Negative Peer Pressure

By Allie Tonzi

The Powers of Peer Pressure

Do you see those kids surrounding that girl at her locker? Yelling at her and forcing her to skip class so they can go shopping at the mall. She is trying to tell them that they will get caught, but they don't listen. These kids are pressuring her into making her do something that she does not want to do. If she gives into the peer pressure it might just ruin her life forever! Drug abuse, misbehavior, and harmful activities are linked to negative peer pressure.

Teenagers said their friends were pressured into faking drug taking just to fit in with their peers. Many teens feel that at times their peer group is controlling what they do. Peer pressure can make teens feel that they are being forced to do something that they do not want to do. "Boys were twice as likely to pretend that they had taken drugs, and teenagers living in the South East were more prone to talking up their behavior (Teenagers admit drug peer pressure). Teenagers might never stop giving in to peer pressure or pressuring others until they actually know what can happen to them. "... The disturbing message that school officials, experts and friends say was tragically illustrated by the death of alcohol poisoning of Orland Park cheerleader Elizabeth Wakulich." The 16 year old girl, surrounded by all her friends did something dangerous that cost Elizabeth Wakulich her life (Rubin and Taylor). Meagan Garlanger said "I think for the moment people are going to change the way they think. But after it wears off, people are going to go back to being the way they were. Nothing is going to change until it happens to them or someone really close to them" (Rubin and Taylor). Garlanger understands that after a while people are going to forget about a tragic accident that happened involving peer pressure, and go back to not caring about peer pressure and any of its affects.

Teenage peer pressure has a distinct effect on brain signals involving risk and reward, helping to explain why young people are more likely to misbehave and take risks when their friends are watching. When teens are with all their friends they are going to do things that they do not normally do, like misbehaving and acting up in front of their parents and family. Peer pressure can turn you away from that good boy or a girl that sits at home quietly and does their homework into a smoker who gets really bad grades and a really bad reputation for drinking. "Teenagers feel that it is a mark of independence to disobey and disregard the opinion and values of their parents. This affects their relationship with their parents" (Does peer pressure have positive or negative impacts on teen behavior). But teens get these ideas from their peers who disrespect their parents and family. Just the knowledge that any of your friends are watching you can increase risky and dangerous behavior. "Negative peer pressure encourages the team to ignore his or her academic responsibilities. This may result in poor grades and a disinterest in school" (Does peer pressure have positive or negative impacts on teen behavior). Not all teenagers know that giving into negative peer pressure can destroy their academic life in school. Skipping classes, not studying and getting poor grades are all results of peer pressure.

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In the process of taking drugs teens often fail to realize that they might be indulging in activities that are either directly or indirectly harmful to their well-being. Not only teens but adults to use the phrase "everyone is doing it" as an excuse to make people do things that they may do not want to do (Krantz).This phrase is the reason why many teens give into peer pressure. They think that they might be odd one out if they can not do what everyone else is doing. Most teens teens do not want to be different. Many just want to be the same as everyone else so they can fit in with their peers. When many hear the words peer pressure they typically link it to risky adolescent behaviors like underage drinking and substance abuse (Classroom peer pressure: A mixed blessing). Peer pressure comes in many forms like insults, reasoning, rejection and even unspoken pressure. But most common form of peer pressure is indirect peer pressure affecting teen's lives all around the world. "Negative peer pressure can wreck havoc in the life of any individual. The adolescent or teen mind is still in the process of development. They are not really equipped to realize the harmful effects of peer pressure" (Classroom peer pressure: A mixed blessing). It is better to walk alone in the right direction then with a crowd in the wrong direction. Do what you feel is right. Negative peer pressure should not be a part of growing up and it should definitely not be happening on a daily basis to any teen.

Positive peer pressure is linked to improvement in school, sturdy relationships and communication skills. But despite the fact that not all harmful activities preformed by teens are caused by negative peer pressure, most of it is. Relationships and families can crumble. Teenagers start skipping class which leads to poor grades plus a disinterest in school and many other activities. Drug abuse, misbehavior, and harmful activities are linked to negative peer pressure.

Teens every where all around the world are being pressured by peers and friends and then later on giving into that pressure. This peer pressure is ruining teen's lives in so many ways like growing a disinterest in school and isolating themselves from their family. Negative peer pressure has to stop. Teens have to know that not all peer pressure is positive and will help them succeed. Even though we teach teens that peer pressure can be negative. Many people will not listen until that actually know the affects of peer pressure personally. Lots of this pressure happens in school but also outside of school and teens need to learn how to stay away from this peer pressure. But we have to remember just because no one is doing it doesn't mean it's wrong and just because everyone is doing it doesn't mean it's right.