Effects of Teenage Peer Pressure
Peer pressure can be described as a phenomenon whereby people tend to be influenced by the behaviors and lifestyles of their peers or the persistent desire of individuals to be perceived as belonging to a certain group in the society. Teenage peer pressure is thus the occurrence in which teens tend to detach from their parents and look for friends in their age brackets whom they have certain things in common or emulate each others behaviors (Havelin 5). This often results from the fact that life keeps on changing and we always want to change our lives by leading other peoples’ lives. This essay is intended to mention and discuss some of the effects that result from teenage peer pressure.
Things such as behaviors, thoughts, television, music and fashion of the masses have great impact on the ways of living in every society. Teenage peer pressure is very common in places such as schools and colleges where most teenagers meet. Even though peer pressure may prove to be somehow beneficial to the society, many are the times when its effects are negative. Some of the effects of peer pressure include; engagement in behaviors which are not pleasing or expected in the society, loss of identity as well as increased levels of violence and crime due to bad company (Havelin 39).
In most cases, every individual is free to choose the kind of life s/he wants to live. However, at the same time, there are certain customs and values that different societies hold and expect them to be practiced by every individual living in that society. Behaviors that are not expected in most of the societies include; smoking, partying, drinking and using drugs among others, which are also some of the areas in which most young people fail to meet the society’s expectation due to peer pressure (Robinson and Cason 60). Even though not all teens can resist pressure from their peers, some teens may be principled and can resist such pressure.
Teenage peer pressure can also result to loss of identity by the affected individual. The individuality of most of these young people is killed and a group of people who are simply duplicates of each other develops. This is due to the fact that most teenagers believe that the only way they can be noticed, either in class or in the society, is by belonging to a group. Extreme pressure from peer may force an individual to follow what this group believes to be right. As a result, they tend to emulate and adopt the group’s taste of fashion, dressing, music, hair style and other aspects of life in general thus loosing their own taste of life original identity and obtain that group (Robinson and Cason 60). Nevertheless, not all teens involved in a group completely loose their identity since we all are members of a peer group in one way or the other and some of us still maintain our identities.
Another effect of teenage peer pressure is violence due to bad company. An individual may lose the meaning and purpose of life due to imitation of a life style that is practiced by the majority. For instance, when teens identify themselves with a bad peer group, it is definitely that they end up acquiring bad behavior (Robinson and Cason 23). Consequently, they become engaged in criminal activities such as robbery and drug dealing which result to public insecurity and they end up becoming a threat to the society. Conversely, not all peers are bad company since there are peers who influence the others positively (Havelin 25).
In conclusion, teenage peer pressure occurs when teens are influenced by the lifestyles and thoughts of their peers. Teenage peer pressure has several effects some of which include engagement in behaviors that are prohibited by the society, such as smoking, use of drugs and drinking among others. Teenage peer pressure also leads to lose of personal identity and acquisition of group identity by most teens so that they may experience a sense of belonging as well as violence and crime due to involvement with bad company. Thus this essay has successfully described some of the effects of teenage peer pressure.
- Havelin, Kate. Peer Pressure: "How Can I Say No?"Perspectives on Relationships Series. Mankato: Capstone Press, 2000.
- Robinson, Brenda and Cason, Brooke. Restructuring Your Word Young Adult Edition. Longwood: Xulon Press, 2008.