Peer pressure is all about the desire to fit into the group. The teen believes that it is all right to engage in any activity that will help him to prove his allegiance to the peer group. They feel a sort of pressure or coercion to get involved into negative peer pressure activities. This peer pressure is always straightforward where the teen feels that he has no other alternative but to sink in and feel ‘accepted’ by the group.
There can be a subtle peer pressure also where the teenager is made to feel that if he does not conform to the beliefs, ideologies and actions of the peer group, he might end up feeling isolated. Participation is promoted to be ‘cool’; he is sort of nudged into doing what others are doing.
Statistical Data On Peer Pressure
Given below are some interesting statistical data regarding peer pressure:
According to a lot of studies conducted in the field of adult substance abuse reports, almost 30% of the teens are introduced to drugs when they are in their middle or high schools.
If you refer to the National Household Survey on drug usage and health conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, you will be startled to find that a whopping 74.3% of students have tried and continued with drinking while they were in high school. The data is more or less similar with other studies conducted on students in various other countries.
Across countries, the approximate number of teenagers who are into regular smoking is over 3 million.
According to Kaiser Foundation, over 50% of the teenagers experience peer pressure to engage in sexual activities early on. They are pressured to view sex and relationship sort of synonymously.
Other Facts On Peer Pressure
Let us have a look at some other facts on peer pressure.
Maximum Impact During Adolescence
Peer pressure can occur at different stages of life, be it academic, professional or family. But it is found to happen in the biggest possible way during the adolescent period. The effects of peer pressure are also the largest in this stage; this is solely due to the reason that the adolescence is most impressionable period in an individual’s life.
Bring About Changes in The Person For The Better
Contrary to the popular belief amongst teachers and parents, peer pressure is not always negative. There are positive peer pressures as well. It helps the teen to perform better at school and they feel encouraged and interested to participate in different curricular activities. They eventually become focused in life and serious in building their careers.
Diminutive Effect of Peer Pressure
Individual preferences get shaped and molded in a very major way due to peer pressure. Most of the individual choices in regard to fashion, books, movies and music and even cuisines get influenced due to peer pressure. The effect is considered diminutive due to the fact that the adolescent rarely gets a chance to explore the various options available. The moment he feels like engaging in any one of them, peer pressure tells him or directs him to the option to choose. He ends up making a blind choice in most of the occasions.
Normal Development of The Child Can Be Hindered
This is a follow through of the above point. When the child feels blinded and makes directed choices, he is not using his discretionary powers. He grows up being used to this sort of behaviour and fails to develop the habit of thinking with the use of his own intelligence. This makes him dependent and vulnerable which naturally gets reflected in his personality in professional and personal life in later years.
There is no reason for the parents
to feel frustrated at what they can do to avoid peer pressure. They can begin
with conditioning. Peer pressure is a fact and its existence needs to be
accepted. Be accommodative, receptive and supportive to your teen and use your
experience and intelligence to deal with situations.
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