Adolescent Girls' Experiences of Music Listening and Romance
Siemens, Geraldine Louise
The purpose of this study was to explore the lived experience and meaning of adolescent girls’ music listening experiences as related to romantic experience. Previous research identified mood management as a key use of music listening, and teenage girls were identified as listening to music when they were sad. Popular music’s romantic themes suggested that perhaps adolescent girls use music to explore and reflect upon romantic experiences. Hermeneutic-phenomenology was used to investigate music listening as experienced in everyday life. Data were generated through multiple, in-depth interviews with five adolescent girls aged 17 and 18 years old. Interviews were audio-taped, transcribed and analyzed in keeping with van Manen’s (1990) method of applied hermeneutic-phenomenology. Analysis of the interviews involved hermeneutic phenomenological reflection on the experiences described by the participants and subsequently representing the findings through diary entries of a fictional teenage girl, Sophie, a “composite” character who embodied the thoughts and experiences of each participant, and who gave voice to the lived experiences that the actual participants related to the interviewer. Findings confirmed that adolescent girls’ music listening is a deeply meaningful activity, which in the context of romantic experiences, was associated with celebration, connection, coping, and comfort. The participants used music with intention and in technologically sophisticated ways. Music listening provided participants with a voice to celebrate happy and mourn sad romantic experiences, to normalize experiences of romantic rejection and sadness, to offer comfort that they were “not alone” in their romantic experiences, and to assist them in coping with romantic “break-ups”. Implications for further research as well as counseling practice are noted.
DegreeMaster of Education (M.Ed.)
DepartmentEducational Psychology and Special Education
ProgramEducational Psychology and Special Education
CommitteeMcMullen, Linda; Robinson, Sam
Copyright DateApril 2006