The link between music preferences and cannabis use of adolescents and the role of gender, peer group homogeneity and aggression
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Liking loud and energetic music, such as Rock and Rap, has been shown to be related to substance use. The present study aims to provide a more complete elaboration of the music preference and cannabis use link by including gender and aggression as moderators. Furthermore, adolescents that prefer loud and energetic music seek out like minded peers, who may increase cannabis use. Therefore a preference for homogenous peer groups is included as a mediator in the link between music preferences and cannabis use. A subsample of 400 adolescents aged 13-18 (M = 20.19, SD = 3.60, 80% female) from the Qrius Switch-On project data set was used. Music preferences were conceptualized as five styles: Pop, Rock, Urban, Classical and Dance. Contrary to expectations, a hierarchical regression analysis revealed no main effect for preferring loud and energetic music on cannabis use. In addition, no moderating effects for gender or aggression were found, nor a mediation effect for peer group homogeneity. However, results indicated that adolescents preferring Pop music used less cannabis and that peer group homogeneity in liking Pop music enhanced this effect. Future studies with longitudinal research designs are needed to further investigate the causality of these relations.