Review of Related Literature
Alice Langholt, (2012), wrote: “Some of the main causes of peer pressure are related to age-appropriate behavior. Adolescents develop a strong desire to fit in with their peers and be accepted by them. This desire makes adolescent peer pressure tough to resist. Peer pressure occurs when group of people force each other to go along with certain beliefs and behaviors. The group approves of the followers and sometimes harshly disapproves of those who don’t fall in line. The consequences of being rejected by one’s peers are embarrassment and shame, both very negative emotions for teens. Simply agreeing with the group’s attitudes usually isn’t enough; teens have to prove themselves by backing their words with actions. Teens may be unwilling to speak up because they’re afraid to lose a friendship with one of these leaders or because they fear losing their status in the group.”
Further, Langholt affirms, “Teens with few boundaries or rules at home are far more prone to peer pressure than those with firm expectations and strict rules. Parents have a surprisingly strong influence on teens.” Parents who are involved in their children’s lives give their children the confidence to stand up to their peers. Teens don’t expect their peers top respect them for standing up for themselves, but most who do find that they are respected. If a group rejects a teen for resisting the pressure, that teen is often strong enough to find a different peer group that will be more positive.
Michelle Borba, (2012), shared, “Pals play an enormous part of our kids’ self-esteem, and research also reveals that who our kids support can affect their study habits and their overall academic success. The truth of the matter is that peer pressure can have both positive and negative consequences on a child’s education. If your child chooses friends who believe that education is important, chances are he/she will adopt those attitudes and put more emphasis into hitting the books harder and focusing more in class. On the flip side, if your child is best buddies with a kid who stays distracted during class, doesn’t turn in homework assignments, and rarely studies before a big test, chances are he/she will fall in line with their bad habbits.”
An Ohio State University study found that kids are more likely to have friends with future college plans if they have a warm, positive relationship with their parents. Hence, this study will include the parent’s support and encouragement as one of the variables in this research.
Borkar (2011) states that, “Peer pressure can be very trying for both teens and their parents. It is difficult to deal with situations whereby you are forced to try something that you might not necessarily want to, due to the pressure of “fitting in”. This seems like a compulsion, because if you do not do what peers demand of you, the fear of being alone is paramount. And that is one of the main reasons why people give in to peer pressure. If one looks at some of the statistics of peer pressure, one will be convinced of this fact. Peer pressure can happen at any time in our lives, but it affects adolescents and teens primarily, because most of them have not developed the ability to distinguish between what is right and what is wrong at their age. Thus, many teens fall under peer pressure and take to things that can only be termed as “bad habits” in our society”
Here are some statistics on Peer Pressure.
30% of teens are offered drugs in high schoold and middle school. (Adolescent Substance Abuse Knowledge Base) 3.1 million American teens smoke. (American Lung Association) Of these, 25% of 17 and 18 years old smoke daily.
The Kaiser Foundation states that near 50% of adolescents between the ages of 12 - 18 feel pressured into having sex in relationships. Teens are infected by 4 million new STDs every year. (Allan Guttamacher Institute) The National Household...