Introduction Peer pressure is a social influence exerted on an individual by others in order to get that person to act or believe in a similar way. It is used by a social group, often with the implication that “everybody’s doing it. ” This influence can be negative or positive, with a successful result being a change in a person’s behavior. Nearly all children experience some form of peer pressure, whether at school, at church or at home among siblings.
As a kind of social pressure, it dominates preteen life. Many teens become absorbed into different cliques and groups, spending less time with their families.
Much of the personality of a teen can be shaped by a peer group. Negative peer pressure can be a dangerous tool against children, especially younger or insecure children. They may be persuaded to take actions they might otherwise not have considered, such as smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol or taking drugs. Peer pressure is a problem for adults, who may be coerced, for example, into buying a house or car they can’t afford in an effort to “keep up with the Joneses.
” Peer pressure is not always negative, however. A student whose friends excel in academics may be compelled to study hard and get good grades.
Influence can also be exerted to get a friend off drugs or to help an adult take up a good habit or drop a bad one. Study groups, class projects and athletic groups are examples of positive peer groups.
Why I chose the topic – I decided to chose this topic because in the Indian Education System children experience a sudden thrust of freedom and responsibility to shape their future at the same time. In such cases, they can either be well-guided or mis-guided. Peer pressure may also lead to stress and anxiety. Teens have a multitude of issues that can cause them anxiety.
The two major settings for this peer pressure teen stress are in their home lives and in the college setting. The stressors are many and diverse. Their feelings can be affected by some of the issues listed below: * The feelings that others and also inside themselves tell them they should do and how they should perform. * Peer pressure teen stress is also caused by the way they feel they are viewed by adults in the college setting. * The peer pressure teen stress to perform in the grades and work they do. * Problems with socializing with other teens. Problems at home with family members. * Having a low self worth. * Always having verbal conflicts with their friends and family. * Low income living conditions for the family. * Peer pressure teen stress is sometimes caused by a major event causing grief or trauma within the family. This could be death, an illness, or parents splitting up. * A split in the relationship with a boyfriend or girlfriend. * The neighborhood in which they live is not a good place. * Having to move to a new home is yet a cause of the peer pressure teen stress. Having to adapt to a new school/college environment. Objectives of the project: The main objective of the project is to discuss the issue of peer pressure under “no pressure”. The students must be made to understand how they can grasp the good and leave the bad. The project tries to distinguish between Good Peer Pressure and Bad Peer Pressure. It analyses various aspects that cause such a pressure and gives a solution to the same. The project also gives a remedy for overcoming bad peer pressure. The project also makes suggestions as to how can peer-pressure-struck children can be helped.
The project also tries to examine the reasons that make children give-in to peer pressure. Here are some other reasons why people give in to peer pressure, that are less known but equally as responsible. • The lack of self-confidence to go one’s own way. It is easier to follow the footsteps of another than to make your own. There is also a certain level of safety that comes with following another. Taking the road less traveled by making your own choices takes self-confidence and self-assurance. • The desire to avoid embarrassment. Many people fear embarrassment more than death.
Knowing this, it is easy to see how important effective communication can be in responding to peer pressure. For example, if a bunch of peers surround a teenager and asked him if he wants to smoke a cigarette like the rest of them have, and all the teenager can think of is, “but… my mom said I should just say no. ” then he is in trouble. It is best to prepare yourself and your children with witty, yet clear and firm responses to known peer pressures. For example, in the above situation the teenager could say, “Hmmm, spend my life wasting money, offending people, having bad breath, and killing myself…. o thanks. ” A good response cannot only save one from embarrassment, but give others the confidence to not give in to the peer pressure as well. Those who lead are often well respected by those who follow. • The lack of using one’s own mind. Again it is reacting, rather than responding that causes one to get in trouble. Think about the consequences of your actions, both present and future. Don’t give in and sacrifice your long-term goals for short-term gratification. • The lack of unbiased information. When someone feels pressure from peers, they are often presented with biased information.
Again it is preparation that can help one to avoid peer pressure by knowing all the facts. Anticipate peer pressure in life and get the facts from a reliable source. Educate yourself and your children – don’t count on the school system to do it. Some of the more common peer pressures experienced in youth that can be prepared for today are smoking, alcohol, drugs, sex, cutting class and committing crimes. The biggest peer pressure in adulthood is being expected to behave, act, and perform like your peers rather than becoming the person you are capable of becoming.
Know the reasons for and against these pressures. Resources referred: ? Bullying Prevention Program http://www. clemson. edu/olweus/ ? Take Action Against Bullying www. bullybeware. org ? Steps to Respect: A Bully Prevention Program www. cfchildren. org/str. html ? Breaking the Cycle of Violence: Intervention for Bullying and Victimization (1996) By Richard J. Hazler ? How to Say No and Keep your Friends: Peer Pressure Reversal for ? Teens and Pre-Teens (1997). By Sharon Scott ? CAFS Teacher Talk Volume 1(3) 1996 http://education. indiana. du/cas/tt/v3i3/peerpress. html Preventing Classroom Bullying: What Teachers Can Do (2003). By Jim Wright http://jimwrightsonline. com/pdfdocs/bully/bullyBooklet. pdf ? Resource for parents: http://sitemaker. umich. edu/356. darnell/advice_for_parents Conclusions: Growing up, everyone will experience some form of peer pressure. Peer pressure is the control and influence people of our age may have on us. Peer pressure can occur in many kinds of relationships. The way we respond to peer pressure can have a great impact on the decisions we make and, in turn, our total health.
There are many different types of peer pressure. There is positive, negative, and manipulation. Positive peer pressure is not limited to following or setting good examples of what to do. It can also provide examples of what not to do. A teen whose friends do not use alcohol or other drugs may be positively influenced to follow their example. Being a good role model is also a great way to demonstrate positive peer pressure. Influencing peers to take part in a positive act or worthwhile cause is a healthful way of influencing others. It can be contagious.
We are primarily social beings with a strong need to belong. Throughout our life, we search for the balance between independence and connectedness. How much of ourselves do we give up/compromise in order to belong? The teenage years (and pre-teen) are a time of shifting focus of belonging from family to peers as while also developing a personal identity. Because kids don’t yet have the maturity to grasp or to understand the potential consequences of being influenced by their friends, it is difficult for them to see the pitfalls of poor relationships and negative peer pressure.
This project is designed to walk us through the inquiry and clarification of the need to feel connected and belong, as well as to be true to one’s self while assessing the harmful affects of peer pressure. In addition to the inquiry looking at the costs/benefits belonging, it will identify strategies to deal with negative peer pressure and ways to turn it around, creating positive peer pressure, building leadership and personal power.