This literature review will be discussed on music affecting coping mechanisms through various groups of people. A look at articles supporting the use of musical therapy for groups including psychiatric patients, hardships through stress, adolescents and chronic illness through various experiments and studies is analyzed. This matters in our society due to the various experiments resulting positively in the effects of musical therapy on coping mechanisms. An explanation of the experiments along with the results will justify that musical therapy is a significant form of coping.
Music and Coping
The article, Sad music as a means for acceptance-based Coping, discusses listening to sad music over happy, upbeat music in times of coping. Prior to reading the article, it would be logical to assume that listening to upbeat music when sad could have an overall positive affect on an individual trying to cope. In this experiment, subjects were asked questions about when they were faced with times in need of coping and if happy or sad music helped them to an acceptance state. Two studies were conducted: In Study 1, participants recalled how happy or sad the music sounds that the subjects normally listen to for consolation, and if they listen to this music to gain acceptance of their negative situations.
In Study 2, participants reported their goals when listening to sad music during a recalled time in which they experienced a negative life situation and whether this lead to acceptance. In total of both of these studies, there were 230 participants. Previous research within this study indicated that people prefer happy music in general, but seek out sad music more readily when dealing with negative situations (Van Den Tol, n/d). The conclusions this study drew were that people do seek out listening to sad music when dealing with negative life situations as a way to cope. A reason for this may be that sad music matches the current mood of a subject, and the reaffirmation that someone else is also feeling the way they feel can empathize and consult the subject.
The article, Coping with change: the supportive role of the music therapist, explores how music therapy provides support for clients and families as they deal with difficult life changes, for example a form of illness, disability, or social change. Clients and families are thus better able to cope with the present, and then to move into the future with greater confidence through the results of musical therapy positively impacting clients attitude’s towards life after dealing with such hardships (Bright R 2006). The importance of musical therapy with relations to coping is important to use in future research to create a positive impact on coping mechanisms.
Musical Therapy in relation to Psychiatric Patient Coping
The article, Effects of verbal Processing on Psychiatric Patients’ Proactive Coping Skills Using Recreational Music Therapy by Sarah Pitts, discusses how verbal processing of music therapy affected psychiatric patients’ knowledge and use of coping skills. The researchers conducted a quasi-randomized controlled design with 75 participants within the psychiatric facility to collect data on their coping skills through musical therapy. The researches then collected data at pretest, post release, and at one month after releasing the patient. “The researchers isolated verbal processing within recreational music therapy sessions to determine if the verbal-processing component affected proactive coping and patients’ use of coping skills” (Pitts 2015). Results indicated no significant between-group differences in patients’ proactive coping scores. This indicates there is no true significance between music and coping mechanisms which shows how music does not affect a patients. This study could have been conducted more efficiently with more participants selected because it may have leaded to results that were somewhat significant due to a larger sample size.
The article, Influence of Music Therapy on Coping Skills and Anger Management in Forensic Psychiatric Patients: An Exploratory Study examines the effect of music therapy on anger management and coping skills. An explorative study is presented and in within this, a pretest and post-test design was used with a random assignment of patients to either treatment or control condition. There were fourteen participants’ complete datasets that were collected, and all participants received what they believed to be “treatment as usual.” Nine of the participants received a standardized, music therapy anger management program; the five controls received, unplanned, an aggression management program. Results suggested that anger management skills improved for all participants. (Hakvoort 2015).
The improvement of positive coping skills and diminishing of avoidance as a coping skill were measured to show greater changes in the music therapy participants. When controlling for the exact number of treatment hours, a controlled factor within this experiment, the results suggested that music therapy accelerated the process of behavioral changes in coping with anger management in psychiatric patients. This study is useful for psychiatric wards because both studies examine the use of musical therapy and the positive improvements on the patient’s. The significance of these studies can improve the help with psychiatric patients in the future.
Music in relation to Stress Coping
The article, Coping with Work-Related Stress through Guided Imagery and Music (GIM): Randomized Controlled Trial, researched long-term stress-related sick leave is a serious health and economic threat on both workers and society. The objective of the study was to examine the effects of Guided Imagery and music (GIM), a psychotherapy that includes relaxation, music listening, and imagery, to relieve work-related stress. (Beck, 2015). The way this study worked was twenty Danish workers on sick leave were randomized to music therapy versus wait-list control. The control group in this study is helpful as a direct comparison to the group that would receive the treatment, therefore making it easier for researchers to conclude results.
Data for this experiment was carried out at an occupational health ward through the years 2008-2010. Changes in testosterone and melatonin in the subjects was examined, and self-reported data on psychological stress symptoms were collected. In the whole sample, 83% of the participants had returned to work at nine weeks’ follow-up after the end of the experiment. The conclusions show that the results indicate that GIM is a promising treatment for work-related chronic stress, and that listening to music can positively benefit a person with work-related stress (Beck 2015). Although further research should be conducted, this study is a step in the right direction for the use of musical therapy within the future. This study could have also included a larger sample size for more accurate results, and further research should be conducted to do so.
The article, Coping with Stress: The Effectiveness of Different Types of Music, examines listening to classical and self-selected relaxing music after exposure to a stressor. It was hypothesized that this study would result in significant reductions in anxiety, anger, and increased relaxation in comparison to those who sit in silence or listen to heavy metal music. (Labbé E. 2007). The sampling included 56 college students who were then exposed to different types of music genres after taking a stressful test. To test this, several 4 × 2 mixed design analyses of variance were conducted to determine the effects of music and silence conditions (heavy metal, classical, and silence).
Also, time (pre–post music) on emotional state and arousal from the music was collected. Results indicated that listening to classical music, after exposure to a stressor, significantly reduces negative emotional states and arousal compared to listening to heavy metal music or silence. This study would be stronger with a pre-test examining the stress levels of subjects pre-experiment. This factor could have had an impact on the results from the experiment if subjects were to have high stress levels prior to the exam that could have affected the results.
Coping Mechanisms in Adolescents through Musical Therapy
Adolescents are actively engaged in the use of music listening as a coping resource to maintain emotional stability. The article, Blue notes: Coping by music listening predicts neuroticism changes in adolescence aimed to examine adolescents with musical therapy conducted a study to examine if interactions between 3 styles of coping by music listening could predict changes in adolescent anxiety. This 2-wave longitudinal study followed 336 adolescent girls and boys over a period of six months. Overall, the results indicated that avoidance coping by music listening may represent a short-term risk/precipitating factor of increasing anxiety in adolescence (Miranda 2010). The use of a longitudinal study for this experiment is beneficial in the fact that the effects of music listening could be examined randomly throughout this six month period. The sampling size of this study is also beneficial because the results cover a greater variety of adolescents which accounts for variation between the subjects.
The article Music listening, coping, peer affiliation and depression in adolescence focuses on musical therapy within the subjects of adolescents. This study was conducted with 418 French-Canadian adolescents from Montréal with three objectives: to find empirical evidence that music listening in adolescence can lead to peer affiliation, secondly to find out whether styles of coping by music listening are related to depression levels in adolescence, and lastly to examine whether depression levels in adolescents and coping by music listening with relations between metal music preference and depression levels in adolescent girls. This study was conducted with self-reporting and the results indicated that music preferences and depression levels of participants are related to those of their peers (Miranda D 2009). Results were also indicated that metal music listening is related to greater depression levels in girls only if they affiliate with peers that are more depressed. This means that girls are more influenced by their peers’ depression levels when listening to metal music.
Music Therapy and Coping in Relation to Chronic Diseases
The article Coping with Multiple Sclerosis: a Music Therapy Viewpoint, introduces the use of music therapy with people experiencing the chronic degenerative neurological condition, Multiple Sclerosis (MS). The Three factors influencing a person successfully coping are their style of coping used, perception of control over life events, and their sense of self factors relevant to the coping process (Steele 2005). Coping strategies identified within sessions included active, avoidant, and acceptance and positive reactions to the music therapy in regards to coping. Music therapy sessions also examined factors of control and sense of self in patients which are crucial towards the coping process. The results indicated that musical therapy in MS patients can increase the healthy traits of the person, and have implications towards the coping process. This study only focused on three MS patients which makes the results hard to generalize with all MS patients. Due to this, further research on musical therapy in the coping of MS patients should be studied.
The article, Active Music Engagement with Emotional-Approach Coping to Improve Well-being in Liver and Kidney Transplant Recipients, studies liver and kidney transplant recipients who experienced emotional distress following their procedure. The study evaluated the impact of music therapy with and without a specific emphasis on a emotional-approach type of coping. This experiment was a randomized, controlled trial aimed to use active music engagement with emotional-approach coping to improve well-being in 29 liver and kidney transplant recipients. The results indicated that music therapy using Emotional-Approach Coping led to significant increases in positive affect (Ghetti 2011). The use of music therapy led to significant decreases in pain with both conditions: with and without emphasis on emotional-approach coping, and also led to significant decreases in stress and anxiety. Liver and kidney transplants are rare, so the sampling size with this study is promising in the results. The use of musical therapy for these subjects improved the post-transplant experience and this method of coping can be used for other recipients in the future.
Overall, majority of the articles within this literature review support the use of musical therapy for positive coping mechanisms. These articles display a variety of different people, genders, and circumstances that should be taken into consideration when working with musical therapy. Musical therapy can be used in various situations to improve attitude’s and characteristics of people facing hardships.