Queen's University

Parents need to learn what teens are listening to: Queen's University expert

2013-01-24

Queen’s University musicologist Kip Pegley can comment on a Netherlands university study that found listening to heavy metal music is a sign of teenage delinquency. The study, published in Pediatrics, is the first to draw a direct line between the preference for loud, noisy, rebellious music in youngsters and minor delinquency at age 16.

Dr. Pegley says she doesn’t believe music compels teenagers to go out and engage in problem behaviours but rather the need to belong and be accepted by their peers.

“The teenage years are a time to differentiate from parents and music can be an important part of that differentiation,” says Dr. Pegley. “I believe I speak for many when we say that we separated ourselves from the previous generation through the music we consumed, and that this was a good thing. If a teenager is listening to more socially marginalized music, whatever music that may be, it’s important for parents to learn more about what they are getting from that music. Is the music expressing frustration through both lyrics and sound? Opposition to societal norms? And with whom are they listening to this music? Music can act a bond between individuals, though, so it’s good for parents to know what type of music their kids listen to and what they get from it—both on an individual and social level.”

Please note Dr. Pegley is only available for phone interviews.

To arrange an interview, please contact communication officers Anne Craig at 613-533-2877 or anne.craig@queensu.ca or Michael Onesi at 613.533.6000 ext. 77513 or michael.onesi@queensu.at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

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