Are your kids listening to too much music?

Depression is linked to music consumption

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) The amount of music your child is listening to may affect their mood. Research shows kids are exposed to at least ten hours worth of media a day.  A new link has been found between children that listen to a large amount of music and suffering from depression.

The study's results determined that the more a child listened to music, the more likely they were to be depressed.

"If  your child is over-listening to music, there may be a depression issue."

Lead author, Michael W. O'Hara, a professor of psychology at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, suggests that children were less likely to be depressed when they read books and were exposed to less media technology.

One-hundred and six children between the ages of seven and seventeen participated in this study. The participants were exposed to four different levels of music listening. Researchers interviewed the children on the phone documenting their exposure to media.

The researchers categorized media exposure into five categories. Music, Video Games, the internet, television and movies, and print material, such as books and magazines. Children that read books are less likely to be depressed.

In depth:

  • This study is not saying that music is not bad. In fact music can have a positive effect by increasing serotonin levels.
  • Whether or not the lyrics influence listeners is unclear. In fact, there are many forms of music therapy. What is clear is that kids who constantly listen to music seem to be at greater risk of depression.
  • Age and gender were not contributing factors.
  • The type of music the children listened to was not determined.
  • Outside influences could contribute to the children's mood. For example, one's socioeconomic status may factor into how often and what type of music a child listens to, thus affecting their potential to become depressed.
Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
April 18, 2011
Last Updated:
April 21, 2011