Publication Date

2008-01-01

Availability

Open access

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Music (MM)

Department

Music Education and Music Therapy (Music)

Date of Defense

2008-01-28

First Committee Member

Teresa L. Lesiuk - Committee Chair

Second Committee Member

Heather A. Henderson - Committee Member

Third Committee Member

Shannon K. de l'Etoile - Committee Member

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between sensation seeking and the preference for rap-music stimulation of young offenders. In the initial pilot study 18 participants rated the stimulation level of the music and lyrics for 12 pieces of rap music. Based on participants? responses, four pieces of rap-music categories were selected for the main study, representing the category of: 1) high stimulation with aggressive lyrics (HSAL), 2) high stimulation with nonaggressive lyrics (HSNL), 3) low stimulation with aggressive lyrics (LSAL), and 4) low stimulation with non-aggressive lyrics (LSNL). In the main study, 55 students were recruited from a juvenile detention hall, which was an all-male facility for ages 13 to 18. All participants completed a demographic questionnaire and a Brief Sensation Seeking Scale (BSSS). Participants then rated their preference for each of the four musical selections. Finally, participants indicated their most liked and least liked rap selections as well as a narrative explanation. The BSSS scores were analyzed to determine the participants? characteristics of sensation seeking regarding four subscales: 1) experience seeking, 2) boredom susceptibility, 3) thrill and adventure seeking, and 4) disinhibition. The results of BSSS and preference scores were analyzed to determine the relationships between sensation seeking and participants? preference for the different stimulation levels of rap music. The results of the present study statistically significantly indicated that most participants preferred aggressive lyrics, regardless of the sensation-seeking level and music-stimulation level. The narrative responses appeared to support the significance of aggressive lyrics as participants reported that they were able to identify themselves with the lyrics. The preference for aggressive lyrics, as validated through the narrative responses, indicated that the life experiences of the participants paralleled those described in the rap lyrics.

Keywords

Juvenile Delinquency

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