Music-based Intervention to Reduce Aggressive Behavior in Children and Adolescents: A Meta-analysis






BACKGROUND: We aimed to evaluate the effect of music-based intervention on the aggressive behavior in children and adolescents, and made a comparison of music medicine and music therapy. METHODS: We searched PubMed (MEDLINE), Ovid-Embase, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) to identify relevant studies. Standardized mean differences (SMDs) were estimated with random-effect model. RESULTS: We included 10 studies and found a significant decrease of aggressive behavior (SMD = -0.99; 95% CI = -1.42 to -0.56) and a significant increase of self-control (SMD = 0.56; 95% CI: 0.19 to 0.93) in the music-based intervention group compared with the control group. The aggressive behavior was significantly decreased in the music therapy group compared with the control group (SMD = -1.79; 95% CI = -3.23 to -0.35); while, no difference was observed between music medicine group and control group. Sub-group analyses exhibited a more efficacious in reducing aggressive behavior in the children received ≥2 sessions per week, the children with a mean age > 10 years, the children whose behavior were reported by teachers, and the children with aggressive behavior before intervention. Sensitivity analyses yielded similar results. CONCLUSION: Music-based intervention seemed to be more efficacious for reducing aggression and increasing self-control in children and adolescents, especially music therapy.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Adolescents; Anger; Children; Mental Health; Music Listening; Music Medicine; Music Therapy; Psychological Outcomes; Receptive Music Methods; Recorded Music Listening; Self-Efficacy; Wellness and Well-Being

Indexed Terms

Adolescents; Adolescent Behavior; Aggression; Children; Child Behavior Disorders; Self-Control

Study Type

Meta-Analysis; Quantitative Methods

PubMed ID


Document Type