Peer pressure and risky driving: Development of a new scale

When peers endorse positive and altruistic behavior, young people are more likely to engage in those behaviors, even when their peers are not watching. Peer pressure is the influence wielded by people within the same social group. It is also the term used to describe the effect this influence has on a person to conform in order to be accepted by the group. Often, peers are thought of as friends, but peers can be anyone of a similar status, such as people who are the same age, who have the same abilities, or who share a social status. Young people need to find a balance in social interactions that support their personal growth and self-expression while aligning it with positive values so they can make informed decisions that align with their character independently. Understanding the underlying factors driving peer pressure can help recognize potentially negative situations while reinforcing positive behavior patterns amongst peers.

indirect peer pressure

Several theories have been proposed to explain mechanisms of influence between peers. Behaviorally the based theories stress reinforcement by peers for specific content (e.g., antisocial topics) within a social interaction. This reinforcement serves to organize the dynamics of interpersonal interactions around that content, creating a shared culture within the friendship. Identity-based theories of influence describe individuals as seeking to maximize their perceived status and self-concept, leading them to imitate the behaviors of others who may be of a desired prototype or higher status. A number of moderators of peer influence have been identified, lending support to these mechanisms and to the power of contextual and relationship factors in shaping adolescent outcomes.

Peer Influence

It can be difficult to find the right way to say no to friends and classmates, especially if you are worried about possible consequences such as bullying, social isolation, or rejection. You can experience peer pressure from people without them saying anything to you, and you can experience it from direct remarks made by others. They are also typically striving for social acceptance and are more willing to engage in behaviors against their better judgment in order to be accepted. It would be good for teens to surround themselves with people their age who have the same interests and share the same behavior. Resisting to peer pressure is not precisely easy and according to this scientific article, teens are too responsive to this pressure, so these recommendations are useful in helping adolescents not to give in. Such resentment might well scupper efforts to encourage peer mentoring and collaborative learning and must be taken into consideration when developing educational programs to facilitate such approaches to study.

Although it’s more commonly discussed in the context of social settings, peer pressure can be a pervasive part of a toxic work environment, whether you’re feeling pressured to conform to office culture or working long hours to impress. Here’s a breakdown of six types of peer pressure, and tips for parents who want to help their child make healthy, life-long choices. A person may be especially vulnerable to peer pressure if they say that peer acceptance is important to them, or if they are sensitive to rejection. The perception that alcohol or drug use is expected may also act as a form of peer pressure. In this article, we look at peer pressure and how it relates to drug use in more detail. We explain how peer pressure works, why it has the potential to lead to substance use disorders, and how people can resist peer pressure to use recreational drugs.

Indirect Peer Pressure

For the individual affected by peer pressure, this can have both a positive or negative effect on them. Similar to unspoken peer pressure, is subtle but can still exert a strong influence on an impressionable young person. When a teen overhears a friend gossiping about another person and then reacts to the gossip, that is indirect peer pressure. Or if a middle schooler learns that the popular kids’ parties include alcohol or drugs, that indirect pressure may prompt them to experiment as a way to gain acceptance. Our results not only offer a new perspective for the analysis of consensus in social groups, but also raise questions about the role of indirect peer pressure in the controllability of social networks. Future researches must explore how indirect peer pressure influences social activities in networks with very different topologies.

With indirect pressure, adolescents are exposed to the actions of one or more peers and can choose which one to follow. This type of peer pressure can be exemplified in fashion choices, personal interactions, social behaviors, teams, parties, media, and groups of friends, among others. Parents can be the strongest influence in their child’s life if they understand and are aware of the types of peer pressure their teenager is facing. Supporting healthy friendships, modeling responsible behavior and keeping an open, judgment-free family dialogue are three key components of maintaining positive parental influence on a teenager. However, a lot of social science research focuses on children and teens, who may seek the approval of peers as they move toward independence from their families. A 2020 study used a number of personality and peer influence measures to identify characteristics of adolescents who are more susceptible to peer pressure.

Peer pressure and risk-taking behaviors

For instance, a group of young people daring a peer to take illicit drugs or pull a dangerous prank with criminal liability consequences in public. “…social pressure by members of one’s peer group to take a certain action, adopt certain values, or otherwise conform in order to be accepted” (Molenda & Subramony, 2020, p. 321). If a group of coworkers invites you to an event outside of work, but you don’t feel comfortable doing so, let them know without putting them down in the process. Whether it’s because your gut is telling you not to or because you just don’t want to mix work and life, make a confident choice.

  • Negative peer pressure refers to influences that lead individuals to engage in risky behaviors, which can have short-term and long-term negative effects.
  • The extreme control of citizens‘ daily lives by the government in social affairs facilitated the rapidity of the genocide’s spread and broke down the resolve of some who initially wanted to have no part in the genocide.
  • This reintroduction to alcohol resulted in increased alcohol consumption compared to baseline (Hostetler & Ryabinin, 2014).
  • The role of these drivers in the system controllability and in particular their status or position in the complex network, has received great importance recently19,20,21,22,23,24.

When the pressure is positive, encouraging you to become a better version of yourself, it may be referred to as peer “influence.” While peer influence can improve your life, peer pressure can cause problems. For example, you may feel pressure to do unsafe things that have risks you may not fully know. Resisting peer pressure can involve avoiding it, saying no, and surrounding yourself with more positive influences. Peer pressure is any type of influence, positive or negative, that comes from a peer group. This peer group may be of similar age (e.g., children in the same classroom) but can also be defined by other commonalities, including motherhood, professional affiliations, and your local neighborhood. Peer pressure occurs throughout the lifespan, but learning to cope by building self-confidence and surrounding yourself with positive influences may help prevent problems with peer pressure from arising later.

To seek social acceptance they end up imitating behaviors of the same social group, i.e wearing the same clothes as their friends, listening to the same music, and watching the same tv shows. Both types of peer pressure can affect your professional life, but they will look different depending on your values and boundaries. Finding and evaluating examples of pressure in your own life can help you learn how to deal with peer pressure and use it to your advantage. It’s all about setting boundaries and making the choice for yourself, instead of doing something because other people want you to. Negative peer pressure can enforce unhealthy habits and steer you away from your values. If peer pressure forces you to compromise your duties or beliefs, there’s a chance it’s negative.

  • Negative effects include being enticed into truancy, antisocial behavior, and using foul language.
  • It is natural, healthy and important for children to have and rely on friends as they grow and mature.
  • During this time their alcohol intake stabilizes and they can be categorized into high and low drinkers.
  • Peer influence research has begun to have a significant impact on public policy, highlighting the dangers of iatrogenic effects that can result from group interventions for antisocial youth.
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