Peer Pressure Research Paper Ideas

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Understanding how peer pressure works can go a long way toward preventing its negative effects. The research paper ideas in this lesson will help your students understand this important topic better.

Why Research Peer Pressure?

Almost everyone knows what peer pressure is, and most people experience it at some point over the course of development. Yet really understanding peer pressure means having more than just a definition. Peer pressure combines issues from sociology, psychology, and history, as well as popular culture and media. Students who have a really strong understanding of peer pressure, what it is, and why it works will be better equipped to prevent its negative effects.

One way to help your students understand peer pressure is by having them write research papers about it. The research paper topics in this lesson offer various windows into peer pressure and let students approach it through different disciplinary lenses.

Peer Pressure Research Paper Topics

Psychology Topics

  • Why do some people enjoy exerting peer pressure on others? Research the psychology behind being a peer leader and using leadership skills in sometimes destructive ways. Make sure to find out about the psychological benefits people might gain from exerting peer pressure, and consider other ways to achieve the same benefits without the detrimental effects.
  • What makes some people more susceptible to peer pressure than others? What psychological strengths, skills, and strategies can help an individual resist peer pressure, and how can people develop these skills?

Sociology Topics

  • Explain how peer pressure works within a social group. To do this, research specific groups and topics where peer pressure has been a significant issue, as well as groups and topics where peer pressure plays less of a role. Form a sociological analysis of the social dynamics that lead to or prevent the problem of peer pressure.
  • What are three key sociological phenomena where peer pressure plays a role? Research which people these phenomena tend to impact most strongly, and why. For instance, if you write about peer pressure and drugs, describe what groups of people are most vulnerable to peer pressure in terms of drug use, and postulate as to why this might be the case.

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