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MP3 Players and Hearing Loss: Adolescents' Perceptions of Loud Music and Hearing Conservation

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Author: Vogel, I. · Brug, J. · Hosli, E.J. · Ploeg, C.P.B. van der · Raat, H.
Institution: TNO Kwaliteit van Leven
Source:Journal of Pediatrics, 3, 152
Identifier: 240695
doi: doi:10.1016/j.jpeds.2007.07.009
Keywords: Health · Jeugd en Gezondheid · adolescent · adult · article · female · hearing · hearing loss · human · loudness · male · music · perception · priority journal · school child · sound transmission · Adolescent · Age Distribution · Auditory Fatigue · Auditory Threshold · Child · Cohort Studies · Ear Protective Devices · Female · Focus Groups · Hearing Loss, Noise-Induced · Humans · Incidence · Male · Music · Netherlands · Risk Assessment · Rural Population · Sex Distribution · Tape Recording · Urban Population · Healthy for Life · Healthy Living


Objective: To explore adolescents' behaviors and opinions about exposure to loud music from MP3 players. Study design: We conducted a qualitative analysis of focus-group discussions with adolescents aged 12 to 18 years from 2 large secondary schools (1 urban and 1 rural) for pre-vocational and pre-university education. The semi-structured question route was theoretically framed within the protection motivation theory. Results: Most adolescents-especially male students and students from pre-vocational schools-indicated that they often played their MP3 players at maximum volume. Although they appeared to be generally aware of the risks of exposure to loud music, they expressed low personal vulnerability to music-induced hearing loss. Most adolescents said that they would not accept any interference with their music-exposure habits. Conclusions: Interventions should target students from pre-vocational schools and should focus on increasing adolescents' knowledge of the risks of loud music and how to protect themselves. Besides hearing education for adolescents and technical modifications of MP3 players, volume-level regulations for MP3 players may be warranted. © 2008 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.