Relationship between heavy metal music and suicide

Heavy Metal Music and Adolescent Suicidality - Culture and Youth Studies

relationship between heavy metal music and suicide

This study probes the differentiating characteristics (family relationships, social– psychological attitudes, drug use, and suicidal risk) of youth. This study investigated the relationship between preference for heavy metal music and vulnerability to suicide among high school students. Heavy metal . Over the last couple of decades there have been many studies attempting to discover if there is a correlation between heavy metal music and suicide.

The music survey identified the favorite types of music of the students, how much they listened to each type, and mood before and after listening.

The SRQ has respondents rate their current suicidal risk.

relationship between heavy metal music and suicide

Alternative music seemed to have a negligible relationship with RFL scores. Only heavy metal had a significant negative correlation. Heavy metal fans showed significantly lower survival and coping beliefs and responsibility to family. Additionally, male fans showed significantly lower moral objections to suicide.

Music listening appeared to be associated with a positive mood. There was not significant evidence that music listening had a negative effect on mood, but of eleven students who reported to feeling angrier after listening to music, seven were heavy metal fans.

Conclusions The hypothesis that adolescent fans of heavy metal music are more vulnerable to suicide as represented by less adaptive cognitive patterns was supported. Heavy metal fans were found to have significantly lower RFL scores.

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Their lower scores on Responsibility to Family, Survival and Coping Beliefs, and, for males, Moral Objections is important because these three subclasses are consistently associated with higher suicidal risk among teens. Additional support came from the finding that a significantly greater percentage of heavy metal fans thought occasionaly or often about killing themselves than non fans.

relationship between heavy metal music and suicide

The data does not reveal individual variability within the group, and it is therefore likely that many heavy metal fans are not especially at-risk. The results do not indicate that heavy metal listeners are in imminent danger of suicide: If pro-suicide messages in the music were influencing teens, it would be expected that heavy metal listeners would have shown lower scores than others on the Fear of Social Disapproval, Fear of Suicide, and Moral Objection scales.

Only males on the Moral Objection scale scored lower than other listeners.

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Being able to identify vulnerable adolescents who are not in imminent danger is important for early intervention. If the study can be replicated, targeting heavy metal subcultures may be a strategy of identifying higher risk teens.

Critique of Heavy Metal and Suicide - heavy metal and suicide

Care is required though to avoid stigmatizing an individual or group. Screening on suicidality alone is not recommended.

Limitations The sampling of students was relatively small, especially of males who are by far the largest proportion of heavy metal listeners.

The study also included very few hard core or exclusively heavy metal listeners. Controlling for other risk factors is also necessary for better determining the role of music in adolescent risk of suicide. Questions for Reflection and Discussion What was your favorite type of music or musical group in high school?

relationship between heavy metal music and suicide

How did listening to it make you feel? What is your favorite type of music or musical group now? What do you think it says about you? How often do you take time to find out and listen to the music that is popular with adolescents? However, there is a general trend in the academic journals where people study the metal subculture rather than the genre itself.

This is a the fatal flaw of a majority of the academic articles which claim heavy metal music causes people to kill themselves. An Empirical Investigation" by Karen R. Scheel and John S.

Heavy metal music and adolescent suicidality: an empirical investigation.

Steven Stack In this article, Stack establishes that heavy metal fans have a greater acceptability of suicide than fans of other genres due to the lack of church religion. He also claims that the themes "of individual and social hopelessness in a chaotic world are especially significant for suicidology. Hopelessness is a key psychological state that has been linked to risk of suicide" Stack Both of these statements are discredited due to the fact that the heavy metal subculture is being examined.

relationship between heavy metal music and suicide

Stack's conclusions are correct in terms of the subculture's nature, but false in terms of connecting the music to suicide risks. The music does not cause one to commit suicide.

Instead it is the factors that occur at school, and at home. In reality, heavy metal attracts people who are considered a suicidal risk into the subculture.

relationship between heavy metal music and suicide

This evidence is a result of the nature of the subculture not the music. Stack has excellent evidence, but he uses it to incorrectly assume that heavy metal music causes suicide. As the video below shows, music has a positive not negative effect on people. Otherwise who would want to go to a concert if they wanted to kill themselves afterwards?

Reeves Stack, Gundlach, and Reeves find that "the greater the strength of the metal subculture, the higher the youth suicide rate" Stack, Gundlach, and Reeves Even though these authors recognize that they are analyzing the subculture instead of the music genre.