After conducting research on a sample of 551 college students, the latest study published in the Psychology of Popular Media Culture journal has found that the majority of heavy metal fans tends to suffer from "significantly higher levels of anxiety and depression."
Conducted by psychologists Gavin Ryan Shafron of Columbia University and Mitchell Karno of the University Of California-Los Angeles, the analysis had a goal of examinig the "emotional states of late adolescent/emerging adult contemporary listeners of heavy metal music as compared with nonlisteners."
315 students, or 57 percent of the population sample declared themselves as metal fans, putting metalheads in the clear majority. PS Mag reports that hardcore fans scored the highest level of anger, anxiety and depression, while ironically, emo fans were described as the most depressive ones. Elevated anxiety was also noted among screamo and classic heavy metal listeners.
"We hypothesized that participants who listen to heavy metal music would report higher levels of depression, anxiety, and trait anger as compared with participants who do not listen to heavy metal music," states the study abstract. "As predicted, analyses of variance indicated significantly higher levels of anxiety and depression among listeners of heavy metal/hard rock music as compared with nonlisteners."
"Analyses of specific subgenres of heavy metal indicated significant differences on measures of dysphoric mood between nonlisteners and listeners of several, but not all of the subgenres. These findings help to establish an emotional profile of a predominantly adolescent sample of heavy metal/hard rock listeners."