Music intervention for 5th and 6th graders—effects on development and cortisol secretion

Authors

  • Frank Lindblad,

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Psychosocial Factors and Health, Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
    2. National Institute for Psychosocial Medicine (IPM), Stockholm, Sweden
    • National Institute for Psychosocial Medicine, Box 230, S-17177 Stockholm, Sweden
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  • Åsa Hogmark,

    1. Division of Psychosocial Factors and Health, Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
    2. National Institute for Psychosocial Medicine (IPM), Stockholm, Sweden
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  • Töres Theorell

    1. Division of Psychosocial Factors and Health, Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
    2. National Institute for Psychosocial Medicine (IPM), Stockholm, Sweden
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Abstract

Objective: To investigate effects of increased music education for 5–6th graders.

Design, subjects and interventions: During the school year 1 hour music education was added each week for two classes. These were compared with classes receiving 1 hour extra data education and classes following ordinary curriculum.

Outcome measures: Questionnaires: Students were given ‘I think I am’ (measuring self-esteem) and Social Anxiety Scale for Children-Revised (SASC-R) (measuring social anxiety). Parents were given Social Phobia and Anxiety Inventory-Parental version (SPAI-P) (measuring social phobia) and Child Behaviour Check List (CBCL) (measuring psychopathology).

Biological measures: Saliva samples for cortisol were collected on three occasions during the school year, each day four samples (at awakening, 30min later, 1h after lunch, before going to bed).

Results: The music intervention group had significantly (F = 4.98, p = 0.01) lowered levels of cortisol during the afternoon at the end of the school year. Interaction (group and time) analyses concerning afternoon cortisol levels were not significant (F = 1.97, p = 0.11). There were no significant differences over time within or between the groups on the psychological instruments.

Conclusions: Even if not conclusive, the findings suggest that the music intervention may have been of benefit. For a full-scale investigation larger study groups are recommended and special attention to the specificity of interventions and to motivating non-intervention classes for participating. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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