Peer Pressure Research Paper

4619 WordsSep 1, 201319 Pages
Your peers are the people with whom you identify and spend time. In children and teens, they are usually, but not always, of the same age group. In adults, peers may be determined less by age and more by shared interests or professions. Peer pressure occurs when an individual experiences implied or expressed persuasion to adopt similar values, beliefs, and goals, or to participate in the same activities as those in the peer group. What Is Peer Pressure? Peer pressure exists for all ages. Three-year-old Robert insists that his mother take him to the store right away and buy him the latest fad toy because his friends have it. When she doesn't, he has a temper tantrum. Nine-year-old Sarah wears a new shirt to school once, then refuses to…show more content…
Research suggests that this type of peer pressure contributes to a decline in the grades of African American students (especially males) as early as the first through fourth grades. In study after study, peer pressure is associated in adolescents of all ethnic and racial backgrounds with at-risk behaviors such as cigarette smoking, truancy, drug use, sexual activity, fighting, shoplifting, and daredevil stunts. Again, peer group values and attitudes influence more strongly than do family values the level of teenage alcohol use. The more accepting peers are of risky behavior, and the more they participate in that behavior, the more likely a person is to do the same thing. Regardless of the parenting style, peer pressure also influences the degree to which children conform to expected gender roles. For example, up until about grade six, girls performance as well in science and math as boys, but during adolescence girls' test scores and level of expressed interest in these subjects declines. The tendency is to abandon competition with boys in favor of placing more emphasis on relationships and on physical appearance. Physical appearance is extremely important to teenagers. Young people are all too well aware that the group may reject them simply because they look different or dress differently. Jeff, who wanted to have
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