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Social Studies Assignment on Peer Pressure

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Introduction

n. Pressure from one’s peers to behave in a manner similar or acceptable to them.

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Peer pressure is everywhere. People from all walks of life and all professions experience it. People of all ages are victims of it. There are many different forms of peer pressure, and the pressure can be applied to almost anything.

In this assignment I will be looking more closely at different types of peer pressure, its effects on individuals, families and communities. I will also make recommendations to try and lessen the amount of peer pressure that people feel, in particular children and teenagers.

I will do an interview on someone who has experienced extreme peer pressure and also do an online questionnaire to find out more about peoples knowledge and views of peer pressure.

What is peer pressure?

Peer pressure refers to the influence exerted by a peer group (a group of people of similar age, social status and interests) in encouraging a person to change his or her attitudes, values or behaviours in order to conform to the group.

Youth peer pressure is one of the most frequently referred-to forms of negative peer pressure. This is thought to be so common due to the amount of time that children and teenagers are forced to spend in fixed groups, i.e. school. Youth peer pressure can also have positive effects, but for the purposes of this assignment, I will be focusing on the negative aspects of peer pressure.

Recognising Peer Pressure

Peer pressure can sneak up on you in many different ways, from putting off homework to go out with friends or letting a crush copy work off you are all types of things that teenagers do in the face of peer pressure. Peer pressure can put you at personal risk, make you compromise morals and deter you from future plans.

It is only realistic to assume that everyone will face peer pressure at some point in their lives, and most will give in to it in some shape or form.

There are certain stereotypical activities that a teenager may be pressured into doing, including:

–      Sneaking out of the house

–      Allowing others to cheat off your work

–      Drinking

–      Smoking

–      Experimenting with drugs

–      Shoplifting

–      Having sex before you are ready

–      Teasing or bullying others more vulnerable than you

–      Putting off school work to hang out with friends

Effects of Peer Pressure on an Individual

Children and teenagers feel social pressure to conform to the group of peers with whom they socialise. This pressure can influence how children dress, what kind of music they listen to and what behaviours they may partake in, ranging from less serious problems like how they dress to more serious problems like experimenting with drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and sex.

Peer pressure stifles individuality and promotes a trend of people who look and act alike. However, there is a unique face behind each mask. Loss of individuality can be one of the biggest setbacks anyone can suffer in a childhood.

Peer groups are usually cliques of friends who are about the same age, are in the same class or live in the same area. Peer pressure can begin in early childhood, when children try to get other children to play the games they want. Generally, it increases in intensity throughout childhood, and peaks at the pre-teen and teenage years. Almost all adolescents in secondary school have to deal with peer pressure at some stage, often on a daily basis. It is how children and teenagers learn to get along with other people, and eventually learn to be independent. As I’ve mentioned earlier, some of this peer pressure is positive.

When children first attend secondary school, they spend less and less time with their family, and more and more time with their friends. While there are some exceptions, most teenagers belong to a specific group of friends, called a clique. In early adolescence, it is most common for these groups to be all of the same sex. Adolescents will spend a lot of time with this clique and will interact with them constantly. Every child knows who belongs to which clique, and they generally don’t stray from their own.

Despite being in a clique, most adolescents also belong to a “crowd”. This is made up of a number of cliques who share similar interests, e.g. sport or music. However, the members of the crowd will generally be passing acquaintances only.

There are many reasons that adolescents give in to peer pressure: to be liked, to fit in, or because they worry that they will be made fun of or bullied otherwise. Others may give in out of curiosity. The idea that “everyone is doing it” can influence a teenager to go against their better judgement and common sense.

There are certain risk factors and personality traits that may make a child more prone to peer pressure. These include:

–      Low self esteem

–      lack of confidence

–      uncertainty about ones place within a given peer group

–      no personal interests exclusive of one’s peer group

–      feeling isolated from peers and/or family

–      poor academic abilities or performance

–      fear of one’s peers

–      lack of strong ties to friends

–      feeling that friends could turn on you

–      close bond with a bully

Experiments have been done to show how peer pressure can influence teenagers to change their mind from what they are certain is acceptable, to unacceptable behaviour because everyone in their peer group is doing it. The studies have shown that for an individual to stand their ground, they need to have one other peer agree with them.

Children and teenagers cannot always avoid negative peer pressure. It may continue to be an issue throughout adolescence and into adulthood.

There are three different types of peer pressure:

Directly:

This can be someone telling you what to do.

Indirectly:

Peer pressure may not always be obvious. This can present itself in a way such as one person acting differently around different groups of friends.

Individual:

Sometimes the pressure comes from you. It is a difficult thing for a teenager to feel isolated from a group. To prevent this, we change ourselves to fit into a set of friends.

Peer rejection often beings a host of serious emotional difficulties in an adolescent. These children are frequently unhappy with themselves and with the relationships with other people. They experience loneliness and low self esteem. Peer rejection can be predictive of later life problems, such as dropping out of school at a young age, juvenile delinquency and mental health issues. Research indicates that 25% of adolescents who aren’t socially accepted drop out of school early, compared to 8% of other teenagers.

Some Statistics

–      Teenagers who try alcohol do so around the age of 13.

–      Two thirds of teens that drink buy their own alcohol.

–      The percentage of teens that have used some form of cocaine is 9.5%.

–      30.2% of young adults are given, offered, or sold drugs in secondary school.

–      Twenty-five percent of 17 and 18 year-olds smoke regularly.

–      Approximately 50% of 12-17 year olds feel pressured in sex and relationships.

–      Teenage girls tend to be pressured into drinking by peer pressure more so than boys.

“The desire to be accepted by their peers is perhaps the strongest motivating force during adolescence” – Bruce A. Epstein

Effects of Peer Pressure on the Family

As a parent, when your teenager suddenly develops interests that he/she never had, or starts dressing differently, it can be difficult to understand. It is important to keep in mind that peer pressure can hold a very powerful influence over a child.

As humans, we all go through different stages of development. For example, as an infant, your child needed to learn to trust you. As a teenager, the need is to break away from the parents influence and to attempt to develop their own identity. At this stage, friends become very important to the teenager, and fitting in is essential to a teenager’s peace of mind. This is why peer pressure can be so influential to a teenager.

During this time, a parent may find their teenager difficult to deal with. They may start experimenting with drugs and alcohol, or other behaviours. This is upsetting for all the family, especially if it gets out of control. At this stage, it may also be difficult to give attention to other siblings.

It can be hard to give advice to a teenager, as teenagers seem to be unable to grasp the concepts that you are telling them. For instance, they may be able to recite the reasons for not smoking, but the brain may not be ready to harness this information. This happens as the brain is constantly looking for new stimulation and experiences.

Despite this, the parent remains one of the biggest influences on the teenager. When parents stay involved in the teenagers life, their children tend to make better choices. Studies have backed this up. It is important to stay interested in your teen’s life, even when they seem to ignore you. Also, if you expect them not to drink, smoke, take drugs or have sex, they are less likely to.

Effects of Peer Pressure on the Community

For this part of the assignment I am going to focus on peer pressure and bullying in the school environment.

When you ask any teacher about his or her professional life, they will almost always say that teaching is not as easy as it once was, as there are so many children at risk from different forms of peer pressure. This applies to children from all backgrounds. The typical classroom now will have students that are highly gifted and also ones who are disabled.

Because of this, cliques form where small groups of people with similar interests form friendships. Anyone that is not in one of these cliques is a possible target for bullying. As we all know, bullying is a major problem for schools, and most schools will have a strategy for dealing with it. However, this is very often ineffective, and can sometimes cause more trouble for the individual.

Peer pressure also causes trouble for teachers when students are influenced or “dared” to do something like spray graffiti on a wall, or break a window. The individual who carried out the act will be punished, but nothing will be said to the people who pressured the person who did it. As a result, the bullies will have got away with it, and will continue to act like this. Without actual proof, the school cannot punish these people.

Drugs and alcohol in schools is also very common and is on the increase, as well as smoking. Most schools have smoke alarms and very serious policies on smoking, drinking and drugs, but these do not affect students who are off the premises. If students are allowed to leave the grounds at lunch times, it is very common to find them smoking and drinking, and pressuring younger students to do the same.

Interview on Peer Pressure

1.   What age are you?

2.   Are you male or female?

3.   Can you describe peer pressure in your own words?

4.   Can you think of some situations where you were exposed to peer pressure or bullying?

5.   How did you deal with it?

6.   Do you think that was the right thing to do?

7.   If no, what would you have done differently?

8.   Do you think you would be a different person if you had not made these choices?

9.   What advice would you give to someone younger who is exposed to peer pressure?

10.    Do you think it happens to everyone?

Interview on Peer Pressure

1.   What age are you?

18

2.   Are you male or female?

Female

3.   Can you describe peer pressure in your own words?

It’s when people put pressure on you to do things that they’re doing.

4.   Can you think of some situations where you were exposed to peer pressure or bullying?

Yes, when I was younger, my friends told me that if I didn’t try a cigarette, they wouldn’t be friends with me anymore. I started drinking because I thought it was cool.

5.   How did you deal with it?

I smoked the cigarette and I’m still smoking.

6.   Do you think that was the right thing to do?

No. My health has suffered as a result of smoking, and it is annoying to have to go outside when I’m out with my friends.

7.   If no, what would you have done differently?

I would have told them no, because if they’re making me do that, they’re obviously not my real friends.

8.   Do you think you would be a different person if you had not made these choices?

No. I think I would still be essentially the same person, only a non-smoker.

9.   What advice would you give to someone younger who is exposed to peer pressure?

“Just say no”. Don’t give in to people, and if they’re putting you into a situation that you’re not comfortable with, they are obviously not your real friends.

10.    Do you think it happens to everyone?

Yes, definitely. I think it happens from the age of 11 to 17, mostly. I think females are more vulnerable than males, because they think that by doing these things, they will attract boys, or “cooler” friends.

Questionnaire

1.   What age are you?

2.   Are you male or female?

3.   Can you describe peer pressure in your own words?

4.   Can you think of a situation where you were exposed to peer pressure?

5.   How did you deal with it?

6.   Do you think that was the right thing to do?

7.   If no, what would you have done differently?

8.   Do you think you would be a different person if you had not made these choices?

9.   What advice would you give to someone younger who is exposed to peer pressure?

10.               Do you think it happens to everyone?

Questionnaire on Peer Pressure

1.   What age are you?

20

2. Are you male or female?

Female

3. Can you describe peer pressure in your own words?

Feeling forced to do things your friends are doing

4. Can you think of a situation where you were exposed to peer pressure?

Many situations where there’s a bunch of people who have for one reason or another agreed to hang around together for some time and someone who wants to do something suggests it to the crowd. One or two others want to; maybe even everybody else wants to. The people who want to most push doing it quite hard, those who maybe weren’t that interested feel pressured into agreeing coz most people seem to want to do it, although you can’t tell how many of the others are doing it out of peer pressure too.

5. How did you deal with it?

I joined it a bit but did my own thing in joining in.

6. Do you think that was the right thing to do?

Yes. That way I could still spend time with the people, getting to know them etc, but didn’t have to do anything I wasn’t comfortable with.

7. If no, what would you have done differently?

8. Do you think you would be a different person if you had not made these choices?

In one particular case, yes. I would probably quite different if I had given in to peer pressure in that case. I mean it could have gone fine and nothing might have really changed, but it could have gone awfully too, in many different ways.

9. What advice would you give to someone younger who is exposed to peer pressure?

It’s not worth it. If you agree to do something you don’t think is right, just because others are doing it, realise it’s not just going to be this once you do it. It’s not a quick fix to escape the situation, if you do it that time, they’ll expect even more that you will do it the next time and so on. Realize that in a few years you might be talking to someone, boyfriend/girlfriend/best friend/wife/whoever and you may have to explain that reason why you did whatever and maybe still do, is because a few years ago when your ‘friends’ were doing it, you felt you had to too.

10. Do you think it happens to everyone?

Yes it does happen to everyone, it mightn’t have a very strong effect on some people who don’t care what other people think but at some point, in some situation it affects everyone.

Questionnaire on Peer Pressure

1. What age are you?
20.

2. Are you male or female?
Male.

3. Can you describe peer pressure in your own words?
I don’t want to.
Go on, everybody else is doing it.
I don’t know, I really don’t think I should.
You’ll love it, I swear.
Maybe…
Here, only this once, and I swear never again.
Oh fine, okay, sure.

4. Can you think of a situation where you were exposed to peer pressure?
Yup. Back when I was around fifteen, a bunch of kids from my class tried to get me to drink. A pretty typical example of peer pressure. We were on a school tour to Italy, and they managed to buy a bottle of vodka and sneak it into the hotel room. I didn’t want to drink, because it was all new territory to me. The results were unpredictable.

5. How did you deal with it?
I drank, of course. I thought that if I didn’t, I would lose the respect of the other kids, and be left out. I figured by doing this, I would become more ‘popular’ amongst them, and be included more in whatever they do. I was technically the ‘loser’ of the class, and was picked on a lot by the others, so I thought this could be my chance to redeem myself to them. It didn’t work, of course, because the next day I was still deemed a ‘loser’ and ridiculed by the ‘cool’ kids.

6. Do you think that was the right thing to do?
Yes, actually. Because it taught me that no matter what I did to please those kids in my class, I would never become more popular with them. That choice of succumbing to peer pressure helped me realise that it’s better to be an opinionated individual instead of a dull sheep following the herd.

7. If no, what would you have done differently?

8. Do you think you would be a different person if you had not made these choices?
Of course. I probably wouldn’t even be here filling out this questionnaire. I can’t really say what I would be like now if I hadn’t of made those choices, because the possibilities are endless, aren’t they. I’m glad I turned out this way though. I’m happy with myself, and I have no regrets.

9. What advice would you give to someone younger who is exposed to peer pressure?
Take a deep breath, and think. Weigh up the pros and the cons of the situation. Do what feels right for you, and not what you think is right for the other people. If you do give in, then consider it a learning experience and use your experience to help you resist the next time peer pressure rolls around the corner. If you don’t give in however, you should still stop and think ‘what would have happened?’

10. Do you think it happens to everyone?
Of course. From grannies in the bingo hall, to little children in the playschool. Nobody can avoid it. So you have to make the best of it, and make it work for you.

Questionnaire on Peer Pressure

1. What age are you?

19

2. Are you male or female?

Male

3. Can you describe peer pressure in your own words?

Doing something you wouldn’t normally do because your friends are

4. Can you think of a situation where you were exposed to peer pressure?

Not really

5. How did you deal with it?

N/A

6. Do you think that was the right thing to do?

N/A

7. If no, what would you have done differently?

N/A

8. Do you think you would be a different person if you had not made these choices?

I maybe would have given in and started smoking or something

9. What advice would you give to someone younger who is exposed to peer pressure?

Just do what you want, and not really cos of what others think of you

10. Do you think it happens to everyone?

Probably. It’s part of growing up!

Questionnaire on Peer Pressure

1. What age are you?

19

2. Are you male or female?

Male

3. Can you describe peer pressure in your own words?

A force from friends to do something that you aren’t completely comfortable with.

4. Can you think of a situation where you were exposed to peer pressure? Yes

5. How did you deal with it?

Simply refused to do it.

6. Do you think that was the right thing to do?

Yup. It’s solely up to the individual.

7. If no, what would you have done differently?

8. Do you think you would be a different person if you had not made these choices?

Yeah. I’d be far easier persuaded to do things by friends if I had not shown some back bone initially.

9. What advice would you give to someone younger who is exposed to peer pressure?

Don’t crack just for the sake of it. If it’s something you are completely uncomfortable with, don’t do it. There will be a time when you’ll want to do it or maybe it’s a case that you’ll never want to do it. Just don’t let others decide for you.

10. Do you think it happens to everyone?

Yes, at some stage in life, everyone is exposed to peer pressure. It’s just up to the individual how they deal with the situation.

Questionnaire on Peer Pressure

1. What age are you?

16

2. Are you male or female?

Female.

3. Can you describe peer pressure in your own words?

Simply put, peer pressure is the “pressure” one feels to act or do things in a way that would be acceptable to his or her peers. It’s a social pressure, and when placed on a weak person, it can be extremely detrimental. It undermines an individual’s ability to be their own person.

4. Can you think of a situation where you were exposed to peer pressure? Peer pressure is present at all times, one moment in particular jumps to mind though. The week after I quit smoking, I had a friend over and he was offering me a cigarette. I told him no, and he continued to wave it in front of my face, taunting “You know you want it.”

5. How did you deal with it?

I stayed with my initial “no” answer.

6. Do you think that was the right thing to do?

Yes, not because of what it was, but because it was a decision that I had made beforehand, and I stuck with it. My peer’s can’t convince me to do things that I don’t want to do.

7. If no, what would you have done differently?

8. Do you think you would be a different person if you had not made these choices?

Not because of that one incident, but as a whole, yes. If I let peer pressure take hold on me, then I would not be the same “me” that I am today. I would have been shaped by my friends and enemies as well.

9. What advice would you give to someone younger who is exposed to peer pressure?

Stick with what you think you should do, don’t let anyone sway your thinking.

10. Do you think it happens to everyone?

Yes, it is exposed to everyone, and you’d be lying if you said that you had never let peer pressure drive you do something that you would’ve never pictured yourself doing. The ability to learn and grow is what is important. No one is perfect, but it’s wasteful to continue making the same mistakes over and over again.

Questionnaire on Peer Pressure

1.   What age are you?

21

2.   Are you male or female?

Male

3.   Can you describe peer pressure in your own words?

A situation where a person may be forced to change his/her

attitudes/values/behaviour in order to conform to a group

4.   Can you think of a situation where you were exposed to peer pressure?

When I was about 15, I got pressured into using cocaine, getting told that if

I don’t do it then there was no point in being in that certain circle of “friends”

5.   How did you deal with it?

I didn’t do it, purely because it’d just be a downright idiotic thing to do

6.   Do you think that was the right thing to do?

Yes

7.   If no, what would you have done differently?

8.   Do you think you would be a different person if you had not made these choices?

Quite possibly, because I’m happy with where I am at the moment

9.   What advice would you give to someone younger who is exposed to peer pressure?

Try your hardest to not get sucked into it, focus on the important things like

education and get the most out of what you have

10.  Do you think it happens to everyone?

Yes

Questionnaire on Peer Pressure

1. What age are you?

19

2. Are you male or female?

Female

3. Can you describe peer pressure in your own words?

Peer pressure is when a person/s are forced (mentally) to do something to be accepted

4. Can you think of a situation where you were exposed to peer pressure?

Nothing comes to mind though I most likely have been exposed to it

5. How did you deal with it?

I think I’ve gone with it, following the mainstream

6. Do you think that was the right thing to do?

It probably wasn´t but it has shaped me as a person. Everyone has to make their own mistakes.

7. If no, what would you have done differently?

8. Do you think you would be a different person if you had not made these choices?

Probably, but I don’t think about the past, what is done is done

9. What advice would you give to someone younger who is exposed to peer pressure?

If you aren´t ready for this [drinking, smoking, sex …] or it goes against your better judgement, you can say no and people should respect you for speaking your mind and being true to yourself

10. Do you think it happens to everyone?

Yes

Questionnaire on Peer Pressure

1. What age are you?

20

2. Are you male or female?

Male

3. Can you describe peer pressure in your own words?

Your friends trying to force you to conform to their standards of ‘cool’

4. Can you think of a situation where you were exposed to peer pressure?

Being offered weed at a party

5. How did you deal with it?

Just said no

6. Do you think that was the right thing to do?

Yes

7. If no, what would you have done differently?

8. Do you think you would be a different person if you had not made these choices?

Yes

9. What advice would you give to someone younger who is exposed to peer pressure?

Trying to be someone else doesn’t make you cool, it makes you stupid

10. Do you think it happens to everyone?

At some time or another, yes

Questionnaire on Peer Pressure

1. What age are you?

20

2. Are you male or female?

Female

3. Can you describe peer pressure in your own words?

It’s when your friends or people of a similar age try to persuade you to

do a certain thing that is usually out of character for you, or not

usually in your nature

4. Can you think of a situation where you were exposed to peer pressure?

Yes, a lot of my friends all drank before they were 18 and also did

drugs (smoked hash) Most of them didn’t have a problem with it and

accepted that I didn’t want to do that, but some of them laughed at

me, thought my choices were silly and tried to get me to try smoke a

joint or try alcohol, and when I would say no, they would laugh and

ask why, saying it wasn’t serious etc.

5. How did you deal with it?

I knew I had done the right thing, I’m very anti-drugs and not into

alcohol. I knew it was something I wasn’t going to try no matter what.

Although the fact that people laughed and thought I was silly did

annoy me. I just had to get on with things and try ignore what they

said.

6. Do you think that was the right thing to do?

Yes. I knew my beliefs and I felt very strongly about them. I had

always said I wouldn’t drink before I was 18 and would never try

drugs. I didn’t see what else I could do except try ignore the few

people that did laugh at me.

7. If no, what would you have done differently?

8. Do you think you would be a different person if you had not made

these choices?

Yes, I probably would have started hanging around with that particular

group of people and done some things differently. At that particular

age (from when I was 16 until 18) I think I would have been easily

impressionable and probably would have changed a bit

9. What advice would you give to someone younger who is exposed to

peer pressure?

Don’t go along with the crowd and do something you don’t want to do

just to be “accepted” Anyone that tried to force you to do something

you don’t want to do isn’t exactly a good friend.

10. Do you think it happens to everyone?

Yes, I think it is something that a lot of people will experience at some

point

Questionnaire

11.               What age are you?

20

12.               Are you male or female?

Female

13.               Can you describe peer pressure in your own words?

Peer pressure is when people of a similar age try to force someone to do something they don’t really want to do, and that they may be uncomfortable with

14.               Can you think of a situation where you were exposed to peer pressure?

I’ve been asked if I wanted drugs, or a cigarette, and almost always get asked if I want to drink alcohol when I go out. This happened a lot more when I was in secondary school, though.

15.               How did you deal with it?

I’ve always said no

16.               Do you think that was the right thing to do?

Yes, definitely

17.               If no, what would you have done differently?

18.               Do you think you would be a different person if you had not made these choices?

As a teenager, I was obviously very impressionable, so if I hadn’t had the willpower to say no, I think I would have a very different life now, especially with the drugs.

19.               What advice would you give to someone younger who is exposed to peer pressure?

I would just tell them not to give in to it, it is definitely not worth it and your real friends will respect you more for it

20.               Do you think it happens to everyone?

I do think it happens to everyone, in all walks of life, and I don’t believe it stops, at least not in a person’s working life.

Questionnaire on Peer Pressure

1. What age are you?

20

2. Are you male or female?

Male

3. Can you describe peer pressure in your own words?

Pressure put on you by your friends

4. Can you think of a situation where you were exposed to peer pressure?

I was out and everyone was drinking, and everyone was offering to

buy me alcohol

5. How did you deal with it?

I just said “No, thanks”

6. Do you think that was the right thing to do?

Yes

7. If no, what would you have done differently?

8. Do you think you would be a different person if you had not made

these choices?

Yes I do, I would have started drinking and probably wouldn’t have

done as much work in school, I’d have less money.

9. What advice would you give to someone younger who is exposed to

peer pressure?

Don’t do anything you don’t want to

10. Do you think it happens to everyone?

Yes, it happens to everyone of all ages, not just teenagers.

Questionnaire on Peer Pressure

1. What age are you?
19

2. Are you male or female?
Female.

3. Can you describe peer pressure in your own words?
When nimrods around you try to get you to do “the cool thing” even when you don’t want to.

4. Can you think of a situation where you were exposed to peer pressure?
Plenty of times, but that’s how you find your real friends. The ones who like you not for what you do, but for your values and who you are.

5. How did you deal with it?
Put my own opinion first.

6. Do you think that was the right thing to do?
Absolutely.

7. If no, what would you have done differently?

8. Do you think you would be a different person if you had not made these choices?
Not entirely. I might have done a few more stupid things had I folded under peer pressure, but I think I’d still be me.

9. What advice would you give to someone younger who is exposed to peer pressure?
Control your own life, don’t let other tell you how to live. You’ll learn that the people who try to pressure you into something you don’t want to aren’t the ones who make true friends. The ones who stand by your side because you didn’t give in, those are the ones you want to keep around.

10. Do you think it happens to everyone?
Mostly, yes.

Questionnaire on Peer Pressure

1. What age are you?

21

2. Are you male or female?

Male

3. Can you describe peer pressure in your own words?

People similar to you trying to get you to act, say, or hold an opinion they choose for you.

4. Can you think of a situation where you were exposed to peer pressure? Yes

5. How did you deal with it?

Taking the time to think for myself on what would be the best option for myself or the other people it affected.

6. Do you think that was the right thing to do?

Yes

7. If no, what would you have done differently?

N/A

8. Do you think you would be a different person if you had not made these choices?

Possibly but in the long run not by much.

9. What advice would you give to someone younger who is exposed to peer pressure?

Take a step back and look at everything first.

10. Do you think it happens to everyone?

Everyone that is socially active in some way.

Questionnaire on Peer Pressure

1.   What age are you?

17

2.   Are you male or female?

Female

3.   Can you describe peer pressure in your own words?

When friends pressurise you into doing something that you either don’t want to do, or aren’t sure about doing, or wouldn’t usually do.

4.   Can you think of a situation where you were exposed to peer pressure?

People always try to encourage me to drink alcohol

5.   How did you deal with it?

I just tell them that they do what they want, and I do what I want, which usually isn’t drinking, most of them have some odd form of respect for it

6.   Do you think that was the right thing to do?

I hope so!

7.   If no, what would you have done differently?

8.   Do you think you would be a different person if you had not made these choices?

I don’t think so. I mean, if I had drunk the alcohol and got drunk then I would’ve most likely acted stupidly, but it wouldn’t change who I am in general I don’t think.

9.   What advice would you give to someone younger who is exposed to peer pressure?

Stick to what you believe in, just because someone says jump doesn’t mean you have to follow.

10.               Do you think it happens to everyone?

At one point or another, yes.

Questionnaire on Peer Pressure

1.   What age are you?

16

2.   Are you male or female?

Male

3.   Can you describe peer pressure in your own words?

Being forced to do something you may or may not want to do because friends or people you know are doing it.

4.   Can you think of a situation where you were exposed to peer pressure?

It happens all the time that I’m asked do I want a cigarette, whether I’m in school or out with friends.

5.   How did you deal with it

Say no because I know they can destroy your health, and because everyone’s aware of the health risks nobody has ever forced me into it.

6.   Do you think that was the right thing to do?

Yes.

7.   If no, what would you have done differently?

8.   Do you think you would be a different person if you had not made these choices

Yes, I would probably have fallen in to a smoking habit very fast because so many people around me smoke.

9.   What advice would you give to someone younger who is exposed to peer pressure?

If you don’t want to do it, just say no. Nobody’s going to think any different of you, and if they do, they’re not a friend.

10.               Do you think it happens to everyone?

Yes, everyone has been or will be exposed to some form of peer pressure in their lifetime, it’s almost impossible not to be.

Questionnaire on Peer Pressure

1.   What age are you?

17

2.   Are you male or female?

Male

3.   Can you describe peer pressure in your own words?

Those of roughly the same age as myself forcing me to do things so I may be deemed as being accepted socially.

4.   Can you think of a situation where you were exposed to peer pressure?

A snow ball fight that was in danger of harming those not involved

5.   How did you deal with it?

I discouraged it and did not participate

6.   Do you think that was the right thing to do?

Yes

7.   If no, what would you have done differently?

8.   Do you think you would be a different person if you had not made these choices?

Yes

9.   What advice would you give to someone younger who is exposed to peer pressure?

Do what you want rather than what someone tells you to do

10.               Do you think it happens to everyone?

Yes

Questionnaire on Peer Pressure

1.   What age are you?

20

2.   Are you male or female?

Male

3.   Can you describe peer pressure in your own words?

Feeling like you’re being driven to do something by the people you surround yourself with.

4.   Can you think of a situation where you were exposed to peer pressure?

First year of college, I didn’t drink.

5.   How did you deal with it?

Pretty well, I wasn’t affected by it.

6.   Do you think that was the right thing to do?

It was.

7.   If no, what would you have done differently?

8.   Do you think you would be a different person if you had not made these choices?

Not really, the choice of alcohol or no doesn’t have a major effect on my personality as a whole.

9.   What advice would you give to someone younger who is exposed to peer pressure?

It’s your choice to let it affect you or not. If you choose not to, you will prove a lot to yourself about your own will.

10.               Do you think it happens to everyone?

Yeah

Questionnaire on Peer Pressure

1.   What age are you?

20

2.   Are you male or female?

Female

3.   Can you describe peer pressure in your own words?

People trying to make others do the same as them.

4.   Can you think of a situation where you were exposed to peer pressure?

Drinking

5.   How did you deal with it?

I did it if I wanted to, no one made me do anything I didn’t want to do.

6.   Do you think that was the right thing to do?

Yes if I did it, it was because I wanted to and it was nothing to major.

7.   If no, what would you have done differently?

8.   Do you think you would be a different person if you had not made these choices?

No

9.   What advice would you give to someone younger who is exposed to peer pressure?

Do what you want to do, it’s your life don’t let others tell you what to do.

10.               Do you think it happens to everyone?

Most people yes.

Questionnaire

1.   What age are you?

18

2.   Are you male or female?

Female

3.   Can you describe peer pressure in your own words?

When you feel pressured to do the same thing as your friends

4.   Can you think of a situation where you were exposed to peer pressure?

I’ve been in many situations, I once decided to smoke a cigar to be like one of the boys when I was about 15.

5.   How did you deal with it?

Smoked the cigar then felt stupid afterwards.

6.   Do you think that was the right thing to do?

No.

7.   If no, what would you have done differently?

Nothing, because I wanted to impress my friends at the time.

8.   Do you think you would be a different person if you had not made these choices?

Not really

9.   What advice would you give to someone younger who is exposed to peer pressure?

I would say don’t give into it but then how do you learn about anything like smoking, drinking and other things if you don’t give into it?

10.               Do you think it happens to everyone?

Pretty much.

Questionnaire on Peer Pressure

1. What age are you?

24

2. Are you male or female?

Male

3. Can you describe peer pressure in your own words?

I’d say its people of your own age group and social networks, making you feel pressured to do things you are not entirely comfortable with

4. Can you think of a situation where you were exposed to peer pressure?

In school I always hung around with the same group of people and we never had that problem, just minor things like not wanting to dance when I’m in a nightclub and people pressuring me to get up the dance floor

5. How did you deal with it?

I said no, etc. but inevitably got up to dance

6. Do you think that was the right thing to do?

I enjoyed myself but I do think the others should have respected my feelings about the situation better

7. If no, what would you have done differently?

Stood off to the side, and ignored what they were saying, maybe sit down and talk to people instead

8. Do you think you would be a different person if you had not made these choices?

No it’s not a really serious situation

9. What advice would you give to someone younger who is exposed to peer pressure?

Don’t let you do things you’re not comfortable with, and if the situation is serious, talk to someone older, someone you can trust who’s not biased and who understands the problem and won’t make you feel bad for not wanting to do it

10. Do you think it happens to everyone?

I wouldn’t say everyone, but I would say the majority of people

Questionnaire on Peer Pressure

1. What age are you?

19

2. Are you male or female?

Female

3. Can you describe peer pressure in your own words?

Being forced to do something you wouldn’t usually do

4. Can you think of a situation where you were exposed to peer

pressure?

Smoking with a girl in school

5. How did you deal with it?

I gave in

6. Do you think that was the right thing to do?

No

7. If no, what would you have done differently?

I don’t know, not smoked

8. Do you think you would be a different person if you had not made

these choices?

No

9. What advice would you give to someone younger who is exposed to

peer pressure?

Stick with your own mind, and don’t follow the crowd

10. Do you think it happens to everyone?

Yes, at some point

Questionnaire on Peer Pressure

1. What age are you?

20

2. Are you male or female?

Male.

3. Can you describe peer pressure in your own words?

Older persons trying to make someone younger/ more naive act in a certain way or to do something they normally wouldn’t.

4. Can you think of a situation where you were exposed to peer pressure? No.

5. How did you deal with it?

6. Do you think that was the right thing to do?

7. If no, what would you have done differently?

Nothing.

8. Do you think you would be a different person if you had not made these choices?

No.

9. What advice would you give to someone younger who is exposed to peer pressure?

Think for yourself and ask yourself would you do this if someone wasn’t trying to get you to do it.

10. Do you think it happens to everyone?

No.

Analysis of Primary Research

ü  10 females answered the questionnaire

ü  13 males answered

ü  19 people felt that they had experienced peer pressure

ü  7 people gave in to peer pressure

ü  12 people stood their ground

ü  16 people felt they did the right thing

ü  13 people felt that they would have been a different person if they had made different choices

ü  21 people felt that peer pressure happens to everyone

ü  Most people’s view of what peer pressure is was similar

ü  Everyone questioned would recommend being your own person, and doing what is right for you, as opposed to what is right for other people

Recommendations for the Individual

There are a number of ways that a young person can deal with peer pressure effectively, including:

Ø  Avoid putting yourself in situations that make you feel uncomfortable. For example, if you don’t want to smoke, avoid the areas that you know other teenagers smoke.

Ø  Choose friends wisely. People who share your values are much less likely to ask you to do something you don’t want to, or aren’t ready for.

Ø  Stop and think about what you are being asked to do. Think about the consequences. Ask yourself if you are likely to get in trouble, or if this will harm your health.

Ø  Think about the reasons you are doing this. Is it to gain popularity or to impress a crush? If you are doing something that you are not comfortable with, or changing your behaviour to fit in, you are not being true to yourself.

Ø  Learn to say “no”. This can be one of the hardest things for people to do, but it is essential if you want to prevent unnecessary and negative peer pressure. Also, remember there are different ways to say no.

Ø  Know where you stand on issues like sex, drugs and alcohol and do not allow anyone to sway your thinking

Recommendations for the Family

As a parent, it can be difficult to cope with a teenager that is succumbing to peer pressure. However there are a number of ways to ensure that your child knows that you are being supportive.

Ø  Keep communication open, and try to listen without judging. If your child feels they cannot speak to you, recommend another family member that they may feel more comfortable with

Ø  Support their thoughts on different issues, but also offer advice on making good choices.

Ø  Don’t argue over every little thing. If they are dressing differently but still doing well at school, it may be wise to overlook their fashion sense.

Ø  As far as possible, try to know your child’s friends and their parents. However, it is unwise to prohibit them from being friends with anyone. This may make them more likely to act out

Ø  Talk about drugs, smoking and alcohol and inform your teenager of all the health risks and personal risks. Many teenagers may start engaging in these activities because they don’t realise the full extent of the harm they could do.

Ø  Try to build your child’s self confidence and self esteem, and getting involved in positive activities such as music. A child with high self esteem is less likely to follow the crowd.

Recommendations for the Community

There are many strategies that schools can adopt to ensure that peer pressure is not tolerated and to send a clear message that anyone involved will meet with disciplinary action.

Ø  Teachers exert a significant influence on student’s attitudes, knowledge and opinions. Teachers can structure activities that require students to consider several options before making a decision.

Ø  Any teacher who suspects bullying or severe peer pressure must take action. The first step is to notify the appropriate school committee.

Ø  Intervention strategies must be supported by the school principal. Opportunities must be provided by the principal for teachers to meet for discussions about peer pressure and bullying, and how they can fight the problem.

The Effects of Peer Pressure in Society

There are a number of effects that are directly related to peer pressure in today’s society. One example is anti-social behaviour. Bullying and persuasion can often lead to a young person engaging in activities such as spraying graffiti on public property. It is also the number one cause for teenagers starting to smoke cigarettes.

Teenagers exert a lot of pressure on each other to fit in, and this often results in getting caught up with drugs, alcohol and smoking. It is obvious that drug use poses a number of problems for parents and the community and the teenagers themselves. There are a number of crimes that are commonly associated with drug use, especially theft.

Alcohol is also a major problem in today’s society. Teenagers are starting to drink from a younger age than ever before, and this has adverse effects on the whole community. Of course, this is not restricted to teenagers. However, teenagers are more likely to get involved in anti-social activities when they have had alcohol, and they are also more likely to give in to peer pressure. This can result in vandalism such as breaking windows and emptying bins. This directly affects the community, and thus society.

Conclusion

Negative peer pressure is everywhere. It can be found in every playground and in every classroom. It takes many different forms: teasing and bullying, persuasion to do something, even changing how you look to fit in. It is a worldwide problem and one that is very difficult to solve. Every teenager will find themselves faced with a dilemma as to whether to stick with their instinct or to fit in with the “cool” gang. It takes a lot to say no, and most teenagers aren’t able to stand up for themselves.

It is important to remember that although there is a lot of negative peer pressure, there is positive peer pressure also. Pressure to achieve in sports and music, and even exams, can be put on a person by their friends. I focussed on negative peer pressure for this assignment as it poses the most threat to people.

I found this assignment quite hard to research. There was a lot of information on how peer pressure affects a teenager, but there wasn’t a lot on how parents can deal with it, and encourage their teenager to be themselves, and even less on how schools deal with the problem. Most of the recommendations I made will be effective, but as every child is different, there will always be some exceptions. Also, it depends on the “clique” your teenager is in, whether their friends have more say in their lives or you do. It is tough to have that pressure put on you as a teenager, when you are most vulnerable, and when parents are perceived to not understand, it can be even more difficult.

The teenage years are very stressful without the added pressure of deciding whether to give in to the bullies/peers, and it takes a great amount of courage to stand up to them.

Bibliography

Barr, R.D., Parrett, W.H., (2007), Saving Our Students, Saving Our Schools (Minnesota), Corwin Press

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peer_pressure

http://parentingteens.about.com/od/highschool/ss/teen_issues_8.htm

http://teenhealth.about.com/od/relationships/a/PeerPressure.htm

http://teens.lovetoknow.com/Statistics_on_Peer_Pressure

http://www.answers.com/topic/peer-pressure

http://www.ericdigests.org/pre-925/drug.htm

http://www.ibectraining.ie/IBEC/Training/ITADCDocLib.nsf/vTrainingCoursesAZListing/AD4AE58E39FF737780257394005E1602?OpenDocument

http://www.parent-institute.com/educator/products/guides/peerpressure.php

http://www.reachout.com.au/default.asp?ti=274

http://www.teenissues.co.uk/DefeatingPeerPressure.html

Cite this Social Studies Assignment on Peer Pressure

Social Studies Assignment on Peer Pressure. (2016, Aug 01). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/social-studies-assignment-on-peer-pressure/

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