Pot and pop: New research finds stronger link between music and marijuana use among teens

Dec 22, 2009

Teens who frequently listen to music that contains references to marijuana are more likely to use the drug than their counterparts with less exposure to such lyrics, according to a University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine study online now in the journal Addiction.

"Based on an analysis of survey data from 959 ninth-graders, we found that students who listen to with the most references to are almost twice as likely to have used the drug than their peers whose musical tastes favor songs less focused on substance use, even after controlling for confounding factors," said Brian Primack, M.D., Ed.M., M.S., lead author of the study and assistant professor of medicine and pediatrics at Pitt's School of Medicine.

"Interestingly, we also found that exposure to marijuana in music was not associated with other high-risk behaviors, such as excessive alcohol consumption. This suggests that there is a real link between the marijuana lyrics and marijuana use," said Dr. Primack.

To accurately estimate marijuana exposure in music, researchers used an improved process to calculate the exposure, which incorporated student report of music exposure and favorite artists as well as intensive content analysis of the top 794 songs from 2005, 2006 and 2007 based on Billboard Magazine's year-end charts.

Researchers estimated that the average study participant listened to 21.8 hours of music per week and were exposed to an estimated 40 marijuana references in music per day. Twelve percent identified themselves as current marijuana users, with 32 percent identifying themselves as having previously tried the substance. Compared to those who cited a favorite artist with zero songs with references, students who identified a favorite artist with three or more songs with cannabis references had nearly double the odds of being current cannabis users.

Researchers controlled for such demographic variables as age, race, gender, and school grades in analyzing the data.

"Although it may be that heavy exposure to music about marijuana causes marijuana smoking, it may also be that those who smoke marijuana seek out music with lyrics related to marijuana," noted

Dr. Primack. "In either case, these results may help us develop more effective programs on drug education. For example, media literacy programs may help young people more accurately analyze and evaluate the marijuana-related messages they are likely to hear in popular music."

Explore further: Culture influences incidence of depression

More information: www3.interscience.wiley.com/jo… l/123222318/abstract

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Long-term marijuana smoking leads to respiratory complaints

Feb 12, 2007

Long-term exposure to marijuana smoke is linked to many of the same health problems as tobacco smoke, such as increased respiratory symptoms like cough, phlegm and wheeze, according to a new study by researchers at Yale School ...

Smoking marijuana impairs cognitive function in MS patients

Feb 13, 2008

People with multiple sclerosis (MS) who smoke marijuana are more likely to have emotional and memory problems, according to research published February 13, 2008, in the online edition of Neurology, the medical journal of the ...

Recommended for you

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Bob_B
not rated yet Dec 22, 2009
"Interestingly, we also found that exposure to marijuana in music was not associated with other high-risk behaviors, such as excessive alcohol consumption."

I suppose it isn't as interesting listening to all those Country and Wetern boozer songs? Do you suspect that teens drinking may be associated with music that glamorizes booze? That makes booze the method to forget about your lost love? That booze up teens are able to drive drunk with no problems?

I do not support teens smoking pot, nor drinking.

I do support real science with real balance.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.