Sex, violence, & rock n' roll: Longitudinal effects of music on aggression, sex, and prosocial behavior during adolescence


Music, Media, Adolescence, Aggression, Prosocial behavior, Sex


The current study examined longitudinal associations between listening to aggression, sex, and prosocial behavior in music on a number of behavioral outcomes across a one-year period during adolescence. Adolescents (N = 548, M age = 15.32, 52% female) completed a number of questionnaires on musical preferences, general media use, aggression, sexual outcomes, and prosocial behavior at two different time points separated by about one year. Using structural equation modeling to analyze the data, results revealed that listening to aggression in music was associated with increased aggression and decreased prosocial behavior over time, even when controlling for initial levels of these behaviors. Listening to sexual content in music was associated with earlier initiation of sexual intercourse and a trend for a higher number of sexual partners (reported at Time 2). Prosocial behavior in music was not associated with any behavioral outcome longitudinally. Collectively, these results suggest that listening to certain types of content in music can have a longitudinal effect on behavior during adolescence.

Original Publication Citation

Coyne, S. M., & Padilla-Walker, L. M. (2015). Sex, violence, & rock n’ roll: Longitudinal effects of music on aggression, sex, and prosocial behaviour during adolescence. Journal of Adolescence, 41, 96-104.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Journal of Adolescence




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor