Indicators of Self-Determination in Therapeutic Songwriting Lyrics Created by Adults with High LDL Cholesterol
Journal of Music Therapy
Individuals with low-density lipoprotein cholesterol ≥ 190 mg/dL are at high risk for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease events. Our goal was to determine if adults with this condition would express important psychological, health, and motivation themes when generating lyrics during music therapy. Thirty-one participants each created their own original song with the help of a music therapist. The lyrics were analyzed using a deductive approach guided by Self-Determination Theory (specifically the satisfaction or frustration of basic psychological needs): (1) for each entire song (macro-analysis) and (2) line-by-line (micro-analysis). Song lyrics generated during music therapy sessions by patients with a low-density lipoprotein cholesterol ≥ 190 mg/dL revealed the presence of the three basic needs (autonomy, competence, and relatedness) of Self-Determination Theory. The most prevalent theme identified in the macro-analysis of songs was autonomy satisfaction, coded in 25 songs (27.17% of all macro codes), and followed by competence satisfaction in 17 songs (18.48%) and relatedness satisfaction in 15 songs (16.3%). Line-by-line micro-analysis of lyrics revealed that at least one basic need of Self-Determination Theory was present in 277 of the unique lyric lines (50%); 107 (19%) for relatedness, 101 (18%) for autonomy, and 69 (13%) for competence. Need satisfaction occurred more frequently than need frustration in both analyses. However, depending on the level of analysis (macro or micro), results differed as to which themes were most prevalent. These results indicate that therapeutic songwriting may be a unique way to identify the basic psychological needs that, when satisfied, indicate self-determination.
Medical Subject Headings
Humans; Adult; Music Therapy (methods); Cholesterol, LDL; Personal Autonomy; Motivation; Personal Satisfaction
Wojdak, C., Silvey, P., Coykendall, C., Lin, Y. S., Bansal, A., Shannon, K., Wagner, H., McIntosh, S., & Block, R. C. (2023). Indicators of Self-Determination in Therapeutic Songwriting Lyrics Created by Adults with High LDL Cholesterol. Journal of Music Therapy, 60 (2), 149-174. https://doi.org/10.1093/jmt/thad001