Adolescents expression and perception of emotion in music reflects their broader abilities of emotional communication
Saarikallio, S., Vuoskoski, J., & Luck, G. (2014). Adolescents’ expression and perception of emotion in music reflects their broader abilities of emotional communication. Psychology of Well-Being, 4 (December), 1-16. doi:10.1186/s13612-014-0021-8
Published inPsychology of Well-Being
© 2014 Saarikallio et al.; licensee Springer. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Background: Musical behavior has been shown to reflect broader individual differences. However, despite the prevalence of music in the lives of young people little is known about the mechanisms through which adolescents’ musical behavior connects to their general socio-emotional behavior and adjustment. The current study focused on abilities of emotional communication and investigated whether adolescents’ abilities in both perceiving and expressing emotions through music would be reflective of their general abilities of socio-emotional communication and interaction, measured through empathy and conduct problems. Due to the lack of previous research the study was mainly exploratory, but we expected accurate and congruent perception and expression of musical emotions to correlate positively with higher empathy and negatively with conduct problems. Method: Sixty-one 14-year-olds (45 female, mean age 14.72) were given three music-related tasks that assessed emotion perception and emotion expression through music. Participants also filled in self-report scales for empathy (perspective taking and empathic concern) and conduct problems (externalized symptoms). Results: The results showed that perspective taking was particularly related to accurate recognition of tenderness in music and congruent use of staccato articulation for the expression of anger through music. Empathic concern was particularly related to congruent use of slow tempo for expressing sadness and loud volume for expressing anger and also correlated with an overall tendency for intensified perception of fear in music. Externalized symptoms were particularly related to incongruent expression of sadness and anger through music: the use of staccato for expressing sadness and dull timbre for expressing anger. Conclusion: Overall, the results preliminarily support the idea of using musical behavior as an indicator of the broader socio-emotional communication abilities, which in turn play a major role in adolescent adjustment and wellbeing ...
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Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as © 2014 Saarikallio et al.; licensee Springer. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.