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The Importance of Peers and Role Models for Adolescents

  • Subject: Life
  • Category: Hero
  • Essay Topic: Role Models
  • Pages: 4
  • Words: 1914
  • Published: 04 September 2018
  • Downloads: 43
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The Importance of Peers and Role Models for Adolescents essay
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Being a teenager, there are various of expectations occur. Why is it important? In this stage, we develop new personal tastes and preferences.

For example, a teen may start to dress differently, listen to new types of music, and use new slang language as a direct result of his new peers. As teens experiment with new identities, they often believe and feel that their peers will be more approving and supportive of their new choices; if not, this will also likely be a more trusted critic of their new choices, it is important that parents know who their teens spend their time with. While even can contribute positively to a teen’s social development in terms of creating independence and self-esteem, parents still want to exert some influence over their teens.

They can most easily do this if they’ve developed a strong relationship with their children well before they reach adolescence. According to SIMON THOMAS:The Importance of Peer SupportIn a 2003 study, Hanushek, Kain, Markman, and Rivkin found that students’ academicachievement is positively affected by their peers’ achievement; in fact, they found that just a 0.1standard deviation increase in peer math achievement (as measured by various tests) is linked toa 0.02 increase in math score for that student (p. 542).

Talton and Simpson (1985) report similarresults, which become particularly pronounced past the sixth grade: “As peer attitude towardscience increases, so does individual student attitude toward science.” (p. 21) In fourth grade,parents maintain their position as the highest social authority for their children, but by the timethese children are in tenth grade, their peers have taken over this influential role (Stake &Nickens, 2005). Indeed, researchers involved in the study of deviance in adolescents are well-aware of the threat that deviant peers pose (Aseltine, 1995).

This raises the idea of curriculumtracking: placing students in classes by ability or achievement level, or specifically not doing so,The importance of peers becomes an interesting subject when viewed through the lens of influential peer support. Ifstudents are in the same classes, they are more likely to meet than if they did not share classes.Added to the general high school social spectrum is homophilous nature of social networks, awell-accepted phenomenon that quantifies the tendency of the proverbial birds of a feather toflock together.

For all students, social life in high school becomes a whole world of issues andchallenges; the final part of this section will focus on the particular difficulties that girls faceduring this transitional time.

Personally, I have found the most valuable form, adjustment in early childhood and well beyond, children’s relations with their peers play a major role in their overall development. Child development have always drawn attention to the importance of peers, especially in adolescence, when peers may facilitate each other’s antisocial behaviour. It has often been assumed that peers are less important in early childhood, when relationships with family members are more influential. However, recent research shows clearly that even infants spend time with peers, and that some three- and four-year-olds are already having trouble being accepted by their peers.

Early problems with peers have negative consequences for the child’s later social and emotional development. To understand why some children find it hard to relate to peers, it is important to study the early development of peer relations. Early peer relations is relevant to policy-makers and service-providers in the educational, social-service and mental-health sectors. In Western society, virtually all children are educated in the company of their peers; in some countries, such as the U.K., statutory education begins as early as four years of age.

Problematic peer relations may have adverse effects on the transition to school, with subsequent consequences for academic success. Furthermore, even younger infants and toddlers often spend time with peers through informal arrangements between parents or formal child-care provision. There is considerable interest in the impact of early child care on development, but relatively few studies that actually investigate the quality of peer relations in the child- care context. It is especially important to study peer relations for children with special educational needs. The principle of “mainstreaming” children with special needs is based on the assumption that it is beneficial for such children to spend their days with typically developing peers; however, if those experiences are highly negative, experience with peers may interfere with educational goals.

Problems: There are several important problems to address, which may be framed in terms of the following research questions:

  1. When do children first develop the ability to relate to other children their own age?
  2. What skills promote early peer relations?
  3. Why are some young children less likely to be accepted by their peers?
  4. Do early peer relations have a long-term impact on the child’s development?

Recent Findings Addressing the Key Research Questions

When do children develop the ability to relate to their peers? Most infants and toddlers meet peers on a regular basis, and some experience long-lasting relationships with particular peers that start at birth.1 By six months of age, infants can communicate with other infants by smiling, touching and babbling. In the second year of life, they show both prosocial and aggressive behaviour with peers, with some toddlers clearly being more aggressive than others.1-4 What skills promote early peer relations? Although many investigators have described early peer relations, relatively little attention has been paid to the emotional, cognitive and behavioural skills that underlie the ability to interact harmoniously with peers.

I have proposed that early peer relations depend on the following skills that develop during the first two years of life: (a) managing joint attention;(b) regulating emotions; (c) inhibiting impulses; (d) imitating another’s actions;(e) understanding cause-and-effect relationships; and (f) linguistic competence.5 Deficits in these skills may be compensated for when children interact with competent adults, such as their parents or teachers, or with tolerant older siblings; however, peers who are also only gradually developing these skills may be less forgiving, and so the peer environment may be especially challenging.

Children with developmental disorders who are impaired in joint attention skills6 and imitation7 and children with limited vocabularies2 may be at special risk, which may account for some of the problematic peer relations in mainstreamed preschool classrooms.8 Why do young children accept some peers and reject others? A great deal of research on peer relations in early childhood has used sociometric methods, in which children name those peers they like and (sometimes) dislike. These methods show that some children are accepted by their peers, whereas others are either actively rejected or ignored.

Peer acceptance is affected by many factors in a child’s life, such as their relationships at home with parents and siblings, the parents’ own relationship and the family’s levels of social support.5 However, peer acceptance is most directly affected by children’s own behaviour. Studies show that highly aggressive children are not accepted by their peers9 but this may depend on gender.10 Furthermore, it may actually be the absence of prosocial behaviour, not the presence of aggression, that promotes peer rejection.

Under some circumstances, aggressive behaviour is positively associated with social competence. Shy children also experience problems in gaining acceptance in their peer groups. Shyness in the early childhood years has been linked to the child’s temperament and earlier emotional reactions to novel situations and to attachment relationships; shy preschoolers are more likely than other children to have mothers who experience social phobias. Do early peer relations have a long-term impact on children’s development? There are clear links between very early peer relations and those that occur later in childhood.

For example, toddlers who were able to engage in complex play with peers were more competent in dealing with other children in the preschool years and in middle childhood. Peer acceptance in early childhood is a predictor of later peer relations. Children who were without friends in kindergarten were still having difficulties dealing with peers at the age of 10. It is not clear, however, whether early problems with peers actually cause the later problems, or whether both are caused by other risk factors at home and school and the behavioural tendencies and skill deficits that make it hard to gain acceptance by one’s peers.

However, the roots of peer rejection lie in the earliest years of childhood, and peer rejection is associated with educational underachievement, even when many other causal influences are taken into account. Put another way, having friends in early childhood appears to protect children against the development of psychological problems later in childhood.

The importance of peers in early development. Whereas once we may have thought that peers began to have an influence on children during the primary school years and adolescence, it now seems possible that very early interactions with peers at home and in child-care settings could set the stage for later problems. At the same time, these findings suggest that it is possible to act early to prevent later problems. Because peer acceptance is associated with better psychological adjustment and educational achievement, programs that support early competence with peers will have implications for educational and mental-health policy.

The findings also raise challenging questions about “mainstreaming” policies for children with special educational needs. Problems that have been noted in mainstreamed preschool classrooms may derive from underlying deficits that could be addressed directly. It is therefore important for policy-makers and service-providers to consider ways to facilitate young children’s positive relations with their peers. Parents Play an Important Role in Shaping Adolescent’s Behavior Our  plays an important role in shaping adolescent’s behavior. Teens who say their parents warned them about drug use and set clear rules are less likely to use drugs. Parents’ and teenagers’ morals, future aspirations, and self-control are typically quite similar. Talking encourages family togetherness and increases the likelihood teens will share parents’ values. What kinds of things do teenagers want to talk about?

Generally, teenagers are interested in the following conversations:

  • Family issues–Teens want to participate in decisions and be told about family problems.
  • Controversial Issues–Teens have questions like “Why can’t I drink until I’m 21?” Emotional
  • Concerns–Teens want to know how you really feel about things.
  • The Big Why’s–Teens begin to have philosophical questions about issues like war and religion.
  • The Future–Teens are curious and concerned about what they can expect from the future.
  • Current Events–Teens have questions about what is going on in the world and in their community.
  • Personal Interests–Teens really want you to show interest in their activities, music, sports, and friends.
  • Parents’ Lives–Teens are curious about what things were like when you were their age, including emotions you had and mistakes you made.All she wants to do is go out with her friends and spend time alone in her room. How can I talk with my teen?


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