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the positive and negative effects of Peer Pressure


Peer pressure is a change in behavior that a person develops by seeing another person intentionally or unintentionally. It is the result of the perception that a person is related to influence, a group of people, or society. Peer pressure is an interesting topic in social psychology. It explains how people think of their actions as unique and personal decisions when they are the inspirations of other people. Peer pressure is connected to the people with whom the person socializes. It can influence the person in how he will think, perceive, or respond to a general behavior.

Peer pressure is usually absorbed by people who are the same age. It begins in early childhood when a person likes playing games with friends. It progresses with age and the person’s ability to accept peer response is at its peak in teenage. This pressure affects nearly all the teenagers who go to high school. With time, peer pressure becomes a source of inspiration that people accept and try to apply in their careers on their way to independence. People spend less time in their homes and more time with their friends during their teenage years. For children aged 8 to 14, peer pressure generally comes from a group of the same gender. The information traverses with the group by verbal talk or communication means like social media and mobile phones. The group selection is sometimes entirely on the person, and sometimes, he gets interested in the group through the response of a close friend to that group or a general opinion about the group. Depending upon the person’s social group, peer pressure can have positive or negative effects that help the person decide his ambitions in life.


The effects of peer pressure on choosing ambitions in life are interesting. During teenage years, people are quick in their decisions and analysis of an issue. They are more drawn to the quick rewards of the decision and spend less time analyzing the issue’s risks. They are intolerant in their responses, lack the ability to think ahead of time, and greatly affect their peers’ responses.

Teenagers have to make their decisions in stressful conditions without any guidance. Though most schools appoint student advisers to help students decide their careers and tell them their ability to perform for a certain job, most students still choose their careers by getting inspiration from other students and their responses to the benefits and opportunities that this career may provide.

The negative effects of peer pressure are when people try to convince the person to perform a work that can be either harmful to his body or is against the law. The describer shapes the work in the most pealing way and describes it as the most fun activity. He encourages his peers to do the daring thing and sometimes demonstrates it in front of them, this phenomenon is the result of most common crimes in the world and even social issues like drug use, alcohol use, or use of ammunition. A person who gets inspired by these negative influences loses his ability to decide on a better ambition in life and sometimes gets so involved in them that he loses himself and develops psychological and health issues. The statistics acquired from the Crime Control Association in America for the year 2010 describe that there were 4,828 young people from ages 10 to 24 who were involved in criminal activities, which makes an average of 13 per day.

Similarly, there are many positive aspects of peer pressure in relation to the choice of ambitions. When a person gets inspired by a peer who is performing well in his career or likes a profession as a career, it develops a sense of motivation and encouragement within the person. He starts seeing himself successful and his productivity increases. The person then pays more attention to his goals and the ways to achieve them. This motivation can be of two types: negative or positive. It is possible that a bad company that is trying to pull its members into nonproductive activities inspires the person to get attracted to it and start acting according to it, or it can happen oppositely when the person gets inspiration to do better than the group and eventually work hard to achieve his goals both to be successful in his life and positively inspire his peers. Positive peer pressure can also induce obedience and respect in a person and change the response of a person towards his parents or elders of society, which may help them be a better part of society.


Sometimes, it can be hard to resist peer pressure, especially when a person is in the development phase. Just as people influence others to make negative choices, it also can encourage them to make positive ones. The difference between good or bad peer pressure arises with a simple comparison: when it is good the person is part of a group and when it is bad the person belongs to a gang. According to researchers, if peer pressure is forcing a person to act appropriately, do the right thing, or provide positive effects, the peer pressure is positive and should be encouraged. But if the peer pressure encourages involvement in morally ill, or unlawful activities the person should change the group. Parents should keep a check on the company their children are a part of and attracted to and guide them about the consequences of choosing the negative one, as it is the responsibility of parents to ensure a better future for their children.

Works Cited

Ambert, Anne-Marie. “A qualitative study of peer abuse and its effects: Theoretical and empirical implications.” Journal of Marriage and the Family (1994): 119-130.

Brown, B. Bradford. “The extent and effects of peer pressure among high school students: A retrospective analysis.” Journal of youth and adolescence 11.2 (1982): 121-133.

Clasen, Donna Rae, and B. Bradford Brown. “The multidimensionality of peer pressure in adolescence.” Journal of Youth and Adolescence 14.6 (1985): 451-468.



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