Identity determined by music taste?
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Identity formation and music both play an important role in the development of adolescents. However, studies on the relation between music preferences and identity formation of adolescents are lacking. Therefore, the present study investigated whether adolescents’ music preferences predict their identity formation two years later, and if this relationship was affected by gender. Data from the Conflict and Management of Relationships (CONAMORE) study collected between 2001 and 2005 were used. The sample included 921 adolescents between 13 and 18 years old. Adolescents’ music preferences, measured in wave 3, were subsumed under the general labels of Rock, Pop, Urban, Elite and Dance. Identity formation was measured in wave 5 in two dimensions: commitment and reconsideration. The results showed that contrary to expectations, Rock fans did not score lower on commitment, and even scored lower on reconsideration. Another notable finding was that Pop fans showed positive outcomes on all variables, that is more commitment and less reconsideration. No gender interactions were found. Thus, results suggest that adolescents who prefer Pop, and to a lesser extent Rock, music show positive outcomes in their identity formation, and that this holds for both boys and girls.