Abuse Among Teenagers: Negative Effects of Peer Pressure

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About this sample

About this sample


Words: 794 |

Pages: 2|

4 min read

Published: Jan 15, 2019

Words: 794|Pages: 2|4 min read

Published: Jan 15, 2019

This study dealt with several literature and studies taken from various standard sources. These lifted pieces of literature substantiated the researches study. Making good mates is important, but sometimes trying to fit in with a group can turn sour. Giving in to pressure from your friends to do something you normally wouldn’t do can leave you feeling guilty, regretful, ashamed, embarrassed or even frightened. Peer pressure isn’t always a bad thing; sometimes it can be good, such as when your friends stop you from doing something dumb that you’ll later regret. But often peer pressure can be linked to negative stuff. Check out the following examples of peer pressure and consider some tips for dealing with them.

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By definition, peer pressure is 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. Everyone, during a period of their life, experiences peer pressure. Peer pressure can be either positive or negative, although it is portrayed mostly as negative. Friends, family and people all around, can influence teenagers in a negative or positive way.

Positive effects of peer pressure are doing well in school, eating healthy, exercising, joining after-school programs and much more. Negative effects of peer pressure include doing drugs, smoking, shoplifting, cutting class, having sex, drinking alcohol, physical violence, doing badly in school, and so on.

When effort is observable to peers, students may try to avoid social penalties by conforming to prevailing norms. To test this hypothesis, we first consider a natural experiment that introduced a performance leaderboard into computer-based high school courses. The result was a 24 percent performance decline. The decline appears to be driven by a desire to avoid the leaderboard; top performing students prior to the change, those most at risk of appearing on the leaderboard, had a 40 percent performance decline, while poor performing students improved slightly. We next consider a field experiment that offered students complimentary access to an online SAT preparatory course.

Sign-up forms differed randomly across students only in whether they said the decision would be kept private from classmates. In non-honors classes, sign-up was 11 percentage points lower when decisions were public rather than private. Honors class sign-up was unaffected. For students taking honors and non-honors classes, the response depended on which peers they were with at the time of the offer, and thus to whom their decision would be revealed. When offered the course in a non-honors class (where peer sign-up rates are low), they were 15 percentage points less likely to sign up if the decision was public. But when offered the course in an honors class (where peer sign-up rates are high), they were 8 percentage points more likely to sign up if the decision was public. Thus, students are highly responsive to their peers are the prevailing norm when they make decisions. (Bursztyn and Jensen, 2015)

There are three different forms of peer pressure: direct, indirect and individual. Direct peer pressure is a teenager or a group of teenagers actually telling another teenager what he/she should be doing or what is okay to do. Indirect peer pressure is not necessarily verbal peer pressure but optical peer pressure. One teenager who is hanging out with a group of friends who smoke or do drugs is exposed to this kind of negative behavior and may think it is acceptable. Individual peer pressure is trying too hard to fit in and doing things because other people are doing them.

Why do teens give in? Peers can influence their friends to do absolutely anything. That is why the majority of teenagers base their decisions on their friends’ actions. The more time teenagers spend with their peers, the more they trust them. If a teenager trusts a friend, they will most likely follow that friend’s examples.

The majority of teenagers are insecure. Because of this, they follow their peers and perform actions they aren’t comfortable with. For example, a teenager is part of a group of friends that smoke cigarettes. One of the members of the group offers him/her a cigarette and tells him/her how cigarettes are no big deal, the teenager will feel extremely pressured to smoke and will most likely take the cigarette.

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“Statistics prove that 30% of teenagers have shoplifted at least once due to peer pressure. Over half of teenagers will experiment with alcohol. About 40% of teenagers have tried drugs”, states Jeanie Lerche Davis author of Teenagers: Why Do They Rebel. Many teenagers want to feel accepted by their peers, so they do certain things to try and fit in with everyone else. Teenagers think that by following what their friends do, like smoking or drinking alcohol, they will seem “cool” or they fear that they’ll look clueless or completely out of it if they don’t.

Works Cited

  1. Bursztyn, L., & Jensen, R. (2015). How does peer pressure affect educational investments? The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 130(3), 1329-1367.
  2. Davis, J. L. (2003). Teenagers: Why do they rebel? WebMD. Retrieved from
  3. Pfeifer, J. H., & Allen, N. B. (2012). Peer influence on adolescent neural development. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 21(2), 117-121.
  4. Prinstein, M. J., & Wang, S. S. (2005). False consensus and adolescent peer contagion: Examining discrepancies between perceptions and actual reported levels of friends' deviant and health risk behaviors. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 33(3), 293-306.
  5. Brechwald, W. A., & Prinstein, M. J. (2011). Beyond homophily: A decade of advances in understanding peer influence processes. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 21(1), 166-179.
  6. O'Brien, L., & Forrest, W. (2003). Age-related changes in adolescents' perceptions of strategies to resist peer pressure. Journal of Adolescence, 26(3), 397-407.
  7. Alberts, H. J., & Miller, W. R. (1998). Motivational typologies and behavioral change. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, 5(1), 23-38.
  8. Simons-Morton, B., Haynie, D., Crump, A. D., Eitel, P., & Saylor, K. E. (2001). Peer and parent influences on smoking and drinking among early adolescents. Health Education & Behavior, 28(1), 95-107.
  9. Rubin, K. H., Bukowski, W. M., & Parker, J. G. (2006). Peer interactions, relationships, and groups. In W. Damon & R. M. Lerner (Eds.), Handbook of child psychology: Vol. 3. Social, emotional, and personality development (6th ed., pp. 571-645). John Wiley & Sons Inc.
  10. Prinstein, M. J., & Dodge, K. A. (2008). Understanding peer influence in children and adolescents. Guilford Press.
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Abuse Among Teenagers: Negative Effects of Peer Pressure. (2019, January 15). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 24, 2024, from
“Abuse Among Teenagers: Negative Effects of Peer Pressure.” GradesFixer, 15 Jan. 2019,
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