Music Effects

In the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) journal published Oct.19, 2009 claim “the effect that popular music has on children’s and adolescents’ behavior and emotions is of paramount concern.”


The AAP suggests the associations between media violence and aggressive behavior is “nearly as strong as the association between cigarette smoking and lung cancer.”

If that does not make a believer out of you just read on: “The weight of scientific evidence has been convincing to pediatricians, with more than 98% of pediatricians in 1 study expressing the personal belief that media violence affects children’s aggression. Yet, the entertainment industry, the American public, politicians, and parents all have been reluctant to accept these findings and to take action. The debate should be over.” (Policy Statement Media Violence, pg 1496)

The report confirms that lyrics have become more explicit with sex, drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and violence messages. The report suggests frequent watching of music videos has been related to:

  • an increased risk of developing beliefs in false stereotypes and an increased perceived importance of appearance and weight in adolescent girls
  • an increased probability that they would engage in violence, a greater acceptance of the use of violence, and a greater acceptance of the use of violence against women
  • an increased acceptance of date rape
  • permissive sexual behaviors
  • more accepting of premarital sex (specifically with those watching MTV)
  • increased risky behaviors
  • alcohol use

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommend:

  • Prohibit media in bedrooms.
  • Make thoughtful media choices and co-view with kids.
  • Limit media time to one to two hours a day.
  • Provide no screen media at all for infants and toddlers under two years old.
  • Become familiar with the role of music in the lives of children and adolescents and identify music preferences that could be clues to emotional conflict or problems.
  • Become familiar with the literature linking music to behavioral problems.
  • Explore with patients and parents the type of music to which they listen.
  • Encourage parents to take an active role in monitoring their youngsters' music and music video watching.
  • Encourage parents and caregivers to become media literate.
  • Help raise public awareness of these issues by participating in local and national coalitions to discuss the effects of music on children.

All materials contained in these webpages are the personal property of Donna Funderburke Mckinley and McKinley Consulting Family Life Coaching & Youth Culture Specialists. Reprinting is permitted only when not used for profit and crediting Donna Funderbuke Mckinley, McKinley Consulting Family Life Coaching & Youth Culture Specialists for the material. Content of this page CAN NOT be copied to other websites. Only links to web pages containing desired information is permitted.