Humboldt State University

Department of Psychology

Tasha Howe

Tasha R. Howe
Fulbright Fellow
Professor of Psychology

Dr. Tasha Howe's article with Christopher Aberson, Howard Friedman, Sarah Murphy, Esperanza Alcazar, Edwin Vazquez & Rebekah Becker, "Three Decades Later: The Life Experiences and Mid-Life Functioning of 1980s Heavy Metal Groupies, Musicians, and Fans," has won the 2015 International Society for Self and Identity (ISSI) Best Paper Award. Congratulations!

 

"Three Decades Later: The Life Experiences and Mid-Life Functioning of 1980s Heavy Metal Groupies, Musicians, and Fans" Self and Identity 14.5 (2015): 1-25



Abstract:

Research in the 1980s suggested that young “metalheads” were at risk for poor developmental outcomes. No other study has assessed this group as adults; thus, we examined 1980s heavy metal groupies, musicians, and fans at middle age, using snowball sampling from Facebook. Online surveys assessed adverse childhood experiences, personality, adult attachment, and past and current functioning in 377 participants. Results revealed that metal enthusiasts did often experience traumatic and risky “sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll” lives. However, the “metalhead” identity also served as a protective factor against negative outcomes. They were significantly happier in their youth and better adjusted currently than either middle-aged or current college-age youth comparison groups. Thus, participation in fringe style cultures may enhance identity development in troubled youth.

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