Peer Pressure

Posted by Amber White on defines peer pressure as the “social pressure by members of one’s peer group to take a certain action, adopt certain values, or otherwise conform in order to be accepted.”  For years, teens have been found to be the most susceptible to this form of social interaction.  But what parents don’t know might surprise them!  According to, teens are rarely forced into trying risky things by friends or their social peers.  Instead, their peers serve more as an indirect role in their lives meaning teens usually socialize with other teens who share their same interest.  For example, a teen is 5 times more likely to try smoking if their friends are smoking cigarettes.  It has been found that most teens feel the most pressure from themselves.  Teens often feel internal pressure to do the things that they think their friends are participating in. Luckily, it has also been found in recent studies that teens want to have parents talk to them about these sort of issues.  The main reason they have not is because they tend to be either embarrassed or they really want to fit in and believe talking to a parent or adult will keep them from doing so.  If parents will take the time to connect and talk with their teens, parents could influence their child more than they think.  For example, if parents go over the mistakes the teen has made, set ground rules (setting a curfew, limit overnight visits, etc.), allow the teen to use them as a scapegoat (I can’t do….. my mom would kill me!), encourage their teen’s opinions, or even help teenagers visualize teen pressure (What if you get in a car and you notice the driver’s been drinking, what do you do?, etc.), they can save the teen a lot of headache with the pressure to try new things or not knowing what to do in a certain situation.  After talking with someone they trust, teens tend to make significantly less mistakes than those who did not consult a parent or trusted adult.

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