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How Music Affects Juveniles


Music has remained a common source of advice and entertainment to millions of listeners across the globe. Individuals can rely on it to explore emotions, emerging ideas, and trends in their respective societies. Some young people identify music as a sign of expression and rely on it to acquire new strategies for relating with others and pursuing their goals in life. People can find new ways to respond to stressful conditions and cope. However, music can have some negative impacts on children and make them irresponsible. This essay gives a detailed analysis of the ways through which music is capable of affecting juveniles.

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Literature Review

The word “juvenile” applies to young children who are still immature and incapable of making honest decisions. These individuals have higher chances of establishing new relationships with their age mates and tend to be impacted significantly by peer pressure. This complicated situation has existed in a world characterized by freedoms of expression and choice. More young people who have access to old and new music will make decisions that are founded on the messages and ideas they acquire from different songs (Musliu et al. 2017). In some cases, such individuals will acquire powerful mechanisms for coping or learn how to manage stress effectively. Young people who share the same interests in this field will have a sense of belonging.

However, some instances tend to emerge whereby these juveniles might acquire negative concepts and influences. Musliu et al. (2017) observed that many children listened to music together with their guardians and parents. Those who embraced such a practice benefited from a healthy relationship that emerged and eventually became responsible and successful adults (Hickey 2018). Unfortunately, some young individuals considered various music genres that could have negative impacts, such as hip hop and reggae music. These types equipped them with new ideas for remaining violent or disrespecting other people. This issue has emerged as one of the major problems many parents face in the United States and Canada (Owens 2015). Children from communities characterized by cultural diversity tend to have access to all forms of music.

In most cases, many parents or guardians will not be keen to monitor the kind of songs their children listen to. This gap explains why some of them will realize that their relationships have deteriorated. Without this form of support, the children will acquire emerging ideas and start to embrace violence. They might disrespect their elders and even their parents (Schwartz, Ayres, and Douglas 2017). The worst scenario might emerge when the affected children begin to take illicit substances, such as marijuana and cocaine. These possible outcomes explain why parents should be keen to identify their children’s behaviors and pinpoint any change that could be associated with bad influence. A strained relationship between juveniles and the other family members could be an indicator of an unhealthy future (Owens 2015). Parents can guide and support their children to ensure that they become responsible adults.

The connection between different music types and involvement in criminal behaviors is a unique trend that has attracted the attention of many researchers. For instance, Schwartz et al. (2017) observed that most of the young offenders were attracted to specific genres during their early years of life, such as rap and hip hop. In another study, Musliu et al. (2017) indicated that there was a significant relationship between music listening and the emergence of tendencies that could become deviant. Owens (2015) uses the reflection-rejection model to describe how the messages found in most of the songs allow youths to reflect and consider new ways of pursuing their dreams. Some will be keen to embrace negative behaviors that resonate with their fantasies. Children from single-parent backgrounds or those in foster homes might be affected the most since they sometimes relate their experiences with the issues described in most of the songs.


The completed study has presented powerful arguments to explain how music is a powerful determinant of behavior in many people. The problem of juvenile delinquency has featured prominently in studies focusing on hip-hop music in American society (Pitts 2016). For example, a study by Wolf and Holochwost (2016) revealed that over 72 percent of the respondents recruited for the exercise believed that music had the potential to influence people’s decisions and behaviors at specific points in their lives. This positive co-relationship could explain why juveniles were relying on such genres to re-pattern their thoughts and consider new ways of pursuing their goals in life. Unfortunately, most of these naïve individuals were doing so without considering the challenges of peer pressure and the true meanings their favorite musicians intended to pass across. These aspects explain why parents should be keen to monitor the kind of genre their young children prefer and intervene to reduce the chances of engaging in criminal behaviors.

Within the past two decades, numerous ideas and observations have emerged since the Internet has presented new channels and platforms that make it easier for more young individuals to access all forms of content that were unavailable before. For example, social media networks and video outlets are making it possible for juveniles to watch new songs and copy what they see. This new development has encouraged them to identify specific terms, actions, and decisions that could encourage them to develop delinquent behaviors (Pitts 2016). Such resources are readily available in different parts of the world, thereby making it easier for young people to emulate specific actions and practices. These developments are strongly linked to the emergence of behaviors that could be identified as a criminal.

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The completed study has revealed that music is a powerful tool that can compel young individuals to associate and pursue their common interests. During teenage, many people will develop insecurities that have the potential to affect their experiences and goals in life. After listening to various types of music, juveniles might borrow ideas and consider how their age mates and colleagues respond to them. With the emergence of the Internet and various social network platforms, these young people will find it easier to change their perceptions and borrow concepts that appear to fulfill their fantasies (Wolf and Holochwost 2016). The result is that most individuals might share ideas and consider new ways of pursuing their objectives in life.

Peer pressure has become a common challenge in many societies due to the changes recorded in the world. When young people promote similar thoughts, chances are high that they will begin to influence one another and copy behaviors that might be unacceptable. Those found in groups will start to pressure one another and engage in actions that might be pleasing to them. Such individuals will pursue actions that are unacceptable to the greatest majority in society (Mohan and Thomas 2019). During the same age, these young people would be unwilling to uphold most of the ethical values and principles promoted in their respective communities. Those who listen to music will share their views and promote behaviors that could be deemed inappropriate. Some might begin to still or disrespect their parents and guardians.

Peer pressure is a process that has the potential to force young individuals to lose their personalities. When different music types are involved, the individuals might spread erroneous ideas and notions and eventually find it hard to pursue what is deemed right. Such young people will pursue what is best for them without considering the expectations and values associated with their societies (Hickey 2018). In schools, the individuals will start to lose their preferences and consider the importance of looking like their peers. Those whose groups promote negative feelings and ideas will eventually become affected negatively. Through music, such juveniles will have a unique sense of belonging, become more confident even if their behaviors are unacceptable, and pursue specific interests and habits that might be unacceptable.


The existing music culture in the United States and Canada has continued to compel individuals to learn and develop cultic followership to their respective artists. Such individuals will embrace whatever they see and consider new ways of engaging in the promoted behavior. Those in schools might find it hard to cope with the learning environment and start to rebel (Teslenko 2016). Chances are high that such individuals will have increased chances of offending and eventually find it hard to pursue their educational goals. Some might quit school and eventually become criminals.

Young individuals affected negatively by unwanted behaviors will have higher chances of becoming unsuccessful in their lives. Those who develop negative relationships with their parents will find it hard to receive the best moral support and guidance. Such young people will focus on their peers’ actions and pursue similar aims in life (Hickey 2018). Consequently, they will be exposed to unacceptable behaviors and even engage in crime. Such young people might eventually decide to quit school and find solace in their groups.

The possible outcome is that these juveniles will become irresponsible adults who have trouble with the law and lack adequate education to guide them in their lives. These possible challenges and outcomes explain why there is a need for the relevant stakeholders to examine this problem from an evidence-based perspective (Owens 2015). This approach will make it easier for them to identify superior strategies and approaches to support young individuals who have higher chances of being influenced negatively by music. This initiative will prepare them for better adulthood and eventually become successful in their lives.


The above discussion has presented a strong correlation between music and deviant behavior. Hip hop and reggae genres have featured prominently in studies focusing on juvenile delinquency. Most of the affected children might engage in criminal behaviors and find it hard to complete their studies. These challenges recorded in the United States and Canada should guide policymakers and decision-makers to identify new strategies to help these troubled individuals, educate them about the problems of peer pressure and music, and guide them to become responsible adults.

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Hickey, Maud. 2018. ““We All Come Together to Learn About Music”: A Qualitative Analysis of a 5-Year Music Program in a Juvenile Detention Facility.” International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 62 (13), 4046-4066. Web.

Mohan, Ashmita, and Elizabeth Thomas. 2019. “Effect of Background Music and the Cultural Preference to Music on Adolescents’ Task Performance.” International Journal of Adolescence and Youth, 25 (1), 562-573. Web.

Musliu, Arian, Blerta Berisha, Arjeta Musaj, Diellza Latifi, and Djellon Peci. 2017. “The Impact of Music in Memory.” European Journal of Social Sciences Education and Research, 4 (4), 222-227. Web.

Owens, Julian D. 2015. “Can Popular Youth Music and Media Be a Culturally-Informative Approach to Address Health Education, Media Literacy and Diversity in Schools?” Journal of Education & Social Policy, 2 (4), 120-129. Web.

Pitts, Stephanie E. 2016. “Music, Language and Learning: Investigating the Impact of a Music Workshop Project in Four English Early Years Settings.” International Journal of Education & the Arts, 17 (20), 1-25. Web.

Schwartz, Rachel W., Kevin M. Ayres, and Karen H. Douglas. 2017. “Effects of Music on Task Performance, Engagement, and Behavior: A Literature Review.” Psychology of Music, 45 (5), 611-627. Web.

Teslenko, Alexander. 2016. “Pop-Music as a Case-Study of Youth Culture.” Advances in Anthropology, 6, 109-121. Web.

Wolf, Dennie Palmer, and Steven J. Holochwost. 2016. “Music and Juvenile Justice: A Dynamic Systems Perspective.” Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 10 (2), 171–183. Web.

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