Effects of Peer Pressure on Teenagers

 Posted on: 1 September 2015    Youth Corner

Effects of Peer Pressure on TeenagersPeer pressure is social pressure by members of ones peer group to take a certain action, adopt certain values or otherwise conform in order to be accepted. It could also be seen as an influence of a group that encourages teenagers or people to act in a certain manner, change their attitudes, behavior and values in order for them to be fully accepted in their group. It is common with the youths because they are the ones who spend more time with their friends or classmates in school.

Some people cannot stand alone or can’t stand by themselves, so they search for a group of people that they can be with or they can rely on.

Peer pressure is all about being accepted by the group. Just like adults, teenagers too get caught in the mesh of this urge to fit in. In the process they often fail to realize that they might be indulging in activities that they are either directly or potentially harmful to their well-being.

There are different forms of peer pressure; direct, indirect and individual. Direct peer pressure is a teenager or group of teenagers actually telling another teenager what he/she should be doing or what is okay to do. Indirect peer pressure is not necessarily verbal peer pressure but optical peer pressure. One teenager who is hanging out with a group of friends who smoke or do drugs is exposed to this kind of negative behaviour and may think it is acceptable. Individual peer pressure is trying too hard to fit in and doing things because other people doing them.

Peer pressure can be positive or negative, but mostly it is negative. Nowadays, peer pressure is portrayed as negative and really has bad effects on teenagers.

Positive effects of peer pressure could include;

Adopting good habits: Positive peer pressure can help you reflect on your actions and amend your ways to become a better individual. Observing others working hard to achieve their goals will definitely encourage you to step up your game and strive towards something positive. When a teen knows that his/her team-mates are practising hard to become a better basketball player, then it will directly affect his own performance. He will put in twice the time and energy to raise the level of his game and ensure he has a place in the team. Similarly, a kid who knows that his best friend aces English because he regularly reads story books will feel compelled to read as well.

Having a group that exerts positive peer pressure can also help you give up bad habits and pick up healthy ones that can shape both your personality and your future. A change in perspective about life and motivation to do well because of pressure from your peers can actually become inspiration in that instance.

Positive effects of peer pressure also include doing well in school, eating healthy, exercising, and joining after school programs and much more.

Negative effects of peer pressure on the other hand include;

Shoplifting, we can hear it on the news, on the radio or television that many teenagers are involved in this crime. They do it because of their friends are doing it and they think that is the way to “fit in” the group they want to join. Some do shoplifting because of initiation in the group. Based on what I have researched, initiation is a rite of passage ceremony making entrance or acceptance into a group. Teenagers are now in trouble because of doing this crime. Parents should be aware in guiding their children.

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