Effects of Rap Music

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Level of exposure to rap music videos, the predictor variable, was determined by asking adolescents to estimate the number of hours they viewed rap music videos during an average day. This was multiplied by the number of days in the week that rap music videos were viewed. Music video viewing characteristics assessed included the primary type of rap music videos viewed (gangsta, bass, or hip-hop), with whom adolescents usually viewed rap music videos, and where the rap music videos were viewed. Covariates assessed included age, employment status, involvement in extracurricular activities, participation in religious events, family composition, family’s receipt of public assistance, parental monitoring of adolescents’ whereabouts,5 and group assignment to either the HIV intervention or the comparison condition. Outcomes

Health risk behaviors assessed whether adolescents had hit a teacher, been involved in a fight, been arrested, used alcohol or drugs (either tranquilizers, marijuana, amphetamines, lysergic acid diethylamide [LSD], cocaine, or crack), had multiple sex partners, or used condoms. Adolescents were also tested for 3 sexually transmitted diseases (chlamydia, trichomoniasis, and gonorrhea).6–8 Data Analysis

Univariate analyses described music video viewing characteristics at baseline. Subsequent bivariate analyses examined the relations among adolescents’ level of exposure to rap music videos at baseline, potential covariates, and the occurrence of health risk behaviors over the 12-month follow-up. Health risk behaviors and covariates significantly associated (P < .05) with exposure to rap music videos in bivariate analyses were included in logistic regression analyses. A separate logistic regression analysis was conducted to examine the relation between level of exposure to rap music videos at baseline and the occurrence of each health risk behavior over the 12-month follow-up. All logistic regression analyses controlled for covariates and the corresponding baseline health risk behavior.9 Go to:

RESULTS
The study enrolled 522 single African American females. Of those enrolled, 92.2% completed 12-month follow-up assessments. Descriptive statistics on adolescents’ exposure to rap music videos are illustrated in Table 1 . The median hours of exposure to rap music videos per week at baseline and at 6- and 12-month follow-up were 14 hours, 14 hours, and 12 hours, respectively, suggesting relatively stable viewing habits. Greater exposure to rap music videos was associated with unemployment and less parental monitoring; therefore, these variables and group assignment were used as covariates in the logistic regression analyses.

TABLE 1—
Adolescents’ Exposure to Rap Music Videos (N = 522): Birmingham, Ala, 1999 Over the 12-month follow-up, 37.6% acquired a new sexually transmitted disease, 4.8% hit a teacher, 12.1% reported being arrested, 14.8% had sexual intercourse with someone other than their steady partner, 44.2% reported using drugs, and 44.4% consumed alcohol. Logistic regression analyses illustrated that after controlling for covariates, greater exposure to rap music videos was independently associated with a broad spectrum of health outcomes. Compared with adolescents who had less exposure to rap music videos, adolescents who had greater exposure to rap music videos were 3 times more likely to have hit a teacher; more than 2.5 times as likely to have been arrested; 2 times as likely to have had multiple sexual partners; and more than 1.5 times as likely to have acquired a new sexually transmitted disease, used drugs, and used alcohol over the 12-month follow-up period (Table 2 ).

TABLE 2—
Unadjusted and Adjusted Analyses Measuring the Association Between Exposure to Rap Music Videos and Adolescents’ Health at 12-Month Follow-Up: Birmingham, Ala, 1999–2000 Go to:
DISCUSSION
This is one of the first studies to empirically show that greater exposure to rap music videos at baseline was prospectively...
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