Posted: November 25th, 2022

Data Collection Tools and Procedures

Please read Chapter 5 in the Voices from the Field text, pages 109–121. Once you read this study, please address the following in a 2-3 page paper: At least 3 references outside of the 2 texts. Must cite all data, information, and text not original work.

1. Identify the method used to administer the survey. Was this the best choice? Explain your answer. 

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2. Which questions are close-ended, and which are open-ended? What changes, if any, would you suggest are needed? Explain your answer.

3. What types of validity is this survey instrument likely to have (internal, external)? For this component of the question you can look at the discussion in Chapter 5 in Voices from the Field on the measurement quality and also in your digital book by Vito, Tewksbury, & Kunselman (pages 103–109).

4. Evaluate the questions concerning parental attachment and control. Were they effective? What changes, if needed, would you suggest? Explain your answer.

5. What is your opinion of the use of this questionnaire to explore the relationship between heavy metal music preference and delinquency? 

 The paper should be written in essay format. Please include a formal introduction, paragraphs that address each of the above issues, and a conclusion. The paper should be doubled-spaced, have a title page, page numbers, use 12-inch Times Roman font, cite all references using APA format

Elements of Research Design 103

the program (treatment) are unknown, the control group offenders are
not being deprived. Once the effectiveness of the program is deter-
mined, control group offenders can be admitted.19

Second, the classical experiment has the potential to encroach upon
the decision-making authority of criminal justice agents. The clear
solution here, as the Provo Experiment indicated, is to use random
assignment after a decision is made. Surely, experimenters cannot ex-
pect to randomly sentence people to prison or probation. Modifica-
tions can be adopted which do not restrict the power of the classical
experimental design while protecting the rights of individuals.

Third, there is the major issue of the feasibility of carrying out an
experiment in the field.

The random assignment process must be structured to meet both
the demands of the classical experiment and the operations of the
criminal justice system — in these two examples, sentencing by judges
and arrest and other sanctions by police. It requires very close coop-
eration between the operational agencies and the researchers. Imple-
menting random assignment and maintaining it throughout the pro-
cess can be problematic. Also, to repeat, the subjects selected for study
must be eligible for treatment and the experimental and control
groups must be kept separate so that the integrity of the treatment is
maintained.20 After all, exposure to the treatment should be the only
difference between the two groups.

The Quasi-Experimental Design

The classical experiment is not the only form of research design.
However, it serves as the point of departure for other designs which
attempt to approximate its key features. The quasi-experimental de-
sign is the mirror image of the classical experiment with one key dif-
ference: the absence of random assignment. As previously mentioned,
it is not always possible to implement the classical experiment. Yet, it
is vital that a group is constructed to compare findings generated by
the experimental group. Thus, a comparison group is selected using
a method other than random assignment to insure that it is compara-
ble to the experimental group.

Our example here is the evaluation of a prison-based treatment pro-
gram for drug/alcohol abusing inmates.21 We need to find a group of
inmates in the same prison who have the same problem, but who were

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104 Introduction to Criminal Justice Research Methods

never involved in the program in any way. After all, if we select-
ed inmates who were excluded from the program, we would commit
the error of selection bias. Similarly, if we chose inmates who dropped
out of the program, the data would be contaminated because the com-
parison group would have been exposed to the treatment. What is left?
Adams’ suggests screening inmates who were considered for, but for
reasons of their own, decided not to take part in the program — a
self-drop group.22 Before such a group can be considered however,
two important considerations must be checked out. First, the re-
searcher must be certain that such inmates were not thrown out of the
program by project administrators (Beware of selection bias!). Second,
you must be certain that these inmates were never enrolled in or ex-
posed to the treatment (contamination of data problem). It would also
be possible to check for eligible inmates who were simply unaware of
the program. It is also possible to use a variation of the matching tech-
nique (again the missing element is random assignment). Here, the
experimenter would construct a comparison group which was identi-
cal to the experimental group on a number of known variables (i.e.,
age, race, prior record, present offense, education, marital status, etc.).

In any event, since randomization was not utilized, it is necessary to
record relevant personal and socio-demographic information on such
inmates and compares them directly to the experimental group. If dif-
ferences do exist, it would be necessary to control for them statistical-
ly. Remember that the crucial issue here is that the experimental and
comparison groups must be similar. The problem is that, even if you
determine that the two groups are comparable, they may still differ on
some important attribute which was beyond your means to measure.
This is not a problem when random assignment is used, hence the
power of the classical experimental design.

However, since it is not always possible to use random assignment,
the quasi-experiment gives you another possibility to conduct accurate
research. Quite simply, it may not be possible for you to do anything
else and it is especially valuable when performing evaluation research
(see Chapter Eleven).

Other Types of Research Designs

Pre-Experimental Designs. Pre-experimental designs take a vari-
ety of forms which emphasize description but typically fail to make a

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Elements of Research Design 105

comparison between the experimental group and another group of
subjects. Typically, they are undertaken out of necessity because they,
like the quasi-experimental design, offer a feasible alternative to re-
search when the classical experiment is impossible to conduct. The
chief problem is that the researcher is then unable to protect the
integrity of the research results and clearly state that they reflect the
effect of the treatment and not some other force. They are not as reli-
able as the classical experiment.

The first type of pre-experimental design is the one-shot case
study or the one group post test design. Here, measurements are ob-
tained for one group after the treatment has been administered. For
example, one could determine if a group of police officers became
more sensitive to diversity issues after they went through a diversity
training program. Their score on an examination would determine if
they had learned the principles of diversity covered in the training
program.

Probably the most common type of pre-experimental design is the
before-after study (also known as the “one group pretest-posttest de-
sign”). This design is simply the first half of the experimental design.
The performance of the experimental group is recorded before and
after the treatment is administered. It is the simplest design but, due to
the absence of comparison, it fails to document the effectiveness of the
treatment. It is commonly used when it is difficult to construct a com-
parison or control group. For example, let’s say that we wish to evalu-
ate the effectiveness of a neighborhood watch program in a particular
neighborhood. Under a before and after study, we would measure the
burglary rate (number of reported burglaries) before and then after the
implementation of the neighborhood watch. Even if the burglary rate
declined after the establishment of the neighborhood watch program,
we would not be able to make a comparison to another neighborhood
that did not have a neighborhood watch. Our only comparison is to
our selected neighborhood before and then after the neighborhood
watch began.

One way to attempt to provide this comparison is to use the static
group comparison design. With this design, the number of reported
burglaries in a neighborhood that has had a neighborhood watch pro-
gram would be compared to the number of reported burglaries in
another neighborhood that did not have a neighborhood watch pro-
gram. Here, the weakness is that, before the research is conducted,

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106 Introduction to Criminal Justice Research Methods

there is no examination to determine whether the two neighborhoods
are comparable. The research conclusion is based upon comparing the
impact upon each group to determine the effect of the treatment on
one of them.

Cross-Sectional Design. A cross sectional design takes measure-
ments of subjects at a single time in their lives. The case study is a
form of cross sectional design used in criminal justice research. The
case can be an individual (a professional criminal), an event (a police
strike), or a place (Alcatraz). This type of design is capable of generat-
ing great quantities of descriptive information which can be used by
policy makers. It is especially valuable in time of rapid change because
it allows you to respond immediately to an historical event or a nat-
ural experiment — i.e., the effect of a judicial order on the operations
of a prison or a change in sentencing policy.23 Follow-up recidivism
research on the former Kentucky death row inmates is an example of
a natural experiment because their death sentences were commuted
by a U.S. Supreme Court decision and they were later released by the
parole board.24

Longitudinal Design. A longitudinal design is similar to the
cross sectional design with the key exception that measurements are
taken at more than one point in time. One form of longitudinal design
is the time series design. The time series design is one in which the
treatment is introduced during a series of measurements on the depen-
dent variable. All of the measurements are obtained from the same
group. For example, a researcher could examine the deterrent effect of
an execution by measuring the homicide rate in a state in the months
prior to and following an execution. A sharp change in the trend of
measurements on the dependent variable (the homicide rate) immedi-
ately following the treatment (the execution) is assumed to be attribut-
able to the treatment. Again, the comparison in results is within the
experimental group only.

Another form of longitudinal design is a cohort study. It examines
the behavior of a particular group over time. Cohorts are groups con-
structed by the researcher that share some common experience (i.e.,
involvement in the same program, graduating from the police acade-
my in the same year). Their performance over time is then recorded.
Wolfgang, Figlio, and Sellin (1972) tracked the delinquency records of
a birth cohort of boys born in 1945 who lived in Philadelphia from
their tenth to eighteenth birthdays. They discovered that 35 percent of

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Elements of Research Design 107

the boys had some type of contact with the police and that about 50
percent of the juveniles who commit an offense are likely to commit
another.25

Regardless of the type of design, there are several threats to validi-
ty that can affect the results of the study.

THREATS TO INTERNAL VALIDITY

Internal validity refers to ways in which the process of experi-
mentation may affect the research results. In other words, the re-
searcher is then uncertain if the outcomes generated by the research
are a result of the treatment or the way in which the experiment was
conducted. In effect, the experiment becomes a treatment in itself.

Cook and Campbell identified the following sources of internal
validity:26

1. History: events, in addition to the treatment, may occur be-
tween the pre and post tests which are beyond the control of the
experimenter. For example, Vito, Longmire, and Kenney (1984)
reported that, during their evaluation of a police burglary sup-
pression program, the state of California passed legislation re-
quiring a mandatory prison sentence for burglary.26 As a result,
the researchers were uncertain if the number of reported bur-
glaries recorded during the project were affected by the new
methods of police operations or due to the new law. Often, the
only thing which researchers can do when an historical event
occurs in the middle of their experiment is report that it oc-
curred and let the findings be interpreted accordingly.

2. Maturation refers to the processes operating within research
subjects as a function of the passage of time, including growing
older, growing hungrier or becoming more tired. Boredom
could also be a problem which could affect the behavior of the
research subjects. For example, Vito and Wilson (1988) con-
ducted a long term follow up of former death row inmates in
Kentucky whose sentence had been commuted to life in prison
as a result of the Furman v. Georgia (1972) decision. Was their on
parole behavior due to the commutation of their death sentence
or due to aging?28

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108 Introduction to Criminal Justice Research Methods

3. Testing concerns the effect of taking a test upon the scores of a
second testing. If the same instrument is used for the pre and
post test, the subjects in the control group may be able to tease
out what the instrument is designed to measure (i.e., fear of
crime) and try to answer “the right way” rather than express
their own true feelings.

4. Instrumentation. If, upon repeated use, an instrument yields
the same results, it is considered to be reliable. But what would
happen if your instrument was altered somehow between the pre
and post tests? If there is some alteration in your instrument, the
research results would be affected.

5. Statistical Regression is especially problematic when research
subjects have been selected on the basis of their extreme scores
or attributes. “Regression toward the Mean” is a statistical phe-
nomenon which operates in nature. Any extreme attribute tends
to be balanced out over time. The problem, therefore, is that
extreme subjects tend to improve over time regardless of the
treatment. Their behavior or performance goes to the average
level for the group of subjects under study. For example, in his
book, The Future of Imprisonment, Morris (1974) proposed a new
prison model which he would like to test using the “toughest
group of inmates.” Morris encouraged the use of a classical
experimental design to assign such inmates to his model institu-
tion. Clearly, statistical regression could be a threat to his pro-
posed experiment. If these inmates are so “bad” to begin with,
their behavior may simply regress toward the mean. If they did
improve, it would be difficult to say that the benefits were due to
the new prison design.29

6. Experimental Mortality has to do with the loss of subjects
from your experimental and control groups. If large numbers of
subjects “drop out” for whatever reason, the groups may change
so much that they are no longer comparable. Thus, the major
strength of randomization is violated. Researchers conducting
recidivism studies have particular problems with mortality since
parolees are often mobile and do not leave forwarding address-
es and they often literally die while on supervision.30

7. Selection Biases: Remember, the groups must be comparable
to begin with. If techniques other than random assignment are
used, selection biases may affect the research results. Put simply,

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Elements of Research Design 109

you do not wish to compare apples to oranges. Researchers or
program officials should not put all the “best risks” in the exper-
imental group and then compare them to a group of poor risks.

8. Interactions of the Above Problems. To make matters worse,
it is possible that your research can be affected by combinations
of the problems just mentioned. The design proposed by Morris
(1974) could not only be subject to problems due to statistical re-
gression, but also due to maturation. And what would happen to
the research results if a riot or escape occurred during the study
(History)?

9. Causal Time Order. If somehow the time order between the
treatment and the measure of the dependent variable (post-test)
is fouled up, it is obvious that the causal relationship between
variables is no longer being tested.

10. Diffusion or Imitation of Treatment. If the respondents in the
control group can communicate with the members of the exper-
imental group, they each may discover information intended for
the other group. Put simply, the physical closeness of the two
groups may render them equal by exposing them both to the
treatment. The Provo Experiment was plagued by this problem
since both the experimental and control (probation) groups were
supervised by the same probation office.

11. Compensatory Equalization of Treatments. When the exper-
imental treatment provides goods or services generally believed
to be desirable, the experimenter (or administrators in charge of
a project) may be sympathetic toward the control group and pro-
vide them with some compensatory benefit, such as special
attention. Of course, this special attention would thus become
another form of treatment and the original design would suffer.

12. Compensatory Rivalry by Respondents Receiving Less De-
sirable Treatments. When the assignment of persons to exper-
imental or control groups is made public (as is frequently re-
quired by ethical and legal considerations), competition may be
generated. In particular, the control group (the natural under-
dog) may be motivated to perform at the highest possible level.

13. Resentful Demoralization of Respondents Receiving Less
Desirable Treatments. This potential response is very much
related to rivalry. The control group may become demoralized

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110 Introduction to Criminal Justice Research Methods

about the conditions of the research and thus perform more
poorly than the experimental group or get angry and revolt.

Other internal validity questions of special interest to criminal jus-
tice researchers have been identified by Adams:31

14. Masking. Experimental treatments may have opposite effects
upon different kinds of subjects. Vito (1982) has suggested that it
is simply illogical to assume that all members of the experimen-
tal group were amenable to or served equally by a correctional
treatment program. Unless some measure of the effectiveness of
the treatment among the experimental subjects is included in the
study, masking could cloud the findings by failing to make such
differentiations in the experimental group.32

15. Contamination of Data. If the subjects in the control group be-
come exposed to the treatment, their post-program performance
may be affected. This may have been one of the problems re-
garding the controversial Kansas City Preventive Patrol Experi-
ment.33 The treatment in this experiment was proactive police
patrolling — a test of deterrence theory. The experimental neigh-
borhoods received proactive patrolling, the reactive (control)
areas underwent traditional patrolling (police responding to in-
coming calls for service and patrolling only the perimeter of the
beat or an adjacent proactive beat), while officers in the control
sections were to patrol as they normally would. The problem
was that the 15 neighborhoods in the study were adjacent to one
another. Was the treatment clearly isolated or did the neighbor-
hoods, in effect, all receive the same type of patrol?

16. “Erosion” of the Treatment Effect. The gradual or abrupt dis-
appearance of performance superiority shown by the experi-
mental group in the early months after treatment may decrease
or simply wear off. This problem could be especially pro-
nounced if the researcher is following the performance of the
experimental subjects over a long period of time.

These problems are not insurmountable. They have been presented
because the researcher must be aware of them in order to combat
them. Some can be dealt with through the use of randomization and
the classical experimental design (i.e., selection bias and statistical
regression). Others can be handled by careful monitoring of the con-
duct of the research. It is vital that the experimental and control

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5

Heavy Metal Music Preference
Delinquent Friends, Social ‘

Control, and Delinquency

SIMON I. SINGER

MURRAY LEVINE

SUSYAN JOU

COMMENTARY by Simon Singer

I first had the idea to look at the relationship between delinquency and music
preference after reading a New Yorker article in 1986 about Los Angeles subur-
ban gangs. Within that excellent article by the journalist William Barich (1986),
I saw a dearly articulated hypothesis. I didn’t need to go much further than that
to develop a theory about the possible effects of music on delinquency.

It so happened that the next year I was asked if I wished to do a “needs as-
sessment” for a large suburban community. There was New York State agency
money available to conduct a survey for which I was given discretion as to how
to define the proposed assessment. I wanted not only to meet the agency’s goal
of evaluating the concerns and interests of the town’s youth, but also to assess
the extent to which youth were involved in a variety of delinquent behaviors.

The idea of linking music preference to self-reported delinquency through
the survey technique came about when we needed to figure out an incentive
that would lead to the participation of youth in the survey. We received a good
deal on music coupons from a major retail record store in the area. To close the
deal with the record store we asked that the store cashiers record the actual


music that was purchased on the returned incentive coupon. The survey also
asked music preference, and we felt that along with actual music purcha e

Sourcr:Journal i?f R~earch i11 Cri111e and Delinquency. Vol. JO, N . J, Auhl’\J\t 1993, PP· JI ]-JlQ
1 1993 · bl . I ·

‘ · Jgl’ Publications, Inc. Reprmted by permtS~on of !:>age Pu 1 at10m, n1;

Thh article “,l \Ub~tantial revi~ion of a paper onginally pre ented at the: I 99U annual mect-
1~ of the American ociety of Criminolot,,,y, Baltimore. We thank Robert Af,’IlCW,
M1ch.1el F IJ . . 1·, •rsions of this ar-arre , and Lionel Lewi for their helpful c mments on car 1cr vc ·
tide D f S · I SUNY-Butfalo, Ii · iren rorrc ·pondenl’.t’s to imon J. Singer, Department o Ol’.JO ogy, ·

utfaJo, NY 14260.

109

PART Ill SURVEY RESEARCH

110 — . sure that would make the articl
btrusive mea

would provide an uno .
onvincing. al . howed that the main effect of heavy

more c . he an ysis s . bl · ifi
The first step 111 t . £’. ther important vana es was sign ca~

olltng ior O l
preference after contr . d . teraction effects based not on y on what
However, we hypothesize in llent work of Keith Roe (1985). Roe’s stud”

1 n the exce . h . f 1 . ·

1

P

roposed but a so O h of multivariate tee mques o ana ys1s to
h d for t e use . d h pointed to t e nee . h’ b tween music preference an attac ments to

out the possible relatto?s ip ere able to do using the techniques that Aike
d

ts This we we . . . n
school an paren · d d in their book on testing interactions with n-.,ul

(1991) recommen e h . . •a.11 .. and West d . uite useful to present t e interaction effects as
. · We foun it q .

uple regression. . how the mean level of delinquency changed at each
they suggest by showmg

level of interaction. .
1

t ted out with a simple idea, it is important that it b
Althou~h the abrttc de s ar ntext of subcultural theories of delinquency and e

considered m the roa er co . d d 1
. . d d than J. ust expressed att1tu es an va ues to uncover the

cnme More 1s nee e ·b h’ gh
. · b u1 h t are hypothesized to contn ute to 1 rates of delin-

vanous su c tures t a . . h
Th

. d’ t · dicators of subcultural affiliation are t e measures that
quency. e m irec m . d . S b

b f, h Unde
rstanding of delinquency an cnme. u cultural the-

can est urt er our . .
fit from looking at the representations of culture m the form ory can pro more .

of its various artifacts, which include not only music but styles of dress and

behavior.
We would like to see more research that takes into account what goes on in

the daily lives of youth. Not only do schools classify youth, but youth classify
themselves and they seem to do so with regard to music preference. How
strongly they identify with various forms of music is a critical part of how they
see themselves. Part of what is heard is heard for its entertainment value alone,
and would bear little significance except for the fact that it is associated with
other factors that attract youth to a particular kind of music. The fact that we
were able to show that the relationship between heavy metal and delinquency
is not direct would support those who argue that youth should feel free to hear
any kind of music they want. Music alone is not enough to make someone
delinquent according to our data .

. More research is needed on the cultural artifacts of our society and the
delinqu~nt cond~ct of its youth. Such data are not easy to obtain and require
us to thmk creat~vely about their measurement and analysis. It is important to
go beyond any simple explanation for delinquent behavior, and to apply the
advanced methodological tools of criminological research to understanding the
complex causes of delinquency and crime.

ABSTRACT The auth ·
fi h . ors examined the relationship between a preference
or eavy metal music am la th
(N = 715) d d li ong a rge sample of suburban high school you an e nquency c lli ·
ables as well as d lin ‘ ontro ng for parental and school-related wri-

‘ e quent associati Th th
esis that heavy metal has an effi ons. . ey found support for th hypo .-

ect on delinquency when p ntal con l 15

p
CHAPTER 5 HEAVY METAL MUSIC

PREFERENCE AND DELINQUENCY
111

low. However, they found no support for the h . .
tween a preference for heavy metal and d r ypothesized interaction be-
p

ectations, those students with better sche mlquent peers. Contrary to ex-
. . oo marks and a p f4 c.

heavy metal music had higher amounts of lf. . re erence 1or
se -reported delinquency.

The sounds of “heavy metal” lay along the fringe of t .
al · d’ · . con emporary musical

P
references. Heavy met 1s 1stmgu1shed from lighte c f k

1
. r 1orms o roe and roll by

the extremely loud c ashmg of electrical steel guitars a d b 1 . . . h . · d” n Y yncs wit an 1m-
age1-v of violence. Accor mg to Grass’s (1990) det ·1 d · h . , a1 e review, eavy metal
music expresses a culture of power, violence, and fatalism He t M .. 1 “L. w· ” hi h · no es ot ey
Crile ‘s ~ong ive !re, w c calls women whores, speaks of smashing
womens faces, and gomg for the jugular. 1 Gross further relates a Judas Priest’s
hit album “Defenders of the Faith,” which warns that” ‘rising from the dark-
ness where Hell hath no mercy and the screams of vengeance echo on forever
only those who keep the faith shall escape the wrath of the Metallian’ ,,;
(p.123). Furthermore, Gr~ss’s nonrepresentative sampling of heavy metal music
also includes the unpublished lyrics ” ‘Blessed are the wicked, cursed are the
weak,’ “and” ‘Your God is dead and now you die, Satan rules at last’ “(p. 124).

Heavy metal, as a cultural artifact, is not just communicated in lyrical form.
It is also contained in distinct patterns of dress. For instance, some fans display a
runic lightning bolt, borrowed from the heavy metal group AC/DC’s album
covers, Nazi Schutz Staffel and swastika designs, skeletons and death heads
(Gross 1990, p. 125). Moreover, some of the behavior of heavy metal perform-
ers communicates particular norms of conduct. As part of their performance,
heavy metal stars, at times, will dramatize bizarre forms of behavior. A widely
publicized example is when Ozzy Osbourne allegedly bit the head of a bat in
the middle of a concert and then received rabies shots afterwards (Barich 1986).
Although the act of biting a bat might be purely theatrical, it can be considered
entertainment only by particular segments of society.

Similarly, there are actual acts of violence reported among heavy metal fans.
In numerous concert tours, heavy metal means heavy security, particularly in
the wake of high rates of arrest and physical injuries among those attending the
concerts (Montgomery 1992). The security precautions that are required at
heavy metal concerts are surely much greater than those required at the phil-
harmonic or ballet. It seems obvious that a proportion of youth present at heavy
metal concerts is different in their personal taste and behavior from youth at-
tending the symphony. Moreover, parental concern about he.avy metal has le.d
to attempts to require parental permission to purchase certam types of music

that are considered offensive (see Arnett 1991).

*”Defenders of the Faith” by G. Tipton/R . Halford/K. Downing. 1984 EMI April
Music lnc./Crewglen Ltd./Ebonytree Ltd./Geargate Ltd. All Right Controlled ~d
AdministlTed by EMI April Mu ic Inc. All Right Re ervcd/lnternational Copynght
Secured/Used by Permi ~ion.

erAL AND ITC
EA\/Y 1\11 · ·

H plain about the mu 1c of its Yottth
s to co111 f h , w

eradon seem: b tween popular forms o yout culture
Although each genhe relationship e 1990). There are several possible Wayand

. 1 about t . (Newman F. h to know htt e f behavior tal on delinquency. ll’St> t ere are th
~ ru1s o f heavy me d h 0

deviant o ‘ble effects o . censorship base on t e argument th
h poss1 of music . .k h . . at

view t c . sonie form d 1. quent behavior. Lt e t e viewing of . dvocate 1 d to e tn . . v10.. who a I ·s directly re ate . xposure to heavy metal ts believed to int
h vy n,eta 1 d movies, e hi . f to-ea I ·s1·on shows an 1 es and behaviors. T s view o heavy rne … ,1
J nt te ev1 d . ant va u . f d . \ct!
e d reinforce evi f h r important deternunants o elinquency

duce an . £fc cts o ot e h h .
. s the possible e e . b Arnett (1991) found t at eavy metal listene
ignore alysis y . . li I er rs

I deed a recent an h e reckless behavior 1s tt e auected by th . n ‘ d outh w os . e1r
are already alienate Y (1991 ) further reported that youth listened to heavy
music preference. Arnett d the music had the effect of making them le

h were angry, an b h . ( ss metal when t ey . . ted with delinquent e av1or Agnew 198S)
93) If anger is assoc1a f d lin ‘ angry (p. · . h ld produce a lower rate o e quent behavior. In-

tal musics ou
then heavy me d h t contrary to what might be suggested by those who
d d Ar ett conclu es t a , · ee ‘ n al usic “it would seem more appropriate to advocate

ish to ban heavy met m ‘ h h ·
w . . h metal music for adolescents w o s ow evidence of a
subscnbmg to eavy fc fc h

. c. · n” (1991 p. 94). Thus a pre erence or eavy metal may
propensity LOr aggress10 . ,
even reduce delinquent behav10r. . .

In contrast to viewing the delinquent behavior of youth as either height-
ened or suppressed by their preference for heavy metal, a more complex model
would consider the effects of music in interaction with other indicators of
delinquency. Heavy metal may be related to delinquent behavior in interaction
with social control and peer group affiliations. The influence of social control
and culture is emphasized in Barich’s analysis of violent delinquency among
suburban youth. Based on the interviews with Los Angeles suburban gang
members and gang workers, Barich (1986) suggests that heavy metal lyrics in-
crease the likelihood of delinquent behavior among naive youth and youth low
in parental attachment and control.

An intelligent. kid mi~ht be able to react to heavy metal as theater, but a dull
or confused kid took Its messages seriously. If a kid had no parental guid-
ance, no filter between hi’m d th . . b”
b

. an e music its anthems however 1zarre,
urned mt h. b · · ‘ ‘ 0

is ram with all the power of gospel. (Barich 1986, P· 102)
Thus Barich ‘s hy th · d .
that cont po esize mteraction between music and delinquency stre~es

emporary forms of h 1 f b-
urban delinq . b yout cu ture affect the emerging pattern o su

uency, ut only d n-
trol. Those youth h among youth low in parental attachment an co
l’k W O are weak . · n· · h 1ore 1 ely to take the d f m mte 1gence, according to Banc , are 11 .

wor s o heavy 1 . . h · delin-
quent behavior. meta music seriously in justifying t eir

The specific d .
spe . fi . an Interactive effc

h
ci ed m the research li’t ects of culture on delinquency

t eory t erature on b I
s resses that dev· su cu tures and delinqu ncy.

tant values and
norms are upport d in th

further
ub ultural
ont of

–~ ‘””~u utUNQUENcv
113 –1 ·ent aroups. In Matza’s (1964) v· ado est . i:, • iew, the d .

11ore unportant than the static vision f Ynanuc aspects of a sub 1 are 1 d o subc 1 cu ture
h t are directed towar s explaining low 1 u tures presented in th . t a w· 1960) er-c ass deli eories

Cl Ward and O m . Rather than r fc nquency (Cohen 1955 o . ” e er to a “d li ;
atedly emphasizes a subculture of d li e nquent subculture,, h repe e nquenc ,, i hi ‘ e

ractions lead to the common acceptance of d 1 · y n w ch peer group in-
te Matza (1964), delinquency becomes “publ” e _mh~uent behavior. According
to . ,, (p IC Wit m the nfi
I Provincial groupmgs . 33) . co nes of more or ess . .

This group onentat1on to subcultures of d li .
rk of Schwendinger and Schwendinger (1 ;85n)quTehncy is extended in the

wo ,, · ey relate d
,, 0115 umption patterns to contemporary adoles b mo ern-day c . cent su cultur F
they identify White street-corner youth as “pu k ,, d .. es. or example,

d h n ers an heavy tal ,, Groups of punkers an eavy metalers develop coll t· 1 . . me ers. . . d ec ive re ationships th t £
cilitate group decisions an acceptable forms of delin b h . a a-

di quent e avior (Schwen clinger and Schwen nger 1985, p. 304). –
Similarly, Willis’s (1978) ethnographic study of British yo th . .

. . . u views music as
a means of mtegratmg adolesce?ts mto a c~mmon culture. Within this general
youth culture, subg,roups are umt~d ~y their taste for particular forms of music
(Willis 1990). Roes (1985) longitudinal survey data also show that music is a
vehicle for the expres~ion of adoles_cent group values and identity (p. 361). Ac-
cording to Roe, allegiance to particular youth groups is defined by clothing,
hair styles, attitudes, models of behavior, and musical preferences.

Thus a subcultural perspective leads us to suggest that patterns of delinquent
peer group involvement vary by heavy metal preference. Heavy metal music
should have no effect on the delinquent behavior of youth who are isolated from
other delinquent youth. In the words of Sutherland’s theory of differential asso-
ciation, “the principal part of the learning of criminal behavior occurs within
intimate personal groups” (Shoemaker 1990, p. 152). Therefore, heavy metal
music should increase delinquent peer identification and delinquent behavior.

HYPOTHESES

. . h I tionship between heavy We can summarize the above d1scuss10n on t e re a
metal and delinquency in terms of the following hypotheses:

h . h f delinquency among 1. A preference for heavy n1etal leads to 1g er rates O
1
. b h vi·or

. d’ f de mquent e a · youth, independent of other important m 1cators 0

. 1 b redicting that heavy metal
This hypothesis reflects the direct-effects mode Y P f d 1· uent peers,
· . · d dent o e mg
increases the likelihood of delmquency m epen . t d by those who

· h h h ·s that ts suppor e
parental, and school controls. It 1s t e ypot e~I . labels to heavy metal
favor censoring or restricting access by attachmg war~ng(

1991
) suggestion that

n · d 1 ·y to Arnett s d . 1us1c. The direct-effects mo e 1s contrar .d. outlet for re ucmg
h · b prov1 mg an eavy metal actually reduces delmquency Y
adolescent frustration and anger.

, ,,.

METHOD

The Sample

In prino 19 7, w collected data on the deli~quent conduct of 705 suburban
hio-h chool y uth. The community from which we drew our sample is largely
affluent.2 Of the population, 95% was classified as White. It should also be
tre ed that the vast majority of heavy n1etal fans are White and that they are not
onfined to particular urban or suburban parts of the United States (Gross 1990).

We sampled 1,475 youth in public and ri te high chool from school
board lists. After receiving the con ent of th mpled uth and their parents, we
were able to complete interview with 7 5 uth durina n ninstructional school
time. The youth were admini ter d th un f ab ut 30 tudents.

Based on the demographic bar. t ri ti b th chool di trictS
and Bureau of Census, we are confid nt th t th , ainple i repre entative
of the town’s senior high chool popul ti n. Th i tril: uti 11 f grade and a,
~ our sample is within 2% of th di tributi n in th t tal high ‘hool popula-
ti~n. The percentage of boys and girl in th urv · i , •ithin 1 tX) of th town-
ship population.

CHAPTER 5 HEAVY METAL MUS IC PR
EFERENCE AND DELINQUENCY

115 –hts and feelings with your (mother) (father);>” Th
woug t scale is .65. . e alpha for the p

hJ11en arenta}
attaC I performance was measured accord. schoo f h · mg to self-rep d

our measure o t e importance of sch 1 . orte marks (A :::: 5
f :::: O) . onses to three questions: “How impooot to ~o~th was based on com,
. d resp . h r ant IS it to –

blfle 1 (b) to have h1g grades, and (c) to co 1 hi you (a) to do well . schoO’ . ) Th I h c mp ete gh sch }?”
111 1 == not important . e a p a tor the school . oo . (5 :::: im-
portant, importance scale is .69.

Delinquent Peers and Heavy Metal P f
re erence

asured delinquent associatio ns by respon h
We me . bl ,, R ses to t e state ”

. d rarely get m to tro u e. esp onses were cod d . ment: My
.fr1en s . ) e on a 5-pomt scale (5 ::::

1 == disagree .
agre~ur meas ure of pre feren ce for heavy metal music w b d

estion: ” Who is you r favo rite m usical gro up?” Thas ase on responses to
the qu . b d . ese groups were classi
fi d into categories ase o n a consensus among several k I d . . -e . . f d d now e geable md1-
‘duals cons1stmg o a gra uate stu ent, the vice president f 1 h . v1 , d I f h ‘ 3 o a arge c am of
tail record stores, an severa o is staff. Music preference d t re . . a a were coded

soon aft er the survey was admm1stered.
Nearly half of all youth (48%) said they preferred musical gro c_ 11· . . . ups tai mg mto

the rock-pop category (e.g., Bonjov1, Genesis, U2, Phil Collins). An add. .
1 ” . I . k” 1t10na

19% preferred v1~tage. or c ass1c roe (e.g., The Who, Rush, The Grateful
Dead). Less than 1 % said they preferred classical music. About 7% preferred
heavy metal groups. The heavy metal category included such groups as Iron
Maiden, Motley Criie, Metallica, and AC/DC. 4

Stated music preference predicted the type of music youth purchased. As an
incentive for completing the survey, each youth was provided with a coupon re-
deemable for a tape or a record in a local chain of stores. 5 When the youth pur-
chased the record, the cashier coded the album or tape cassette the youth
selected into specific music categories and placed these on the coupons, which
were returned to us. Among the youth who said they preferred heavy metal,
about half actually purchased a heavy metal album. If preferences were ran-
domly related to purchases, we would expect only 7% to have purchased a
heavy metal album. We use musical pref ere nee because we have more complete
data than if we relied on actual purchases. We assume that preference is related
to actual behavior, although it is quite possible that our heavy metal measure
does not tap the extent to which youth actually listen to heavy metal mus~c .

. In the following analysis, youth who listed a heavy metal group as their fa-
vorite were coded into a heavy metal preference category (1 = heavy metal
preference, 0 = others).

Delinquency
Our d db k ‘ youth to indicate
. ependent variable, delinquency, was measure Y as mg
if du · h ll · ffenses · stolen any-
h. ring t e past year they had committed the fo owing O · d $SO over

;S~~ by shoplifting or other ways (worth Jess than $5, b:twe;; ::i:g to them;
‘ purposely damaged or destroyed property that did n

116 — . dentally) or beaten someone up. W.
. d (not acc1 .d h . h e asked

. lly inJure Li he or she d1 eac act 111 t e past year Cl..,
phys1ca h w o1ten . . on a 4 ‘ll

h to estimate
O f er. once or twice, 3 to 11 times, and 12 or … ~ –

yout . · g o r,.ev , . lllor ~ vll!t
I (

0-3), cons1st1n h e five items provided the measureme e tith._
sea e . ts on t es nt of ·,1,
The sum of potn fficient is .68. de~~
quency.

The alpha coe

ANALYSIS

6
d heavy metal reported significantly more delinqu

Youth who pre erre th preferring heavy metal music, x = 2.5, SD:::: .4~ncy:han
other youth (f~r Y?u non-heavy metal music, x = 1.3, SD == .07 ‘~ … 46;
£ outh pre1ernng ‘ n – 659
or Y Ol) Among those who preferred heavy metal, 83% report d ,
F == 2 4 p < . . . . h' h 1 e that

· ‘tt d an act of delmquency wit m t e ast year comp d
they had conum e . . ‘ are to

f h W
ho preferred other kmds of music.

58% o t ose . d h . .
To test for interactions, we standa~~ize t e contmuous predictor variables

(Aik
d West 1991; Jaccard, Turnsi, and Wan 1990). By standardizing th

en an l . n· . . . e
predictor variables, the problem of mu tico meanty ~ testmg interactions ~
substantially reduced. for example, the high:st correlat~on coefficient between
the standardized variables (including interaction terms) is .39, which is substan-
tially less than the correlations for unstandardized interaction terms. We checked
the pattern of interactions by regressing delinquency on the raw scores sepa-
rately for youth preferring heavy metal and non-heavy metal music. The pattern
and size of coefficients produced virtually identical estimates, so we feel confi-
dent in presenting the unstandardized coefficients based on standardized values.

Also, we examined the pattern of interactions in separate analyses, control-
ling for gender and age and type of offense, and found that the results do not
differ significantly. Higher order interactions are not presented here to simplify
the analysis, but they are available upon request. Furthermore, our hypothesized
relationships are not specific to gender or age characteristics.

Table 1 presents the unstandardized regression coefficients and their corre-
sponding significant levels for regression models with and without interactions.
In .the main effects model without interactions, the significant predictors of
delinquency are school marks, school importance, delinquent friends, and heavy
metal preference. Once these variables are entered into the equation, the impor:
tance of ~ar~ntal attachment and parental supervision is reduced to below the ·~’
level of s1gnifica Th d’ . ·ted di-. nee. e 1rection of the estimated effects is in the expe<.; . rection · that is · th da 1 . . · are di-l ' 'm ese ta ow social control and delinquent associations . :~gnct ;fi relat~d tho delinquency. Although the effect of heavy metal prefe~ncen~

cant m t e expect d d” . . . f dehnque
friends d h . e rrection, tt 1s not as strong as the effects o –1, a

an sc ool 1mpo ta Yc h . ble I~es
unique and · . fi r nee. et t e heavy metal preference var1a . 1r11. s1gru cant contr’b . d d }inque1 “‘r

N . i ution to the variance in self-reporte e –
ext we consider in T: bl 1 . Wh interac

tion effects are enter;d th: e . , mam effects with interactions. end school
marks on delin ‘ mam effects of heavy metal preference an rwo–

quency are above the .05 level of significance . .AIJ1ong the

CHAPTER 5 HEAVY METAL Music
PREFERENCE AND DELINQUENCY

‘T’able 1. Delinquency Regressed on Social C

1 d H ontrol
Delinquent Peer, an eavy Metal Prefere ‘
variables, With and Without Interaction T;:s

variable
Parental Attachment
Parental Supervision

school Marks
School Importance
Delinquent Friends
Heavy Metal Preference

Parental Attachment X Metal

Parental Supervision X Metal

School Marks X Metal
School Importance X Metal

Delinquent Friends X Metal

Adjusted R2

Note: Standardized effects are shown.

•p < .01; **p < .OS.

Main Effects
-.03

– .10

-.15*

-.25**

.57**

.13*

.19

With Interactions
-.08

– .06

-.14

– .27**

.55**

.16

.07

– .23**

.22**

.05

.07

.22

117

way interactions with heavy metal preference, only parental supervision and
school marks are significant in their effects on delinquency. The two-way inter-
action for heavy metal preference and parental supervision is in the expected di-
rection. But the interactive effect of school marks with heavy metal on
delinquency is opposite from what was hypothesized. Moreover, contrary to ex-
pectations, the interaction between delinquent friends and heavy metal is not sig-
nificant. This suggests that the effects of delinquent peers on delinquency are the
same for those youth who prefer heavy metal and youth preferring other kinds
of music.

Table 2 displays the standardized effects of heavy metal preference on delin-
quency for one standard deviation above and below the mean. In interpreting
the coefficients in Table 1, recall that all variables are standardized, with a mean
of zero and a standard deviation of one. The coefficients for the “main effect ”
efer to the effect of each variable on delinquency when all other variables are
et at zero or their mean value. When all other variables are set at their mean,
eavy metal preference has a standardized effect of .16 on delinquency. Th co-
fficient for the interaction between heavy metal and parental supervision is
.23. This means that for every standard deviation increase in parental supervi-

ion, the effect of heavy metal preference on delinquency decrease by -.2~.
en parental supervision and all other independent variables are at the~r

iean, the effect of heavy metal on delinquency is .16. When parental upervt-
ion is one standard deviation above it mean, the effect of heavy metal pr fer-
nee on delinquency decreases to -.07 (.16 + -.23). Conversely, when parental
ontrol is one standard deviation below its mean, the effect of heavy metal on
elinquency increases to .39 (.16 + .23).

118 —
t of HeaVY Effec

Table 2. Jinquency ..
Metal on Detal superv1s1on
When paren ks Are set

Schoof Mar
and . Levels
at various

Parental sup ervision

Mean-one SD

Mean

Mean+ one SD

School marks
Mean-one SD

Mean
Mean+ one SD

.39

.16

-.07

-.06

.16

.38

t’~!’ … .

of effects for the interaction between parental h h the above pattern . . . . .
Alt oug 1 preference is m the expected drrect1on, this is not . . d heavy meta

superv1S1on an 1 k When the variable school marks is one standard de~ h e for schoo mar s. 1· .
t e cas . the effect of heavy metal on de mquency mcreases to . t’on above its mean, . 11·
via

1

h h refer heavy metal, it is not the less mte 1gent ones who 38 Among yout w o p

· · · h t delinquent acts. Rather, youth who prefer heavy metal are reportmg t e mos . . I b
and have higher rates of delinquency appear to achieve relanve y etter grades
in school.

SUMMARY

The results of this analysis provide mixed support for the hypothesized interac-
tive effects of heavy metal preference. We found support for the main effects of
heavy metal preference on delinquency controlling for other important indica-
tors. In partial support of Barich’s observation on the relationship between
heavy metal _and delinquency, we found support for that part of our hypothe~s
that dealt with parental supervision. Youth who preferred heavy metal music
an_d were low m parental supervision had higher rates of delinquency. However,
t~ was not the case for parental attachment Moreover contrary to Barich’s
point about intelr · ‘ . among

h . igence, our data suggest that the rate of delmquency yout preferrmg h I k
Wc I eavy meta was not inversely related to school mar s.

e a so found littl fc . . h the effects Of d I. e support or our subcultural hypothesis m t at c. e mquent pe · e,er-
ence The ecr erfs Were not significantly different for youth by music phr vy

· uect o deli . . fc · g ea
metal music .,…..ay c 11 . nquent peers Is significant and youth pre ernn . hed

. •u 1.a Into a d Ji b d. t’ ngu1s
with these data fr h e nquent subculture, but it cannot e 1 i ·”act om ot er sub 1 h l ra1 artt1, and delinquent b h . cu tures t at revolve around the cu tu

e av1or of friends.

tt f’l l H
At O O Llr QU NCY

119

N U ION

— with that of others which has considered h
. sistent . h . . t .

earch 1s con
1

. ;ng behavior. T e more mteract1ve and d 1tn
Our res · exp a1n~.. h · Ylla11 ·

f culture 111 b examined throug a variety of analytic 1 11c rtance o d to e . nl a te h
P0 f culture nee t research considered o y the quantity of d c ,
spects o h presen u1 eJ·

a . Although t e b ultural literature wo d suggest considerin In,
111ques. h f the su c 1. Th g Youth t acts 01uc o f types of de mquent acts. e effects of h quen ‘ ntext o e

b u] tures in the co b eater for drug offenses rather than the c avy SU C y e gr . . 0111In
etal preference ma ured in this article. In either case, culture and 0n

m 1· ency meas d d h sub
forms of de inqu . d in attempts to un erstan t e more dyna . ‘

ld not be ignore . nuc as,
culture shou h . delinquent behav10r.

f th and t eir · al f pects o you . hasize the correlation nature o our data and th h
. ll e wish to emp . h. at t e

Fina Y, w d t support music censors 1p as a means of preve .
. nnot be use o . d d . ntuig

findmgs ca . d ‘ al research designs are nee e to examme futthe h
. Long1tu m . r t e

delinquency. . delinquency. Moreover, our data is confined to = .
a1 ffc cts of musIC on . u1US1c caus e e nable to estimate the possible effects of actually listerun·

reference so we were u h fi d’ d g
P al · n delinquency. However, t e n mgs o stress the impo
to heavy met musIC o . . r,

f I ki t h
ow aspects of culture may mtluence delinquent behavior

tance o oo ng a ·

NOTES

1. Originally we had quoted directly from t~e Mode~ Criie s~ng. But at the time of publi-
cation permission was denied by representatives of Motley Crue. Thus we paraphrase the
song that Gross quotes. However, this illustrates part of the difficulty in publishing research
on popular forms of culture.

2. Parents of youth surveyed were asked to indicate their occupational class. Fathers are
largely in occupational positions of employers or managers (73%). The remaining propor-
tion are equally divided among employee and self-employed occupational positions. The
proportion of unemployed fathers in the survey is 6%.

3. The following music groups were classified as “heavy metal”: AC/DC, Black Sabbath,
Deep Purple, Dokken, Iron Maiden,Judas Priest, Mahles, Metallica, Motley Criie, Primitive
Urges, Scorpions.
4· We realize tha~ there is some debate as to classification of heavy metal groups. Such
ghroups can be delineated further into lighter forms of heavy metal (e.g. BonJovi) and

eavy heavy metal (e g M lli ) ‘\vr ‘ · h b
·d · ·• eta ca · vve prefer to confine our analysis to what rrug t e

cons1 ered as heavy hea l Als
Megadeath Nuclear vy meta.·. 0 , current popular heavy metal groups, such as
ular at th ‘. f Assault, Smc1dal Tendencies and Motorhead may not have been pop-

e time o the s h’ h ‘
5

R urvey, w IC was conducted in 1987.
· ecall the survey was I . .

comp eted m 1987, before the popularity of compact discs.

REFERENCES

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Park,
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CHAPTER 5 HEAVY METAL Mus

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Cloward, Richard and Lloyd E. Ohlin.
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Gross, Robert L. 1990. “Heavy Metal
Music: A New Subculture in Ameri-
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24:119-30.

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DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. What was the purpose of the
study? What was the primary
question that the authors wished
to address in the study?

As discussed by the authors, why
might one suspect that preference

r certain forms of music might
e related to delinquency?

3. Describe the data collection pro-
cess. How were the data that were
analyzed in the study collected?

4. According to the authors, ~oes lis-
tening to heavy metal m~s1c lead
to, or cause, delinquency. Why or

why not?

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