, the fact that the research design is exploratory, the researcher submits this study to the fcat that once it is completed with all the findings and recommendation, the research is still subject to further study typically followed by conclusive research. As mentioned, the data will be collected from both primary and secondary sources through interviews and extensive research to gain the desired results. Furthermore, these data will be carefully analyzed by the researcher and will be only used in the study if the researcher sees such data as relevant and helpful in the conduct of the study. Lastly, ethical considerations will be considered as well in doing this research. No plagiarism must be tolerated. All sources will be properly identified and acknowledged. All interviews will be authentic and will come only from the individuals who can best give insights and relevant information on the topic. The confidentiality of the interview sources, particularly those who have already attempted to commit suicide, will also be of primary consideration.


It has always been said that music is the universal language of mankind. Indeed such is true. Through music, regardless of the language, we feel the rhythm, we feel the beat. And in one way or another we were touched by the tune, and by the time we know it we can either be already crying because of it or dancing crazily because of the beat. Such instance only goes to show that music has indeed a great influence in the lives of mankind. In our everyday lives, it plays a great role which at times, we are not even aware of.

During the 5th International Conference on Adolescent Health and Welfare and the World Youth Forum, there has been a relevant discussion regarding the influence of music on the life of the youth. Such discussion focuses on the notion that every sonsg and every artists or every genre to which the individual is inclined, there is a corresponding influence, either good or bad, to that individual and will manifest either long term or short term effects. The conference holds that music affects our body in various ways. We either feel the music as vibration to our bones, tissues and lungs and they also act as sound box playing inside our system. Because of such influences of music to our system, it can be said that we are indeed influenced by its beats and rhythms and as well as our actions.

According to Pouliot (1998), “selectively chosen and carefully designed musical compositions can help fortify our immune system, reduce our feeling of pain, and enhance certain higher mental functions”. In the journal which he wrote the author supports the claim of other researchers that there is an ultimate connection between the function of an individual’s body and to music. Aside from that, in his work, the author also mentioned that music helps an individual to have freedom from pain and suffering. Musically fluctuating vibrations have been said to have string influence on the individual’s perception of pain and on the over-all well-being. Furthermore, his work concludes that his work and other researches do not actually prove the concept that music is embedded with the ability and capacity to make us happier, healthier, and smarter.

Furthermore, according to Roberts et al., although much debate in the past and even up to the present have shown focus on the effects of media on youth violence particularly that of television, there is also a need to put an emphasis on music. Furthermore, with today’s popular music, criticism has been aimed towards the assumption that such music has contents which may influence how young listeners think or act. And more often than not, these influences are said to be violent and not giving any good to the adolescent population. It emphasizes the negatives which include violence, racism, Satanism, substance abuse, and suicide. Such musical aspects affecting such include heavy metal music and violent lyrics. The author also wrote some comments regarding music preference and suicide attempts and actual suicides. The work argues that the most common preference of music among those who committed suicide would be heavy metal music. The author mentioned that there is truth to the fact that a number of adolescents who committed or attempted to commit suicide have been found listening to heavy metal music few hours before taking away their own lives. The author also mentioned that for the individual to immerse himself with angry, desperate, and depressing music is indeed a poor strategy to be able to cope with problems associated with anger, despair, and depression. Neuroscience also suggests that brooding or the ability of the individual to dwell on his current emotional state, is more likely to just deepen or worsen the situation rather than being able to alleviate it. This could carry an addictive and anti-social behavior until it could lead to potential suicide.

In an article which was published in America’s Mental Health Channel, it has been said that suicide has increasingly become much more common among adolescents that how it used to be in the past years. It has been also identified that the main way of the adolescents to be able to end their respective lives is highly dependent on what lethal means are available in their country of residence and at their given age. In countries where guns are readily available, these are the main instruments which are used to commit suicide. However, in some places, strangling and food poisoning are the more causes means of committing or attempting suicide. Many literature have also been written identifying that the main cause of suicide attempts among adolescents would be the fact that they ae actually trying to manipulate others or as a way of crying out for help as brought about by depression or other problems which they perceived as too heavy already that suicide is their only option on that particular moment. Moreover, when asked after their suicide attempts regarding the reasons on why they attempted to commit suicide, their reasoning would be like that of an adult. One of the reasons which they often stipulate is that they simply wanted to die, they no longer have the desire to live. Another reason which they normally state is that they just want to escape from a hopeless situation or get rid of their horrible state of mind. Other reasons include substance abuse, being victims of different forms of abuse be it physical or emotional, psychological disorders, and relationship problems.

Various researches have shown that the type of music which we listen to reveals a lot about our personality. Such type of music also influences a great part of our daily life and our actions as well. In a research which was conducted by Rentfrow and Gosling (2002), they have identified that the personality of an individual have a big impact on their preferences for their choices of music. Aside from these, the self-esteem and the mood of the individual also have a great effect on their taste for music. The impact of music in our lives, especially the violent ones have garnered notable attention and scrutiny in the past, especially heavy metal music. Performers like Slayer, Marilyn Manson, and Metallica have been brought into courts after parents of various adolescents claimed that their music have influenced their children to attempt to commit suicide. Furthermore, Center for Suicide Prevention (1999) also identified the adolescent’s preference to listening to heavy metal music as a factor affecting their attempt to commit suicide. Moreover, aside from heavy metal music they also identified other genres such as folk, pop-rock, country, and opera as having an effect on the desire of the individual to commit suicide. According to their study, the content analysis of some country songs reveals that there are some themes of the songs which can foster suicide such as those related to dissolution of marriage of parents, alcohol and substance abuse, financial strain, and social isolation. Moreover, the opera is said to have influenced suicide because of the death of the characters which might actually prompt adolescents to actually do the same. With relation to heavy metal, the study claimed that some lyrics are insinuating suicide and some even advocate the act of doing such. Stack and Gundlach (1992) also supports the theory that country music has an effect on the adolescent’s attempt to commit suicide. The authors identified the suicidal themes of most country songs as the main reason on why they are said to be contributory to suicide attempts of the younger population.

After having reviewed the relevant literature related to the topic at hand, the researcher could see that indeed the type or preference of music has a strong effect on the gullible personality of adolescents; therefore, such might actually prompt them to commit suicide. However, it is also suggested to look at other factors which might actually reveal why the preference for music has led to such choices and not to just directly correlate music preference with the attempt of adolescents to commit suicide.


America’s Mental Health Channel; Suicide and Children; Healthy Place; 2009

Center for Suicide Prevention; Music and Suicide; 1999

Documents for Small Business and Professionals; The Influence of Music

Higgins, Kathleen Marie; The Music of Our Lives; 2001

Newfouldland and Labrador Center for health Information; Attemptempted Suicide Among Adolescents; 2004

Pouliot, Janine S.; The Power of Music; 1998

Roberts, Donald F., Christenson, Peter G., Gentile, Douglas A.; The Effects of Violent Music on Children and Adolescents; 2008

Schwartz, Kelly D., Fouts, Gregory T.; Music Preferences, Personality Style, and Developmental Issues of Adolescents.

Stack, Steven, Gundlach, Jim; The Effect of Country Music on Suicide; 1992

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