Adolescents’ Perceptions of Health and Well-being: Influences of Urban Contemporary Music

Cindy Swartbooi
Shazly Savahl
Deborah Isobell
Gadija Khan
Cassandra Wagenaar
Fadzisai Makonyonga
Thandokazi Maseti
Laaiqah Parker
Tshinondiwa Ramaite


The study aimed to explore adolescents’ perceptions of how urban contemporary music influences health and well-being among them. Data on health and well-being effects of music consumption were gathered from a convenience sample of 16 participants (male = 50%, females = 50%) between the ages of 15 and 17 in a series of two focus group interviews. The data were analysed using thematic analysis. Findings suggest the adolescents to perceive both positive and negative influences of contemporary music on their health and well-being. Positive influences included emotional well-being and sense of social belongingness. Negative influences included promotion of risky behaviours, including substance use, misogyny, sexual behaviour and violence. The findings suggest that urban contemporary music serves as a tool of normalisation as well as a catalyst for encouraging risky behaviour in adolescence. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)