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Musics Negative Effects on your Body and Mind

"Music alters and intensifies their moods, furnishes much of their slang, dominates their conversations and provides the ambiance at their social gatherings. Music styles define the crowds and cliques they run in. Music personalities provide models for how they act and dress."

Music can be great for your body and mind but it can also have some negative effects as well. On average teens listen to music more than 5 hours a day, more than spending time with family and friends or playing video games and TV. It can effect your attitude or your look on life in good or bad ways. Music can also effect your driving.

Effects on Everyday Life

Music is great and can be helpful in many ways including education, but certain music can also have a negative effect on you and your mind. Some music can effect how we think and act around others and even think of others. Rap and Heavy Metal can lead to psychological disorders, sexual stereotyping, rape, suicide or other acts of violence.  Swearing and sex in songs can effect children in a negative way and could ruin their life, family, and even a society. Professor Donald Roberts of Stanford and Professor Peter Christenson of Lewis and Clark College, the author of the book It's Not Only Rock & Roll, say this about teen and music, "They use music most to control mood and enhance emotional states. Music can make a good mood better and allow us to escape or 'work through' a bad one," he said. "But it can also be used to enhance bad moods, which has led some to believe music lyrics about suicide and violence against women have occasionally led troubled youth to commit suicide or violent crimes." This is saying kids use music to put them into certain moods.

Effects on Driving

Some people say that music has a negative effect on driving and others argue only certain music or no music at all has effects on us. It is mainly a matter of opinion. Some say that rap and fast pace music makes a more aggressive driver and can cause lots of road rage. Others say slow music calms them while driving or settles anger. Loud music can cause distractions and bother others while driving, at home, or even at work.

For kids with a healthy self-image and varied interests, music probably has little or no influence on their values and lifestyle choices. However, parents should be aware that violent, racist, homophobic or sexist lyrics in much of today's popular music could have an impact on impressionable young people who are just developing a sense of identity and self-worth. Parents should challenge these kinds of negative representations and discuss them with their kids.

Music preferences can be a warning sign of a distressed teen. Isolated, angry or depressed youth may be attracted to music that feeds their feelings of despair and hostility.

Numerous studies indicate that a preference for heavy metal music may be a significant marker for alienation, substance abuse, psychiatric disorders, suicide risk, sex-role stereotyping or risk-taking behaviours during adolescence.

If your child is withdrawn and alienated from peers, or shows violent tendencies towards self or others, pay attention to what music is being listened to. Use the Checklist for Violent Youth (on the right-hand side of this page) for identifying signs of potential violence. Make sure the child's mental health needs are being addressed through appropriate school, medical or social-service counselling.

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