Study Finds Young Heavy Metal Fans Five Time More Likely To Attempt Suicide

Jason Bullinger For Alternative Revolt

According to a new research, young heavy metal fans are five times more likely to self-harm or attempt suicide.

Researchers from the Universities of Manchester and Liverpool conducted a review of 12 English-language papers published in the British Journal Of Clinical Psychology and found that groups belonging to alternative subcultures are at far greater risk of hurting themselves.

“The belief that alternative subcultures may be at an increased risk of self-harm and suicide is considered by some to be a myth,” said Peter Taylor, a clinical psychologist from The University Of Manchester. “But the literature we reviewed does suggest that these individuals are indeed in greater danger. However, this research requires interpretation within the wider context of public concern around alternative subcultures and their impact on the mental health of young people.”

He added: “We’re not saying that doctors should be worrying about everyone wearing a Metallica t-shirt, but if there are also other signs which point towards self harm, then they definitely ask the question.

“Many people become affiliated with these groups because they feel like they don’t fit into society and so face a lot of vulnerabilities. But there also might be victimization and stigma associated with belonging to these subcultures.”

“There is not enough evidence to tell us why it is that people belonging to these subcultures are at greater risk,” said Mairead Hughes from The University Of Liverpool.

“Young people who have faced more adversity may be more likely to become part of a subculture, but this does not seem to fully explain the increased risk,” Hughes said. “Stress associated with being different and belonging to a minority group may also explain some of the risk.”