Hess, Robyn S

Committee Member

Bardos, Achilles N

Committee Member

Harding, Robert A

Committee Member

Murdock, Jennifer L


Applied Psychology & Counselor Education


University of Northern Colorado

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Greeley (Colo.)


University of Northern Colorado

Date Created





160 pages

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Born digital


The present study investigated the relationship between early adolescents' participation in middle school music programming and behavioral and emotional functioning. Specifically, the association between students' music involvement and the practice of certain healthy behaviors (diet, exercise, seatbelt use, helmet use, and sleep), adaptive skills (interpersonal relations, relationship with parents, self-esteem, and self-reliance) as well as levels of self-efficacy was examined. Based upon previous research demonstrating positive effects of participation in extracurricular activities on the above mentioned constructs, it was hypothesized that similar findings would emerge for those students involved in school-based music programs. The development of health behaviors, adaptive behaviors, and high levels of self-efficacy are thought to be important in preventing and intervening with many of the obstacles youth face educationally, behaviorally, and emotionally. Participants included 207 fifth through eighth grade students from two school districts in Western Massachusetts. Specifically, members of the school music program (band, choir) and a group of their peers who did not participate in the school music program were assessed. All participants completed a demographic questionnaire as well as the following battery of instruments: the Health-enhancing Behaviors Index, the Behavior Assessment System for Children, Second Edition, and the Self-efficacy Scale. Results suggested that students involved in music programming significantly differed in relation to their health behaviors, with music students reporting higher levels of health-enhancing behaviors than non-music students for one school. Groups did not differ in regards to their self-reported levels of adaptive behaviors or self-efficacy. Further, gender, as well as length and breadth of music participation did not appear to contribute to the significant differences in health-enhancing behavior scores. Limitations to the current study and recommendations for future research are discussed as they pertain to music education and adolescent wellness.

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