PSYC4020 6.00D Seminar in Social Psychology
April 6, 2011
Peer Pressure during Adolescence
This paper will discuss aspects of peer pressure during adolescence. Peer pressure is defined as the social influence that others have on an individual, in this case adolescents. The pressure is applied in order to get an individual to believe or act in a certain way. The form of peer pressure is acted out by ones peer group against other peers and as a result it leads to a change of behavior.
According to Erik Erikson (1973) theory of social development, the adolescent stage is categorized as the transition from childhood to adulthood. The term teenagers can also be used to describe adolescents as well. Erik Erickson (1973) defines that in this stage adolescents struggle with social interactions in an attempt to find their own identity. To elaborate further, Erikson (1973) proposed that most adolescents strive to achieve a sense of identity in regards to who they are and the direction that they take in life.
Types of Peer Pressure
There are three main types of peer pressure which are categorized as positive, neutral and negative peer pressure (Bernstein, 2005). Positive peer pressure is described as the circumstances in which peers persuade and promote beneficial actions for one another. For instance, having a friend to persuade another teenager to stay home and study for an exam. Neutral peer pressure occurs naturally, it is described as the tendency to follow a crowd which does not perform harm to oneself or others. An example of neutral peer pressure is when friends encourage a teenager to go to a movie that each have been excited to see. Although positive and neutral peer pressure has major influences on an adolescent, this paper will focus mainly on negative peer pressure. Negative peer pressure occurs when a group persuade someone into doing something harmful or making a... [continues]
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