The 1980s saw a lot of backlash against metal, mainly in the form of Tipper Gore spewing nonsense about censorship in music and how you were all going to turn into Satan and murder the universe or some insane garbage. I can't sink to that level of idiocy.
So I guess the takeaway there is that if you were a metal fan in that decade, you grew up to be a drug addict or murderer, right? Not according to a group of researchers who published a recent study on Taylor and Francis Online! Apparently y'all turned out to be just fine. Here's the abstract of the study, just so you know the sample size and everything.
Research in the 1980s suggested that young “metalheads” were at risk for poor developmental outcomes. No other study has assessed this group as adults; thus, we examined 1980s heavy metal groupies, musicians, and fans at middle age, using snowball sampling from Facebook. Online surveys assessed adverse childhood experiences, personality, adult attachment, and past and current functioning in 377 participants. Results revealed that metal enthusiasts did often experience traumatic and risky “sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll” lives. However, the “metalhead” identity also served as a protective factor against negative outcomes. They were significantly happier in their youth and better adjusted currently than either middle-aged or current college-age youth comparison groups. Thus, participation in fringe style cultures may enhance identity development in troubled youth.
The only real catch here is that the study seemed to attract those who were doing well in life and didn't really touch too much on those who weren't as high-functioning, according to PSMag. The turnout for positivity is still good though! I guess the argument against having only people doing well responding is that not everyone is going to turn out to be a well-adjusted individual over time. That goes for anything- not just metal fans in the 1980s.
Go blast some Def Leppard or something in celebration! Quietly though… in a minivan. You gloriously successful bastards.