With also serves as a distraction from
With suicide being the second leadingcause of death among youth, specifically between ages 15-29 (World HealthOrganization, 2012), suicidal behavior is a growing cause for concern inMalaysia as suicide rates have increased by a staggering 60% over the past 45 years(Ministry of Health and the Malaysian Psychiatric Association, 2014). However,many have blamed suicide cases in Malaysia to be caused by the influence of thewestern media exposure, more specifically, music. It is a known fact that media,especially music, influences emotions and perceptions of individuals. Differentgenres provoking different emotions from individuals.
Heavy metal stereotypicallyprovoking anger and rebellion, and country stereotypically provoking sadness (ResearchLinks Music and Listeners’ Emotions, 2003, pp 2). Music is undoubtedly able to influencethe emotions and perceptions of individuals, and the lyrical content of certainsongs found in certain genres are claimed to provoke suicidal thoughts in theyouths of Malaysia, as they are portrayed in the songs. Studies show that teenagers spend anaverage of approximately 2.
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5 hours of music per day, and almost 9 out of 10adolescents and teens possess a form of a music player. Music plays an integralrole in the socialization of children and adolescents. Listening to popularmusic is considered by society to be a part of the phase of growing up. Musicprovides youth with entertainment to help relieve tension and is a cure for boredom.It also serves as a distraction from problems and ongoing issues in the livesof these adolescents. Some studies have reported that adolescents use music todeal with loneliness and allow it to take control of their emotional status ormood, as music is known for the ability to do so.
Adolescents use music in the processof their identity formation, and their music preference provides them the meansto achieve group identity among peers, and integration into the youth culture.Some authors have suggested that music provides adolescents with the means to resolveunconscious, past conflicts related to their particular developmental stage, andthat their music preference also might reflect the level of turmoil of thisstage. Music also possesses the ability to provide a background for romance andserve as the basis for establishing relationships in diverse settings. Music is a very influential item in the livesof youths and adolescents worldwide. Adolescents’ music choice and their reactionsto and interpretations of it vary with age, culture, and ethnicity.
Past research has been done on thelinks between suicidal ideation in media to suicidal tendencies in real lifeamong youth. (Pirkis & Blood, 2001b; Stack, 2005; Stack & Bowman,2008). Significant increases of suicides in the population worldwide was reportedever since the existence of suicide portrayals in the media.However, the significance of thispaper is that this research targets the worrying increase in suicide rates specificallyin Malaysia. The domineering Asian culture present in Malaysia has been provento be positively associated with suicidal tendencies in the youths of Malaysia.I found that the second most perceived leading cause of suicide among youthsand adolescents in Malaysia is the pressure of education, put on them by parentsand/or guardians. Despite that, as mentioned above, many have blamed suicidecases in Malaysia to be caused by the influence of the western media exposure,specifically music.
The purpose of this research is tofind out if music does, in fact, have any effect on suicidal tendencies amongyouths and adolescents in Malaysia. Are the claims true that music acts as acatharsis for suicidality? If, however, music does in fact have any effect onan individual’s suicidal tendencies, how does it do so? And why?