Date of Award

Spring 2024

Degree Type




Director of Thesis

Elizabeth Myers

Second Reader

Amber Fallucca


Many college students face stress, anxiety, and/or depression in their daily lives which they cope with in their own ways. Listening to music or playing an instrument are particularly powerful forms of coping that can have a plethora of positive effects on an individual. The purpose of this study was to conduct a survey amongst the University of South Carolina student body to determine how they utilize music to cope in their daily lives. Of 847 respondents, almost all of them reported experiencing some extent of anxiety and/or stress and listening to music to help them cope. Respondents agreed that the lyrics and sound of the music help them to cope more than feeling like the artist or other people relate to the song in the same way. Other interesting findings included relationships between frequency of stress, anxiety, and/or depression symptoms and the type of coping utilized; increased depression and lack of social connection in the senior class; greater extent of anxiety and stress in females and gender differences in type of coping used; and differences in the genre of music used to cope by respondents with different personality traits. Due to the ability of music to improve mood and mental health, pain during and after medical treatment, and so much more, mental health practitioners and physicians should incorporate music into their practices more often. The results of this survey revealed sub-groups that could benefit most from the use of music for coping as well as trends that would allow use of music in clinical settings to be tailored to individuals with different ages, genders, personality types, and frequency of stress, anxiety, and/or depression.

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© 2024, Karly Pikel

Thesis Survey Handout (1).pdf (178 kB)
This handout is a summary of key results of the survey and recommendations for mental health professionals and/or physicians on ways to incorporate music into their practice.