Study protocol RapMusicTherapy for emotion regulation in a school setting.


The growing risk of the development of problem behaviors in adolescents (ages 10-15) requires effective methods for prevention, supporting self-regulative capacities. Music listening as an effective self-regulative tool for emotions and behavioral adaptation for adolescents and youth is widely studied. However, music therapy enhancing the development of emotion regulation skills in schools is rare. The application of rap in clinical cases of music therapy appears to have a beneficial regulative effect on this population. The aim of this study is to investigate the performance of RapMusicTherapy (RMT) in a non-clinical, school-based program to support self-regulative abilities for well-being and to reduce the risk of low grades attributable to troubled mental health at an early stage. All adolescents in Grade 8 of a public school will be invited to participate, and randomly assigned, either to RMT or to regular classes. RMT will be applied once a week during 4 months. After obtaining written informed consent by parents, measurements will take place at baseline (start of study), after 4 months (end of RMT) and again after 4 months without RMT (follow-up). Primary outcome data include measures of psychological well-being, emotion regulation, self-esteem, self-description, language development, executive functioning and the rest-activity rhythm. Secondary outcome data consist of subjective experiences of participants, collected in follow-up interviews with experimental group respondents. RMT is developed for application in school-based settings. This is the first study to focus on RMT as an intervention for emotion regulation in order to evaluate the effects of rap on the self-regulative capacities of adolescents, in support of their well-being. This study protocol aims to outline the method and procedures involved, and to increase attention and awareness of the potential for collaborations involving music, therapy and education for future investigations.