During adolescence, peer groups often become the most dominant socialization force next to family. Teens need the sense of membership and belonging and they can find it when they are with their peers. With a particular group, they learn to have satisfying relationships with others and more importantly they develop their self-identity. However, there are also some negative aspects of being in peer groups. Being closely attached to the group might cause them a lot of stress especially if they could not handle it well or if they are misguided. In general, the peer pressure on male teens relate to qualities that are traditionally masculine.
For females, they tend to become more concerned with being popular and also with the physical appearance. These norms may create conflict between peer (people usually of same age, which they consider as friends) and parental messages resulting to further confusion and stress. Most adolescents find it hard to decide whether they follow their parents or their friends.
The psychological issues of adolescence are described in the fifth stage of the Erikson’s Development Stage. This is the stage of identity versus role confusion wherein teens try to integrate roles (child, sibling, student, athlete, worker) into a self-image under role model and peer pressure.
The most important stage in Erikson’s is the stage five – the stage of adolescence. This is the stage when questions like ‘Who am I?’, ‘What are my values?’, and ‘What is my identity?’ start to came out. This appears as form practice in the decision-making. This is also the stage where values have to be chosen, beliefs understood and the ‘self’ explored.
If values are imposed rather than chosen by the child himself/herself, they are not internalized and there is a lack of meaning in later life. During the period, when guided properly teens can fully take advantage of making all the positive choices they could have. Taking the right choices during this period creates a foundation of how great a man/woman he/she can be in the future. The decisions made during adolescent years affect lots of great things that would happen in the future.
Meares, Paula A. and Constance Hoenk Shapiro. (1989). Adolescent Sexuality: New
Challenges for Social Work. New York: Haworth Press.
Patient Teaching, Loose Leaf Library Springhouse Corporation. (1990). Erikson’s
Development Stages. Retrieved April 02, 2008 from http://honolulu.hawaii.edu/
Ramkumar, Suchitra. (July 2002). Krishnamurti Foundation India. “Erik Erikson’s Theory of
Development: A Teacher’s Observations”. Journal of the Krishnamurti Schools.
Retrieved April 02, 2008 from http://www.journal.kfionline.org/article.asp?
issue=6&article=12, Accessed 02 April 2008.
 Paula Allen-Meares, Constance Hoenk Shapiro, “Adolescent Sexuality: New Challenges for Social Work”, (New York: Haworth Press, 1989), 32.
 Ibid, 33.
 Patient Teaching, Loose Leaf Library Springhouse Corporation., “Erikson’s Development Stages”, http://honolulu.hawaii.edu/intranet/committees/FacDevCom/guidebk/teachtip/erikson.htm, Accessed 02 April 2008.
 Ramkumar, Suchitra, “Erik Erikson’s Theory of Development: A Teacher’s Observations”, Journal of the Krishnamurti Schools, http://www.journal.kfionline.org/article.asp?issue=6&article=12, Accessed 02 April 2008.