Dangers of Negative Peer Pressure

By: Ashleigh Mea

How Far Will It Go?

Did you know that peer pressure could kill someone? Well, negative peer pressure certainly can. Peer pressure has such a negative effect on teenagers today. From car crashes, to overdosing on alcohol. These teenagers aren’t just dealing with school and grades, but drugs. As you can see, negative peer pressure is effecting teenagers more than positive peer pressure.

Why are Teenagers Giving In?

The Unthinkable

No one could have imagined that negative peer pressure could be so powerful until it led to death. Research has proven that teenagers are more likely to have higher risks than rewards, such as death or car crashes. Stated in Teenagers Friends and Bad Decisions, “teenagers ran about 40% more yellow lights and had a 60% more crashes when they knew friends were watching”. This proves that teenagers are doing harmful things just to seem “cool”. Orland Park teenager, Elizabeth Walkuich was at a party on a Sunday night, when someone dared her to finish a quart of 107 proof Gold Schlager. Twelve hours later, she was pronounced dead. Who knew that peer pressure could go this far? The farthest positive peer pressure can go is joining a club or to study more. “No ZIP Code, SAT score, no median home value, church or synagogue may be enough protection against peer pressure”. (Orland Park Proves Peer Pressure Kills)

But, There is Positive Peer Pressure...

However, peer pressure cannot just be negative. Positive peer pressure can lead to participating in sports or clubs. Make healthy decisions and encourage one another to be honest and respectful. But, it’s usually not always like that. Nowadays, kids are pressuring each other into doing harmful things. For example, the teen who was dared to drink and later died or teens that get into car crashes more with friends rather than with a parent or by themselves.

What Does This Show Us?

This shows that negative peer pressure that is being put on these teenagers is harming them more mentally and physically, than socially. Teenagers today are going to extremes with drug taking, alcohol abuse and car accidents. But it is not just what they are doing, it is how their peers are affecting their behavior changes. “As they make the hormone laden journey from adult, they forge a personal identity by first creating a social identity.” (Teenagers Admit Drug Peer Pressure) Meaning, for most teenagers, their social life comes first. They do things that friends pressure them into doing, but then they start acting like them which tells us their peers are THEIR personal identity for them. “It’s very hard to overestimate the importance of peer pressure because to kids, peers are everything.” (Orland Park Death Proves Peer Pressure Kills.) Sometimes your child will not behave like that with you, but with friends that’s a whole other story.

Is Fitting In Worth It?

Negative peer pressure can lead to much more than bad grades or staying out after curfew, but now, faking drug taking. A report has shown that teenagers said their friends pressured them into faking drug taking to create a social identity for themselves. In other words, teenagers were not actually taking drugs, but just pretending to in order to fit in with their peers. Now, teenagers are learning to understand who they are by defining themselves through bonds and creating a social identity for themselves. According to Teenagers Admit to Faking Drug Taking, ‘music tastes and appearances are the obvious ways to define oneself, but the ways in which young people talk about themselves to their peers also helps them to create a sense of self.”


Without being said, negative peer pressure can have a much larger impact on teenagers, rather, than, positive peer pressure. Though you can’t control what your child does 24/7, you can still do something about it. If you don’t try and change how your child acts they will have big consequences with their health, emotional aura, and or brain functions. Teenagers have become so out of control that they are, breaking the law, doing illegal things with peers, lying consistently as to where they are or what they are doing. It is only a call for help.