Peer Pressure: A Beauty Or The Beast In Decision MakingBy Mark Spencer, UniversityHerald Reporter
Teens usually spend a lot of time with their peers, as such the need to conform tend to feel peer pressure every day in their lives. Teenagers differentiate themselves from the elder set by participating in peer groups that sometimes offer negative choices.
Often times, the attempt to differentiate themselves from their parents and families stems from the need to grow more independent. For teenagers, it is common to relate to their friends easier than it is with their parents, in turn, parents must recognize this need and provide avenues for teens to explore their own identities.
Everyone is influenced by peers, both negatively and positively, at any age. However, understanding teen's need for independence, they should be encouraged to surround themselves with good friends so that chances of positive peer pressure will influence them in positive ways.
Peer pressure is commonly viewed with a negative context with images of teens participating in destructive behavior. Most people overlook positive peer pressure that involves situations where friends push their peers to grow in beneficial ways.
A teen that surrounds him or herself with positive influences with members of an academic club, for instance, may drive the teen to work for better grades. It could be an effective way for a teen to practice good behavior and make smart choices. Teens that surround themselves with high achieving peers are more than likely to succeed themselves.
A teen might join a group activity because all of his or her friends are doing it, or get good grades because the peer group he or she belongs to thinks getting good grades is important. Good friends often encourage each other to achieve in various ways whether in studies, trying out for sports, or following new artistic interests.
Unfortunately, not all teens make positive friendships. There are many instances where some friendships lead to cases of negative peer pressure and subjecting themselves into risky behavior just to fit into the group. The desire for acceptance often drives teens to give in to negative peer pressure.
Teens who easily give in to negative peer pressure are usually the ones who lack a strong support structure, which leads them to seek acceptance and validation from somewhere else. In instances like these, it is important to check whom they surround themselves with, but being careful not to add to the pressure. According to Science Daily, teens are more influenced by their age group rather than by adults.