A bunch of adolescent noogoodniks we found loitering around a stock photography website.
Yesterday the Toronto Star reported that if your kid listens to heavy metal music - like, uh, Skrillex? - chances are they're on a crash course with "minor delinquency."
The study, Early Adolescent Music Preferences and Minor Delinquency, appeared in the January 6 issue of Pediatric, the Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. It connects youth who listened to "deviant" music (basically anything that's not "chart pop" or jazz or classical) with problem behaviour. The study is distinguished by its developmental approach, which studied 149 boys and 160 girls from ages 12 to 16, to see if early introduction to dubstep, heavy metal and other subgenres of the devil's music would translate into "norm-breaking" behaviour like "alcohol and drug use" and "speeding."
It may all seem a little chicken-egg - i.e. maybe the would-be deviants naturally gravitate towards deviant music, rather than the deviant music corrupting these cherubic, adolescent innocents - but the study uses "early preference for different types of noisy, rebellious, nonmainstream music genres" as a "predictor" of adolescent irresponsibility, horseplay, etc.
So really, it's not so much a matter of causation as mere correlation, with a preference for deviant (i.e. good) music being an early warning sign. Good music is like a worm that enters via the ear and burrows into your teenager's brain, laying its putrid seeds of nonconformity and antisocialism, set to explode as soon as they acquire a learner's permit and immediately start drinking and driving all over town.
Finally, the researchers conclude that not all "minor delinquency" necessarily translates into full-blown adulthood criminality or anything, clarifying the need to "consider other young people for whom listening to music, which is often annoying to grown-ups, is energizing, comforting or simply fun, and functions similarly as adolescent limited problem behavior; that is, a test of personal and social limits."
Is this what research does now: test pretheoretically obvious suppositions and then delimit the drama of the findings by suggesting on the way out the door that it only might be the case and that we should also consider whole other vast swaths of the population for whom its conclusions do not apply? Also what about kids who are weaned on a steady diet of classical music and jazz and develop other "problem behaviour" like being able to distinguish between different kinds of forks, talking openly about light opera and other disagreeably Frasier-esque tendencies?
Oh and among its various findings, the study also uses "gangstarap" as one word, supporting our suspicion that it was written by your dad on the back of Chicago's Group Portrait LP.