The Truth Behind Peer Pressure

Find out what really happens when teens get pressured.

Adolescents are being pressured to take counterfeit drugs to fit in and look "cool" in front of peers. But how many teens are actually doing this? One out of five teenagers, research reveals. Youth are doing things such as this that they would never think of doing, thanks to peer pressure, and they should not have to do this they don't want to do. Negative peer pressure in adolescents leads to many things, such as social and emotional issues.
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Teens get drawn into negative peer pressure. The kids who do admit to peer pressure are more likely to die than kids who don’t do careless things. “The disturbing message that school officials, experts, and friends say was tragically illustrated by the death from alcohol poisoning of Orland Park cheerleader Elizabeth Wakulich.” (Orland Park Death Proves Peer Pressure Kills.) This teen was pressured into making an $80 bet to guzzle down “a quart of 107 proof Goldschlager, a cinnamon schnapps" [which is an alcoholic beverage]. Because of careless actions like this, teens risk their lives by giving into peer pressure to look cool. “We're seeing quite a few ER visits and deaths this year. We just had a kid who walked right in front of a semi-truck...and a straight-A-student--a cheerful, beautiful girl--who overdosed on heroin." (Bonnie M. Rubin & T. Shawn). Elizabeth’s actions were very careless and common, and teens should think before they act if they want to live.
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Peer pressure also takes teens away from their families and pushes them towards their friends. Since teens will be disobeying their parents and rules, this is a big social issue that teens have to deal with if they’re going to continue making poor decisions. “Negative peer pressure is always antagonistic to the values that are promoted by the family.” (Does Peer Pressure Have Positive or Negative Impacts on Teen Behavior?) It’s the teen’s choice to give in to peer pressure...why? To impress people? To seem independent? All of these are true, but they have very negative results, such as destroying bonds with families. “The direct result of negative peer pressure is alienation from the family.” (indiaparenting.com) Since teens have given in to peer pressure once before, they may continue to do so, and do it more often.
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As teens continue to give in to pressure, it gives them an emotional issue that they have to deal with. “Teenagers feel that it is a mark of independence to disobey and disregard the opinion and values of their. parents.” (indiaparenting.com) As teens become more independent, this will tamper with their moods and change the way they act. When teens decide to give into peer pressure, their actions will affect their behavior; the way they act. They may get depressed and upset because they have no parental image to guide them. Teens may destroy their relationship with their families. This could make teens cross and change the way they act and respond to things. “…negative pressure can promote smoking, alcohol, drugs and early sexual activities that are harmful“ (Does Peer Pressure Have Positive or Negative Impacts on Teen Behavior?) Teens will feel comfortable saying “Yes” to doing dangerous things because it "makes them" independent and they’ve done it in the past.

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However, many argue that adolescents can receive positive peer pressure by "examining their friendships" and that can "encourage youth to be successful in school." (Youth resources) These thoughts infer that teens are only introduced to positive peer pressure. Teens can modify their relationships but many kids do not have friends to do so. This makes it easier for other kids to pressure them. As a result, they won't have any friends to do good things such as studying.
Negative peer pressure will continue to give adolescents social and emotional issues if we don't find a solution. Teens are getting so caught up in seeming cool to impress people that they forget about the effects that come with it. Teens do not yet understand the dangers of doing unsafe things from peer pressure. If we eventually fix this issue, teens will gain more confidence in themselves. Less and less teens will have addictions and issues. So get your act together! Quit being ok with all of this pressure! Stand up for yourself--it may save your life.
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