Listen Up: Self-Selected Music as a Tool for Emotion Regulation in Young People

Miss Hollie Shannon (). Listen Up: Self-Selected Music as a Tool for Emotion Regulation in Young People Professional Doctorate, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

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Author Miss Hollie Shannon
Thesis Title Listen Up: Self-Selected Music as a Tool for Emotion Regulation in Young People
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Thesis type Professional Doctorate
Supervisor Dr Genevieve Dingle
Total pages 134
Total black and white pages 134
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Abstract/Summary This thesis reports on two studies of music listening to regulate emotional states in young people. Study 1 examined the utility of self-selected music listening to regulate anxiety related to assignment writing. Sixty university students (Mage = 18.61 years) in the non-clinical range on mood symptoms were randomly assigned to one of three experimental conditions: music before, music during, or no music. Participants in the music conditions listened to self-selected music either before or while writing an assignment plan, while the no music condition completed the task in silence. Using physiological (i.e., skin conductance) and self-report measures, the specific aim of this study was to examine the effect of self-selected music listening on university students’ arousal, valence, and urge to procrastinate. Despite a discrepancy between subjective and physiological arousal levels in response to music listening, results of mixed analyses of variance showed that participants’ arousal ratings started decreasing when they listened to music (in comparison with the no music condition). Additionally, there was a trend in the data which suggested that participants’ valence ratings started improving when they listened to music, however, this between conditions effect failed to reach significance. Music listening was found to have no effect on participants’ urge to procrastinate. Finally, there was a significant interaction between condition and time such that participants in the music before condition reported significantly reduced arousal in the anticipatory phase of the assignment task (i.e., when they listened to their self-selected music), whereas participants in the music during and no music conditions continued to report elevated arousal at this time. This supports the conceptualization of assignment anxiety as an anticipatory phenomenon. Study 2 was intended to further examine the link between music listening and emotion regulation in a homework emotion regulation task. This study adopted a randomized between-group comparison where one group used music listening and the other group used thought challenging to regulate emotional states. Fifty-nine university students (Mage = 18.91 years) in the non-clinical range on mood symptoms were randomly assigned to complete weekly self-monitoring in the form of either a music diary or thought record for a one-month period. Participants were assessed at pre- and post-treatment on the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS), Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS-21) and Music Affective Response Scale (MARS), as well as weekly ratings on five key emotion variables (e.g., ability to name emotional states; confidence in managing strong emotions). Further, the effectiveness of the music diary and thought record in regulating the emotional states of participants was assessed via self-reported ratings of valence and arousal. Results showed that despite a lack of change in mood symptoms and emotional sensitivity to music over the four weeks, the music diary and thought record produced comparable improvements in the emotion regulation skills of participants and were equally effective in regulating emotional states. Repeated measures analyses showed that both groups significantly improved on all five weekly ratings of emotion, with no differences observed between the two groups. Furthermore, participants rated the music diary as a more effective and engaging emotion regulation strategy than the thought record. In conclusion, this research shows that strategic music listening can be used to regulate emotional states in young people not only in a laboratory but in everyday life.

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Created: Mon, 01 Oct 2012, 09:08:00 EST by Miss Hollie Shannon on behalf of Faculty of Social & Behavioural Sciences