“Genuine Medicine”: Effects of a Novel Service-Oriented Music Program on Empathy, Self-Esteem, and Prosocial Behavior in Delinquent Youth

Cao, Erica [Browse]
Senior thesis
72 pages


Comer, Ronald [Browse]
Woolfolk, Robert [Browse]
Princeton University. Department of Psychology [Browse]
Class year
Restrictions note
Walk-in Access. This thesis can only be viewed on computer terminals at the Mudd Manuscript Library.
Summary note
Music intervention programs include various components, such as group musical activities, instrumental skills, improvisation, and music listening, but hitherto, there have been no programs that have incorporated a service component. The present study describes a novel service-oriented program called “Genuine Medicine” that was developed and implemented by the author in the summer of 2012. Two empirical studies were conducted to investigate the effects of the Genuine Medicine program on levels of empathy, self-esteem, and prosocial behavior in delinquent youth. Results suggest that the Genuine Medicine program increases positive attitudes toward the self and toward others (Experiment 1) and may be more effective in strengthening empathy and prosocial behavior compared to a general music program (Experiment 2). Case studies of two youth in the Genuine Medicine program are also presented. Together, the studies speak to the positive social and behavioral effects of the Genuine Medicine program and to the promise of incorporating service components into music intervention programs. The applications and future directions of music interventions and music therapy are discussed. Keywords: music intervention, music therapy, empathy, self-esteem, prosocial behavior

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