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Teen music choices predict trouble

sex-and-relationships Updated: Feb 08, 2013 14:51 IST

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A strong, early penchant for gothic, punk, heavy metal and hardcore dance music can indicate teens who will go astray, a new study has revealed.

According to the study, lovers of deviant music by age 12 were more engaged in minor delinquency in late adolescence, the Daily Telegraph reported.

The bad behaviour, which includes shoplifting, vandalism, fighting and graffiti spraying, peaks at about 16 then withers away. By contrast, pre-teens whose playlists include mainstream pop, jazz and classical music don’t experience the same taste for trouble.

The study of 309 teens is the first to directly link the rebellious musical preferences of a 12-year-old with behaviour at age 16. Dr Tom ter Bogt from Utrecht University, Holland, who headed the study, said that music is the medium that separates mainstream youth from young people who may more easily adopt norm-breaking behaviours.

He said that in peer groups characterised by their deviant music taste, norm-breaking youth could infect their friends with their behaviours. The study has been published in the journal Pediatrics.