How much does it cost
“Tonight’s evening news carries a story about eight teenagers who attacked a male jogger in his twenties in a park a mile from my home. At a dinner party with friends I hear about their daughter’s grade nine graduation party where girls offered sex to the boys in exchange for 20$ bags of dope… Girls who attend the private school next to my office amble past my window, smoking. With their pleated tartan uniforms pulled up to look like mini skirts. A fast food outlet near my house has had to hire a security guard to make sure adolescents don’t loiter.” (Ungar 2007) We see a lot of this happening and we ourselves often experience this as well, sometimes in more ways that we realize. We hear the examples all the time, but which area seems to be more affected young teens or adults? The examples always seem more prevalent in the younger teens, skipping school, drugs, bullying and alcohol. But what exactly is peer pressure? According to http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-peer-pressure.htm “Peer pressure is a social influence exerted by others on an individual. The pressure is exerted in order to get someone to act or believe in a similar way. The peer pressure is acted out by a peer group against others, often be in an “everybody’s doing it” kind of way.” We all form different groups of friends as we get older and we usually try and do what it takes to fit in, after all we choose friends that are most compatible with us. The Gale Encyclopedia of Childhood and Adolescence states, ”Peers are the individuals with whom a child or adolescent identifies, who are usually but not always of the same age-group.” (Kagan J., Gall S. (Ed). (1998). The Gale Encyclodpedia of childhood and adolescence. ) So what makes an individual breach personal guidelines to seek a level of acceptance is what comes to mind. In The Beginning
Peer pressure has two forms spoken and unspoken peer pressure, spoken would be if an individual for example was in a gang and in order to fit in that person was told to spray paint a building with the gang logo. Unspoken peer pressure would be in you are hanging with a group of friends and they are all wearing “Silver” jeans, you would feel pressured to have the same jeans as well. But what if you don’t have the money to buy the new jeans, there are some alternatives like working extra hours or possibly resorting to crime and stealing them. Its all about trying to fit in and be cool but to what lengths will this be done at. We see kids being pressured into a lot of things to become one with the in crowd. Smoking for one seems to be very popular. Being popular also ensures to help maintain the friendships we have as well but maintenance of these friendships is equally as important as well. According to (Schneider 2000) There are some things that help hold friendships together. These are a) proximity b) similarity c) tangible support, instrumental assistance d) Intimacy and self disclosure e) trust f) reciprocity g) conflict, conflict resolution and competition. So with all these combined factors it is clear to see that reciprocating a certain groups action can aid in establishing a closer bond amongst peers. More certain with age
But peer pressure doesn’t only affect adolescents it can also affect adults as well. We can see it in aspiring neighborhoods, when a few people pull into the driveways with the new luxury car it is not long until others follow suit. But with everything always indicating we need to do something to belong or to fit in and be part of the group, how can we make a stand? This is something we can control and there are some forms of positive peer pressure as well. Fighting the demons
In regards to overcoming peer pressure some may see this as an impossible task but there are some ways to conquer it and step forward as an individual. As parents we often wonder what can I do as a parent to help by offspring, well there are five strategies (Ungar 2007) 1) Ask them “What is true for you?” 2) Encourage them to shop around 3) celebrate storytelling 4) accept the unusual 5) stop blaming our children’s peers. So with this pressure constantly building up we need to realize that yes we are unique and we need to try and think of the long distance future and how are current actions are affecting this. Go with the flow
There is also the aspect of positive peer pressure as well. ” Peer pressure is not always bad. It can help you analyze yourself and contemplate on your ways of life. Some of the practices that the masses follow may actually teach you the way of living. You may be able to change yourself for the better. Looking at what others do, can help you bring about a positive change in your way of thinking. If you can pick selectively, peer pressure can actually result in a positive change in your way of life. Knowing what the masses follow exposes you to the world outside your home. You understand the things going on around you. You are exposed to a wide variety in human behavior. Exposure to peer pressure gives you an opportunity to think about their tastes and their outlooks towards life. It gives you a chance to choose the best from what the masses do. If you are fortunate to get a good peer group, your peers can play a vital role in the shaping of your personality. Their way of looking at life may influence you to change for betterment. Some of your peers are your close friends, who do not pressurize you to do things but rather inspire you to change yourself. Your peer group may actually persuade you to bring about a constructive change in your personality. Peer pressure can lead you to make the right choices in life.” (Oak M. (2010) Negative and positive affects of peer pressure: Posative effects of peer pressure. Retrieved on December 4, 2010 from http://www.buzzle.com/articles/negative-and-positive-effects-of-peer-pressure.html). By listening to the good things and following through with constructive projects and setting up values and morals and stick to them in doing so you will save yourself the time and avoid heart ache, step back and look at the big picture sometimes fitting in isn’t worth all the pain and heart ache.
(Kagan J., Gall S. (Ed). (1998). The Gale Encyclodpedia of childhood and adolescence. ) Tate, T., & Copas, R. (2010). "Peer Pressure" and the Group Process: Building Cultures of Concern. Reclaiming Children & Youth, 19(1), 12-16. Retrieved from Academic