Peer Pressure Among Teenagers

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Updated: Mar 28, 2022
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Peer pressure among teenagers is witnessed in almost all circles, with effects such as sexually transmitted diseases, increased murder cases, and unintentional injury or driving under the influence of alcohol. These are harmful indicators of health associated with many teenagers around the globe (Karakos, 2014). Indeed, these adverse effects can have dire consequences on the lives of these youths, especially regarding how they behave. Part of the increased changed behavior is that most of these teens are in their trial stage, where there is increased curiosity to experience different societal elements, which can have adverse effects.

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For instance, most of the teenagers like to have their way with less need for patience and caution, which leads to high-risk behaviors (Gioia, 2017). Moreover, friends, teachers, and the extended families play significant roles during this critical stage, in that they attempt to shape the direction of the teenagers while still recognizing that they need their freedom to enjoy life and experience happy moments with no curfews or strict restrictions (Gioia, 2017). 

However, it is worth discussing the influence of peer groups in the lives of teenagers and the impact on their behavior patterns, as a way of understanding the dynamics and uncovering possible remedies to the situation. Peer pressure linked with behavioral problems includes copying the way other members of the group dress, eat, socialize, and even behave. For instance, the influence is more prevalent when illegal or immoral elements are involved such as sexual relations, illicit activities like committing crimes, violence, dealing and consuming drugs and other substances, and many other concepts. Indeed, these issues occur during late childhood and through the teenage years of many youths (Somons-Morton & Farhat, 2012). 

For instance, many teenagers engage in alcohol and drug abuse based on social pressure. Ideally, consuming alcohol and drugs makes parties merrier, holidays more enjoyable, and weekends more relaxing and social. In another context, the imitation of things done by peers may be the beginning of behavior such as seeing friends taking alcohol and engaging in sexual relations. As stated earlier, the teenage stage is a curious and experimental stage, where youths try things done by their peers to fit into groups and be considered cool. 

Indeed, the group of peers may become an ideal alternative and impact attitudes and behavior as well as offering considerable societal preparation for engagement (Karakos, 2014). 

Statement of the Problem 

 On one side, the presence of friends permits a person to share emotions and different experiences and to learn about how to resolve problems. On the other hand, lack of friends causes social isolation and limits social connections, with fewer chances for making new relations and communicating social skills. The relationship is moreover linked with mental health, while the incompatible context with peers is negatively related to well-being. 

Adolescent friendships can provide a healthy atmosphere for growth in a positive way and attain better educational outcomes. Adolescents who have convertible bonds report high levels of feelings of belonging to the school; same time, mutuality and feelings of belonging have a better impact on educational outcomes (Karakos, 2014). The school is capable of bringing together different communities of peers and encouraging self-respect among adolescents, building it an advantaged place for meetings and communications. Teens spend too much time at school, making it an excellent context for sharing or protecting risky behaviors (Karakos, 2014). However, school environments where personal relationships are fostered are significant for teenagers as it is accountable for the transfer of interactive norms and standards. Also, the school plays a vital role in the socialization process of adolescents. 

Although the school acts as a potential platform where teenagers can learn morally-accepted behavior in society, other factors come into play. For instance, the peer group effect is associated with flexibility, due to their independent approach and behavior. The flexibility appears to rise with age, which also means that boys are less resilient than girls as per the studies done by many research projects. Other factors that may be present in the peer group effect are the kind of friendship that youngsters keep with the group of peers; if the bond is strong, they will have a more impact on the behaviors of others. When an attachment is supposed as mutual and of great value, it exercises more effects (Tome et al., 2012). 

Literature Review

Various literature reveals the link between peer pressure and behavior among teenagers in society. For instance, one study done showed that young people who had the opinion of engaging their peers in certain activities were more involved in similar behaviors; the same was found for those adolescents who had a challenging association with their blood relations (Tome et al., 2012). This would show that risky behaviors are associated with peer influence on youths. Moreover, another study unearthed that whenever families share time, including cooking, eating, and other household chores, a positive relationship is created thereby avoiding bad influence and behaviors. Girls are more prevalent to such duties but involving the boys too would be ideal. The gender differences may be due to the enormous significance attributed by girls to family goings-on; however, they don’t disclose that the boys are indifferent to them, but the gender relationship may vary. Parental control and communication protect teenagers of both sexes from engaging in risky behaviors. 

Purpose of the Study

The objective of this study is to determine how peer groups can influence the behaviors of an adolescent. Adolescents tend to spend a substantial proportion of their time with their peers, and consequently, they experience less adult supervision. In this regard, the interactivity between them is heightened, and the interpersonal relationship deepens as their activities are driven by social acceptance motive. Notably, the adolescence stage is a crucial and integral developmental stage which significantly shapes teens’ emotional and social development and eventually, their adulthood (Ryzin & Roseth, 2018). Indeed, social acceptance and validation within peer groupings is a critical feature in peer groups as teens compel each other to particular behaviors and beliefs. Therefore, due to the significance of peer groups in adolescence, this research aims at developing an advanced understanding of whether peer groups have any impacts on adolescent behavior. 

Research Method and Design

The study will seek to identify the peer group influence on adolescent behavior. The research will feature interviews and questionnaires on a randomly selected sample of school-going teenage kids. The interviews will be conducted face-to-face and questionnaires will be distributed with the assistance of teachers. Notably, the interviews will be structured, where the researcher has a guide of what to ask to refrain from deviating from the topic. However, a significant proportion of the potential participants are likely to be unavailable for the survey, as most of them will attend a school bus tour schedules to last for two weeks. Indeed, these students will participate in the study through telephone interviews while questionnaires will be emailed to another section of the participants to get as many participants as possible for the study. 

A sample of the questionnaire is attached in the appendix section. The participants of the study will be drawn from different states. The study will be carried out for two years, with the second year of the survey featuring adolescents from Alabama, Florida, and North Carolina. The participation of the students will be purely on a voluntary and anonymous basis. Due to the significance of the survey, various states in collaboration with relevant global organizations are expected to engage in the study. The participants of the study will comprise of teenage students who will be at the peak of their adolescence during the time of the survey. In this regard, the participants will be drawn from both private and public schools in grade 10, 11, and 12. 

Research Design 

The research study will utilize an experimental research design, where the researcher assigns groups to the sample. For this study, the researcher will divide the sample into two groups, that is, the control and intervention groups. Pupils of Grades 9, 10, and 11 enrolled in both primary and public education systems, will be recruited to participate in the survey. Three thousand, one hundred forty-five students will be the total sample drawn from 145 classrooms spread across 210 randomly selected public and private schools. From this sample, one thousand five hundred pupils will fall into the control group while the rest will go into the intervention category. Variables and Measures The study will be conducted to collect information, according to the relevant protocols. The survey provides, among other things, demographic data and welfare and signs of peer relations. In this survey, variables related to teenage relationships shall be used with groups of peers, their associations with the atmosphere of the school, parents, and behaviors of danger, health, and violence. 

Research Procedure 

The classes shall be randomly selected from the identified schools and will be used as the analysis unit to determine the required number from each category of participants. The survey instructions and materials such as the questionnaires will be dispatched to the school heads together with guidelines of the survey. The teachers shall be obligated with the responsibility of overseeing the study regarding the administering of the questionnaires and facilitation of the face to face interviews. Students who will not participate in the survey will be required to stay away from the identified areas where the study will be conducted for privacy and confidentiality purposes. To determine whether peer groups influence adolescent behaviors, version 6.1 of software of Structural Modeling and the statistical program EQS shall be utilized. By using confirmatory factorial analysis, it will be essential to test the model in parts before testing the entire model. 

A proposal of three models of mediation will be tested; for the relationship between the quality of negotiation between independent variables, the independent mediation model will be tested, determined by peer impact, through risky behaviors of friends. The mediating model of mediation shall consist of variables connected to the relationship among adolescents and parents by communicating with the mother and father, and parental control, which will be included in the five indicators related to what fathers and mothers, be familiar with about their youngsters. The dependent model of mediation shall examine the mediation quality among dependent variables. Well-being consisted of 12 indicators related to satisfaction and happiness with life and quality of life of adolescents; and attitudes toward school, composed of one symbol. Subsequently analyzing the models of mediation, few indicators will be eliminated with saturations lesser than 40. Altogether, eight signs shall be eradicated. 

Differences among fault measures will also be presented, in a total of 8 variations, 2 in the model of self-determining mediation and 6 in the mediating model of intervention.

Ethical Concerns 

In any research study proposal, various ethical concerns arise regarding the conduct of the research by the researchers towards the respondents. Ethical concerns refer to the usual things that should be done in the respective field or area. Indeed, numerous ethical concerns would arise in the potential research study concerning peer influencing adolescent behaviors. 

First, issues of confidentiality and privacy are dangerous elements that every researcher should provide for the participants of the study. As highlighted above, the proposal seeks to ensure that students not participating in the study will be asked to refrain from hanging around the secluded areas for the survey. Confidentiality and privacy is a serious factor that ensures all participants have privacy answering the questions while remaining anonymous. ?Another ethical concern for the potential research study involves the voluntary element bestowed upon the respondents in participating and walking away from the research. The students have the choice of accepting or refusing to take part in the study or even walk away in the middle of the survey. 

Also, the responses given by the participants should be used for the research alone and not for other purposes. Moreover, the issue of communication raises concerns over the potential research study. The most challenging conversation with father and mother leads to low levels of participation in violent behavior. This negative relationship among parental notification and the least involvement in violent actions may be linked to the strong effect of the indicators used in the connection among teenagers and peer groups, in their behaviors that have eliminated the communication’s positive impact with parents. 


The reason of this learning is to approve the peer group’s influence on well-being, teenagers’ feelings about school, health violent and risky behaviors; and whether the association with father and mother might mediate this effect through an illustrative model of a structural equation. Many studies display the significant role that peers play in teen behaviors. Friendship is one of the essential critical contexts during the teenage years. They inhibit loneliness feelings and effect on pleasure, healthiness, and comfort. They aid encourage better school successes and attain the necessary societal abilities for adult life (Camacho et al., 2010). 

In contrast, fellows also develop as the most closely related variable to participating in risky behavior. It can be prohibited through specific health promotion interferences, including parents and peers. To avoid this effect assumes knowledge of the variables involved in that procedure and which of them may have the part of the mediator, may positively affect and may reduce the negative aspects. In this study, we will be expected to see parents as a mediator in the peer group’s impact on adolescent behavior. However, the outcomes attained by the suggested model will not approve this part, regarding communication variables and parental control. 

Communication with father and mother exhibited the influence of mediation, but a similar thing does not occur to parental authority. These impacts are evident among communicating with parents, the kind of fellows who have risky behavior and talking with friends, to lower participation in violent and well-being practices. Intermediate relationships show that the lesser the number of friends who have risky behavior in teenagers, the easier it is to communicate with parents, and in return, the higher their levels of well-being. The similar goes for mediation with friends. 

Nevertheless, about the relationship between the kinds of friends who have risky behavior, connect with friends, communicate with parents and share less risky behaviors, the association was negative. Thus, this outcome indicates that easy contact with friends and fewer friends with risky behaviors are preventative factors in engaging in dangerous acts, without the need for informal communication with parents.

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Peer Pressure among Teenagers. (2021, Apr 24). Retrieved from