Music misuse: A review of the personal and collective roles of "problem music"

Jeffrey Lozon, Moshe Bensimon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Literature on musical preferences and their influence on behavior and ideation has primarily focused on specific musical preferences and linked certain music genres with psychological vulnerability and social deviance. The aim of this review was to: (a) gather information about musical preferences and their influence on behavior and thoughts in order to determine both positive and negative influences of each music genre on listeners; (b) present the main literature about genres that have negative influence on listeners; and (c) provide theoretical explanations for the psychological and sociological functions of those genres. A systematic review of the literature identified the following genres as having negative influence on listeners: alternative rock, hard rock, heavy metal, hip-hop/rap, punk rock, rock and trance/house/electronic/techno. Research showed that those genres were associated with substance and alcohol abuse, opposing authority and rebelliousness, impulsive and antisocial traits, violent behavior, and delinquency. Of the few studies that investigated positive aspects of the above genres, some focused on the role of those genres in regulating negative feelings and constructing personal and social identity, while other studies stressed the importance of those genres in constructing group and cultural identity and educating listeners.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-218
Number of pages12
JournalAggression and Violent Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2014


  • Alternative rock
  • Hard rock
  • Heavy metal
  • Hip-hop/rap
  • Problem music
  • Punk rock


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