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Peer Pressure

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Anmol Boparai

on 14 January 2014

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Transcript of Peer Pressure

Peer Pressure
What is peer pressure?
The definition of peer pressure is "influence from members of one's peer group". A peer, someone in your own age group, is pushing you to make a certain decision, good or bad.
Types of Peer Pressure
Pressure to conform can be felt by friends, enemies, acquaintances and even from you. Whenever you do something to fit in, you are peer pressured. Some types of peer pressure include:
pressure to be fashion conscious
changes in attitude
social activities
dating and sex
treating other students badly
drugs and alcohol
Positive Peer Pressure
Positive peer pressure can be used to help someone improve their health and social life. Friends can push their friends to do great things and excel. Some examples of positive peer pressure are:
encouragement to stop smoking
pressure to stop any illegal activity such as underage drinking or drug intake
support in stopping situations that may be damaging health such as bad eating habits or unhealthy relationships
encouragement to try new things
Negative Peer Pressure
Negative peer pressure is more common than positive peer pressure. Negative peer pressure involves friends negatively influencing each other. People feel uncomfortable because they are pressured to do something in order to fit in and not stand out. Some examples of negative peer pressure are:
pressure to try drugs, alcohol, or cigarettes
pressure to have sex, either by a partner or friends
stealing or shoplifting
ditching school to do something else with friends
cheating on tests, copying assignments or letting others copy your own work
illegal actions such as driving unlicensed or speeding
pressure to dress a certain way that may be uncomfortable
pressure to exclude, ignore, or not be friends with certain people
How to Avoid Negative Peer Pressure
By: Anmol Boparai
Direct Negative Peer Pressure
Direct negative peer pressure, or spoken pressure, is when friends directly ask someone to do something. This form is more powerful because it is difficult to resist. When something is directly asked, there is a lot of pressure on the teen and it is hard to say no. A teen is afraid of the risk of losing their friends if they do not do what their friends are asking.
Indirect Negative Peer Pressure
Indirect negative peer pressure, or unspoken pressure, is not as powerful but can still greatly influence the decisions a teen makes. Indirect peer pressure is when a teen sees what other teens are saying or doing. Trying to fit in, the teen follows the crowd. They act a certain way because everyone else is doing it. No one had specifically asked the teen to do something but it's an unspoken pressure they feel to fit in. This type of pressure may seem easier to resist but it is just as difficult since the teen may feel they aren't "cool" if they don't do what others are doing
In order to be considered "cool" teens are required to have the latest fashion trends. Since their friends are all wearing the same clothes teens may wear clothes they are not comfortable in because of the fear of not fitting in.
A teen's attitude may change according to how their friends feel as it is easy to pick up the same attitude as your friends. If your friends no longer care about their grades and decide to skip class, you may find yourself following them because you don't want to be left out.
When friends join a certain team or club, teens are pressured to join it as well. They may hear about how much fun their friends are having and feel left out so they join for fear that their friends may have fun without them and leave them.
Teens are often pressured to have a boyfriend or a girlfriend by their friends. They may not even want a relationship, but agree to one because everyone else is in a relationship. The pressure for sex may be from the teen's friends or partner. A teen may feel that they need to lose their virginity to be considered "cool", or need to make love in order to prove they actually like that person.
Whoever a teen hangs out with determines their status symbol. If the group does not like another group or specific person, a teen may be pressured into treating that group or individual in a rude manner. The teen does not have a real reason to be mean to the group or individual, but all their friends are doing it so the teen is pressured to follow along.
Drugs and alcohol are easy to be pressured into doing because it seems like everybody else is doing it. A teen may not realize the harmful affects, not to mention the fact that it is illegal, and may just engage in drugs and alcohol in an effort to fit in. This can have serious long-term affects, such as addictiveness.
Why Peer Pressure Works
The Effects of Peer Pressure
For most teens, the primary goal during adolescence is to be a member of a peer group. It is important for teens to feel the sense of belonging and social acceptance. This is why the influences of peer pressure play a huge part in what experiences and interests teenagers partake in. Searching for their identity and how they want to define themselves is very strong at this stage of development for teenagers.
Peer interaction and social influences are two factors that form the teen into what they want to be. Fear of isolation, inadequacy, shame and ridicule, and the need to bond are factors that contribute to peer pressure.
Teens are vulnerable to peer pressure because they are trying to figure out their place, many truly care what their peers and friends think of them, they believe life is easier if they act like others, and acceptance satisfies their need of belonging.
There are ways to avoid negative peer pressure and get in control of your life. These include:
choosing your friends wisely
using an excuse
saying "no"
seeking support
confronting the issue
being true to you

Positive and negative peer pressure have huge impacts on a teenager's life on things such as academics or family life.
Positive peer pressure might improve grades, improve confidence, or result in trying more things or getting involved in school. Negative peer pressure might lower school attendance, drop grades, impact ability to get into college, or change group of friends.
Positive peer pressure might help relationships, result in more time with family , and improve communication.
Negative peer pressure might increase distance from family members, result in less time spent at home, increase negative behaviors or attitude, and hurt communication.
There are two main dangers peer pressure can cause:
mental
physical
For some teens, no matter how much they change, they'll never be good enough. Trying too hard to fit in can cause low self esteem.
Drugs, alcohol, sex, and dares put the lives of many teenagers to risk, as they believe "everyone else is doing it".
If teens do not listen to their instincts and only do what their friends say there are many harmful affects, such as:
very tense relationship with parents
drinking or drug use
accident victim
truancy
drinking and driving
physical injury
pregnancy
health issues (such as sexually transmitted diseases)
When surrounded by positive friends, teens choose positive choices and increase their confidence and self-esteem.
However, negative peer pressure harms self-esteem, influences clear decision making, and increases stress. This leads to harmful or dangerous behaviours with serious consequences.
Some Statistics
according to The Canadian Lung Association, "my friends smoke" and "I thought it was cool" are two of the main reasons those between the ages of 12 and 17 have started smoking
in Canada, 23 per cent of people aged 15 to 19 smoke regularly, even though it is illegal for people under the age of 19 to buy cigarettes
70% of teens who smoke started smoking because of peer pressure
teens with friends who do drugs and drink alcohol are more likely to do the same
teens who do drugs and drink alcohol are more likely to convince their friends to do it too
82% had smoked marijuana because most or all of their friends had done so
teens who had at least two friends who smoked were more than six times as likely to become smokers than those whose friends didn't smoke
1/3 of teenage males feel pressure from their friends to have sex
44% of teens want more information on how to handle pressure to have sex and how to know when they are ready to have sex
46% of parents have not discussed with their teens how to handle pressure to have sex
•44% of teens drive better without friends in the car

•the Mayo Clinic says that teens with friends who self-injure are more likely to self-injure as well

23% of teenage girls are pressured into having sex
25% of teen girls are pressured into drugs and alcohol
41% of teen girls are pressured to be mean to others
44% of girls are pressured to lie, steal or cheat
67% of teen girls pressured into dressing a certain way
Discussion Questions
Why do you think peer pressure is an especially strong force and more common in the life of a teen as opposed to adults or young children?
Do you think boys and girls experience different types and levels of peer pressure?

Why do you think peer pressure is so often associated with negative behaviour?

Why do you think it’s so difficult for teenagers to withstand peer pressure and say no?

Do you think peer pressure is a fact of life, or can it be eliminated?
Thanks for listening(:
By: Anmol Boparai
Full transcript