Medicine, Mind and Adolescence, 1993 - 1994 - VIII, 2 - IX,1

Music videos and psychopathology of adolescents psychiatric patients

Peter Greven, Jorg M. Fegert

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During the last 10 to 15 years music videos have become a more and more important medium. As, according to recent studies, 80 to 95 percent of all adolescents between the age of 13 and 19 years watch music videos regularly, they seem to be one of the most important media at an age characterized by fundamental changes of orientation in many ways. It may be suggested to look closely at the consuming behaviour from a psychiatric point of view.

We introduced since 1992 in our child and adolescent psychiatry department a general exploration of the media consuming behaviour of children and adolescents when taking the case histories and, as expected, found an increase of time spent watching television and listening to music with increase of the age of the patients. We now designed a semi-structured questionnaire especially concerning the consuming behaviour and the attitudes towards music videos and sent it to 158 patients between 13 and 19 years of age and their parents who had contacts with our department during a one year's period. First results show that the adolescents' and the parents' statements concerning the very little time spent watching music videos are inconsistent with the profound knowledge of videos and their contents demonstrated by the adolescents in their answers. More than 90 percent assert to spend less time with music videos than peers. About half of the adolescents have their own television set. Most of them watch music videos alone or with friends, very few only watch together with their parents. Different attitudes of adolescents and their parents towards music videos and the conclusions they draw are reported. Succinct examples are presented in order to demonstrate possible correlations between psychopathological structures and consuming behaviour.

Whereas in the literature aspects of possible effects of music videos on adolescents are mainly discussed from a pedagogical point of view, our interests concern the correlations between specific psychopathological findings and the extent and specific contents of the consumption. A future project designed to obtain prospective and more complex data on this objective is presented.

P. Greven, J.M. Fegert: "Music Videos and Psychopathology of Adolescent Psychiatric Patients". Paper presented at the First International Congress of Adolescentology, Assisi, Italy, October 22-24, 1993

Key Words: Adolescence, Adolescent Psychiatry, Consuming Behaviour, Mass Media, Music Video, Television

P. Greven, J.M. Fegert: Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Neurology - Free University of Berlin - Virchow Clinic, Platanenallee 23, D - 14 0 50 Berlin

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