Music Listening Motivation Is Associated With Global Happiness in Canadian Late Adolescents

Amélie Morinville
Dave Miranda
Patrick Gaudreau


Music is among the most pleasurable, motivating, and satisfying everyday artistic activities in adolescence. Although the domain of music psychology has shown that listening to music can induce happiness as an emotional state, there is a rarity of research examining whether music listening can be associated with a global happiness, namely, subjective well-being (SWB). The aim of this study was to test a self-determination model in which self-determined motivation for listening to music can be linked with more SWB among late adolescents. A Canadian sample of 229 late adolescents (M = 18.24 years old, SD = 0.95; range = 17 to 21 years old) completed measures of self-determined music listening (listening to music for autonomous motives vs. controlled motives) and of SWB (positive and negative affects, as well as life satisfaction). Results from structural equation modeling confirmed that higher levels of self-determined motivation for listening to music predicted more SWB. These findings suggest that young people may have a happier life when they listen to music for autonomous/self-determined reasons (e.g., because music is inherently pleasurable and personally meaningful). Therefore, our study draws research directions for music psychology and the psychology of positive youth development by discussing the role of music motivation in the development of happiness in youth. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)