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Things to Know About Peer Pressure

By HopeQure


08 Oct 2020

Peers are people who belong to the same social group. They play a major role in the social and emotional development of children and adolescents. The effect that a peer group has, begins at an early age and becomes more prominent during the teenage years as this is the time that a child starts to form new relations with people and starts to form an identity amongst them. It is the most common age for children to start experimenting with alcohol, drugs, sexual activity and other risky behaviours(Talkitoutnc.org, 2019).

Types of peer pressures:

  1. Active peer pressure: This type of pressure is when someone asks, suggests or tries to persuade another person to engage in certain activities or behave in a certain manner. The influence depends on whether the influence is from a single entity or a group. Groups tend to have a greater pressure on an individual. For example, friends trying to explicitly force you into drinking at a party or social gathering.
  2. Passive peer pressure: This type of peer pressure is more like a choice that a person is left with upon being exposed to certain actions of peer/s. The person can choose if they would want to follow along or not. For example, since others are wearing something, the person should follow to ‘fit in’. No one is directly asking them to follow, but there is an unspoken pressure.

Peer pressure can be negative or positive:

  • Positive peer pressure: The influence that pushes a person to indulge in behaviours that are healthy, age-appropriate is a positive peer pressure. For example, if a person is not performing well in academics, his/her peers who are performing good can talk and motivate him/her or their performance can indirectly push him/her to work harder and perform better. A group leading a healthy lifestyle can influence a person to do the same.
  • Negative peer pressure: The pressure that makes a person indulge in activities that are against their moral code or that negatively impacts them is known as negative peer pressure. Many teens succumb to this pressure of engaging in such activities because they want acceptance. For example, a person who abstains from drinking might begin drinking in order to ‘fit in’ and be socially acceptable.

Dr. Prinstein in his research has put forward that there are certain traits that are found in teens who are more susceptible to peer pressure[3]:

  • They are highly concerned of their social status.
  • Tend to have a low self esteem
  • Early maturation
  • Either have overly lenient or overly strict parents
  • Moving to a new environment and adjusting to it is hard. Teens can succumb to peer pressure be accepted readily in this new space.

Peer pressures are hard to resist but they can become opportunities for you to grow and learn what’s right for you. The following things can be done :

  • Listen to your inner voice: A situation which might seem alright to your friends may not mean the same to you. Always listen to your gut. Try to make decisions accordingly.
  • Learn to say ‘NO’ and be comfortable with it: A simple ‘NO’ from your mouth can save you from doing what you don’t want to. For example, if you don’t want to miss a class and all your friends are trying to talk you into it, you could just say, ”No, I need to attend this in order to catch up with what is going on before the examination”.
  • Arrange a “bail-out” phrase that you can use with your parents: If you want to avoid a situation you could call your parents and use your safety phrase so that they know that they need to get you out of there without the other person knowing about it.
  • Know what you want and decide ahead of time: If you know that you might be put on-the-spot to try booze or drugs at some social gathering that you are going to attend, plan for it before going. Thinking ahead of time will prevent you from indulging in any activity that you don’t want to be a part of.
  • Be vocal of your values: Keep declaring your stand on matters that influence others negatively. It not only builds the capacity to fight things off even they present themselves before you but also keeps people who have a contrary opinion away and helps you build friendships with like-minded people.
  • Don’t be hesitant to ask for help if you feel that a situation seems to be dangerous.

Resisting negative peer pressure is not an easy choice but the feeling that one has when they do resist such advances of other people is irresistible. Your stand might just help other peers of yours to take a stand for themselves. Peer pressure can either lead you to your desired destiny or leave you astray. It all depends on your choice.

By Divyangana

Things to Know About Peer Pressure


  1. What are the 6 Types of Peer Pressure? (2019, November 19). Retrieved September 15, 2020, from https://www.talkitoutnc.org/peer-pressure/types-of-peer-pressure/
  2. Peer Pressure. (n.d.). Retrieved September 15, 2020, from https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/psychpedia/peer-pressure
  3. How to Deal with Peer Pressure & Get Out of Tough Situations. (2020, May 04). Retrieved September 15, 2020, from https://www.talkitoutnc.org/peer-pressure/how-to-deal-with-peer-pressure/
  4. Prahl, A. (2019, December 11). Scaling Above Peer Pressure; How Can I Overcome Peer Pressure? Retrieved September 15, 2020, from https://thriveglobal.com/stories/scaling-above-peer-pressure-how-can-i-overcome-peer-pressure/




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