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Listening to Justin Bieber + One Direction Makes You a Better Person

Justin Bieber and One Direction
GQ / Seventeen

Juvenile delinquency is a blight on this great nation, what with those kids and all their texting and their hippity-hop, but there’s hope for future generations — and all we need to do to straighten them out is make sure they listen to plenty of Justin Bieber and One Direction.

This startling finding comes courtesy of the Atlantic, citing a new study that suggests “Liking music that goes against the mainstream at a young age is a strong predictor of future delinquency in kids.” In other words, the closer to the Top 40 your kids’ tastes skew, the less likely it is that we’re going to have to yell at him to get off our lawn.

There are, admittedly, some caveats — the study in question observed a measly 300 kids, and they were all in the Netherlands, where “acting out” probably means loosening your tie between classes — and really, all things considered, it should be fairly self-evident that youngsters who listen to “noisy, rebellious, nonmainstream” music might also exhibit “noisy, rebellious, nonmainstream” behavior; that was old news even in the ’50s, when parents shielded their daughters’ eyes from Elvis Presley‘s scandalously quivering hips.

Still, as a look at the ways in which we express our willingness to conform (or lack thereof), the report is at least mildly interesting. As the researchers behind the study put it, “Music is the medium that separates mainstream youth from young people who may more easily adopt norm-breaking behaviors” — and although findings like “norm-breaking youth may ‘infect’ their friends with their behavior” are certain to be wildly misinterpreted by panicked parents, that’s kind of what parents are for, right?

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