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January 2023

The relationship of music preference and psychosocial variables between chemically and non-chemically dependent adolescents

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship of music preference and psychosocial variables between chemically and non-chemically dependent adolescents. 240 adolescents participated in the study. 54 of whom were undergoing treatment in private psychiatric hospitals for chemical dependency. The 186 public school students who participated in the study reported drug use of once a week or less. The subjects participated in a two-part test consisting of a music preference test (part 1) and a questionnaire (part 2). During part 1, subjects listened to 15 musical excerpts and recorded how well they liked each selection on a fixed-choice, four-point scale. Five excerpts of the three music styles of rap, rock, and heavy metal were represented in the test. Part 2 contained information regarding the subject's sex, age, ethnic origin, and religious preference. Also included were 22 questions pertaining to each subject's involvement with music, drugs, and family. A two-way ANOVA with repeated measures was computed using type of music (rap, rock, and heavy metal) as the repeated measure, and group (hospital and school) as the between subjects' factor. Data from the study show a significant difference in music preference between the two subject groups (p < .00). Chemically dependent adolescents preferred heavy metal music, while non-chemically dependent adolescents preferred rock-music. The results indicate that music preference is related to group membership. Chi-square tests were computed to compare subject groups with respect to each questionnaire response. Variables which yielded the greatest statistical significance between groups were: (1) number of hours spent watching MTV, (2) drug abuse, and (3) listening to music while taking drugs. As a group, hospiatl subjects reported watching an average of two hours of MTV a day, while school subjects reported an average of one hour viewing a day. The strength of the relationship between group membership and drug use (Cramer's V = .51) confirms that, indeed, the groups were properly segregated into chemically and non-chemically dependent adolescents. Results show that 29.6 % of the chemically dependent adolescents listen to music more than half the time they take drugs, while 51.9 % report they ALWAYS pair music listening and drug use.

Keyword(s): Preference, adolescent, chemical-dependence, public-school, students, psychiatric-hospital, psychosocial-variables.

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