- Post your argument explaining the positive and negative nature of peer pressure. Please support your arguments with scholarly sources that point to both types of influence (positive and negative) that peers can have on adolescents and emerging adults. Be sure to address how gender, age, and cultural may impact the nature of peer pressure.
When referring to positive and negative nature of peer pressure there are a few old proverbs and adages that come to mind. The first is one that my grandmother stated on multiple occasions “birds of a feather flock together.” This meant that you are like the company that you keep. Another is “you will always rise or sink to the level of your closest friends.” And the last one I will use is a Bible verse: Proverbs 13:20, He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed (KJV).
Peer pressure is often thought of in a negative manner but does not have to be (Boruah, 2016). Peer is considered to be a group of two or more people in the same age range, with some shared values and interest (Boruah, 2016). Human beings are social creatures naturally, and this is not to be taken lightly as we could not survive without interaction from others. This is important when considering adolescents as this is a time in which they start to break away from parental impact and guidance and rely more on the social groups (peer) from which to receive information.
According to Erik Erikson’s stages of development the age of twelve to eighteen is the Identity vs Role Confusion, which is when they start to figure out who they want to be in life (Berk, 2014). Due to the fact that this is also a time of puberty and hormonal changes/imbalance it can become really interesting. Teens are very much aware of the influence in which they have on one another and during this time they learn what is or is not acceptable among their group. Therefore, leading some to take a positive role in the lives of their friends by eating healthier and becoming active (Boruah, 2016). Peer pressure has been known for the maladaptive behaviors, but can also influence in a prosocial behavior of one another. Prosocial can be defined as voluntary behavior planned to profit others (Boruah, 2016). According Pushpa, Ramnath, & Singh (2017) peer pressure whether negative or positive has a lot to do with the style of parenting exacted upon the child, adolescents reared under authoritative parents are less likely to fall prey to peer pressure than those with overly permissive parents. Adolescents are most influenced by older siblings in both positive and negative manners, especially in disturbed households where more criminal behavior exist (Pushpa, Ramnath, Singh, 2017). This occurs quite frequently in low socioeconomical status households, which can include majority of the minorities in this country.
Peer pressure often leads to depression which occurs more often in females than males (Sangeetha & Chetan, 2015). Sangeetha and Chetan (2015) believe adolescents are vulnerable to peer influence based on social and personal demands. However, it is also a well-known fact that peer influence will remain an integral part of human beings throughout their lives, although it becomes super prevalent during teen years (Boruah, 2016).
Berk, L. E., (2014) Development through the lifespan (6th ed). Upper Saddle River, NJ. Pearson Education, Inc.
Boruah, A. (2016). Positive impacts of peer pressure: A systematic review. Indian Journal of Positive Psychology, 7(1), 127–130. Retrieved from https://ezp.waldenulibrary.org/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=115135344&site=eds-live&scope=site
Pushpa, Ramnath, & Singh, S. (2017). Peer pressure among adolescents in relation to family climate. Indian Journal of Health & Wellbeing, 8(3), 196–199. Retrieved from https://ezp.waldenulibrary.org/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=122565572&site=eds-live&scope=site
Sangeetha, V., & Chetan, S. V. (2015). Happiness and peer pressure among adolescents. Indian Journal of Positive Psychology, 6(1), 103. Retrieved from https://ezp.waldenulibrary.org/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edb&AN=101882206&site=eds-live&scope=site