Sometimes peer pressure also means social pressure. Peer pressure is a kind of slowest suicide. People are constantly taking steps to fit into their favourite group.
Peer pressure is the effect on a person whose views changed under the influence of others to be accepted by the group. Peer pressure is quite common among teenagers (15 to 17 years of age) as they are easily influenced by others. Teenagers are not stable in their beliefs.
Teenagers and young adults are at greater risk of being influenced by peer pressure compared to an older individual who has more life experience. Peer pressure can change the societal mindset.
Peer pressure can convince you to do things you never thought you would out of fear. It can be anything like donating an organ, bullying someone, convincing a friend to skip classes, drug abuse etc.
Definition of peer pressure
According to Merriam- Webster dictionary– Peer pressure is a feeling that one must do the same things as other people of one’s age and social group in order to be liked or respected by them.
According to the Cambridge dictionary– Peer pressure is the strong influence of a group, especially of children, on members of that group to behave as everyone else does.
Causes of peer pressure
Although there can be many reasons for peer pressure, here we will discuss some of the common ones.
People with weak personalities are more affected by peer pressure. Fear of rejection in children makes them come under pressure from peers. The desire for social acceptance is also a significant factor. Sometimes, to prevent bullying, the children come under peer pressure and start doing the wrong things.
Children want to be liked so they keep on following a particular group of their choice. Hormonal issues, mental health, poor parenting, religion and cultural values are other factors that lead to peer pressure. Teenagers are attracted to a cooler attitude, they want society to accept them. Getting lost in life also plays a major role in leading children to peer pressure.
Effects of peer pressure
Peer pressure isn’t always bad. It can also be positive. But it’s still pressuring, something we don’t want to do. It can be good or bad, helpful or unhelpful, appropriate or inappropriate, positive or negative. It affects both the influencer and the influenced one.
Some of its effects are as follows-
Peer pressure can make a difference in children’s school performance. Their perspective toward life and other people begins to change. Sometimes children start moving towards depression. There has been a change in children’s visual appearance, such as the use of tattoos and hair colour. The political ideology of the children begins to change. The cases of bullying increase in school.
Violence and other illegal activities start taking place. There has been an increase in radicalization such as Political bigotry or religious bigotry. Cases of drug abuse become frequent. Accidents happen due to crazy actions like climbing on top of trains, speeding vehicles etc.
Also, read- Cultural Appropriation
Solutions to reduce the negative effects of peer pressure
School education plays a vital role in balancing peer pressure. In today’s time, an awareness program is very much needed. Parents should build self-esteem in their children. There is a need to increase tolerance in our society. Social values need to be changed to reduce the effect of peer pressure.
Parents should observe the behaviour of their children and act accordingly. Parents should help their children find their passion. Children need to be educated about the ill effects of drugs. Parents should know their children’s friends.
Peer pressure is quite common in our society. It is dangerous for our future generation if it has a negative effect on our children. We need to encourage our children. We can teach them how to manage peer pressure. Children should never hesitate to talk to their parents in difficult situations. Parents can be good role models for their children.
Remember, it’s not the end of life. You never know. Maybe it’s the beginning of a new era.
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The Science of Social Pressure
Peer pressure or influence: pre-teens and teenagers
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