The music therapy literature supports the use of individualized music in order to reduce problem behaviors among individuals with moderate to severe dementia; however, these interventions frequently rely on family members and/or staff to choose preferred music. Family members and caregivers are often inaccurate when choosing preferred stimuli for cognitively impaired individuals. The purpose of this study was to determine if family members and caregivers could accurately identify the preferred music of individuals with dementia. A single stimulus preference assessment was used to empirically determine preferred music and then these results were compared to family member and caregiver rankings. The results indicated that family members and caregivers were inaccurate in choosing preferred music, suggesting the need for a systematic preference assessment to be added to individualized music interventions.


Jeffrey Buchanan

First Committee Member

Daniel Houlihan

Second Committee Member

Leah Rogne

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)




Social and Behavioral Sciences

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License



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