Preventing Peer Pressure

Instructor: Quentin Shires

Quentin has taught psychology and other social science classes at the university level and is considered a doctoral colleague at Capella University.

In this lesson, learn what peer pressure is and how it is linked through acts of bullying. Afterwards, identify prevention measures and other tactics that can help decrease this adolescent-based phenomenon.

What is Peer Pressure?

Although peer pressure can be defined as an influence from one's peer group, this definition alone struggles to provide an understanding of this adolescent-based phenomenon. Peer pressure is an experience that you will encounter when friends attempt to influence you to act a certain way or complete a certain task, typically something that you do not want to do.

There are positive acts of peer pressure; however, this phenomenon is mainly seen as negative, as it hinders your ability to make a decision based upon your own values and morals. Don't forget that adults can also experience peer pressure; so know that you are not alone when it comes to being pressured by people of your own age.

Peer pressure is defined as a negative influence from one

Examples of Peer Pressure

Peer pressure can present itself in your life in different ways. The best way to identify peer pressure is to think about how your friends influence your life. For example, do they encourage you to cut class? Do they encourage you to commit crimes? Or perhaps, they may encourage you to make fun of someone on your sports team that isn't as good a player as the rest of the crew. In order to identify peer pressure, you will typically not want to participate in the encouraging behavior, and your friends may say something along the lines of, 'well everyone else is doing it'.

Other examples of peer pressure could include underage drinking and smoking, the pressure to have sexual intercourse, to fight, and to steal. Look for negative behaviors that make you feel uncomfortable, or ones that are illegal.

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