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January 13, 2010

Rebellious young listeners

Young MP3 listeners fail to heed warnings from others about the risk to their hearing. Many respond by turning the volume even louder.

Rebellious young listeners

If you pressure young MP3 listeners to make them turn down sound levels and take care of their hearing, they are likely to rebel and turn it up instead, according to a limited U.S. study. It makes no difference whether the warnings come from parents or peers.

Even if they are aware of the dangers to their hearing, teenagers are unlikely to change their habits. Those expressing the greatest concern about the risk of suffering hearing loss, are the ones most likely to listen to their music at the highest volume.

Not surprisingly, the risk of hearing loss was found to be less among those understanding the advantages of listening at moderate volume. As a result, Cory Portnuff of the University of Colorado at Boulder, Colorado, the lead researcher behind the study, pointed to the need to impart this understanding in teenagers.

Thirty teenagers from the Denver and Boulder area of Colorado took part in the study. Numerous previous studies have documented the risks of hearing damage among teenagers when listening to loud music on personal stereos.


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