Today, peer group pressure is a major problem for teens, caused by influences imposed by others in the and their wanting to fit into certain groups. Society labeled the more negative peer groups as gangs or cults. Teens in such groups feel they receive prestige from the association. However, not all peer group pressure is a negative influence, such as academic and athletic achievement (Castrogiovanni, 1994).
Studies show that most teens/adolescents feel that being in a group gives them popularity with their peers.
The average teen feels pressure either from the school, peers, or parents; thus enticing the need to belong to groups. They often become involved in violence, use of alcohol or drugs, and sex.
Studies show also that high school students spend more time with their peers than with parents or other influential adults. Teens who acquire delinquent friends lock themselves away from good or straight kids and opt to belong to their own kind.
In today’s society, most families are headed by single parents, more than likely mothers, who work extra jobs. The single parent spends little time with their teens, thereby leaving them prey to peer group pressure.
Research indicates that peer group pressure leads to delinquent behavior among teenagers, including criminal acts such as motor vehicle theft, burglary, and robbery. Poor school performance and low self-esteem are also factors which are attributed to influence by peer groups; therefore, making them a much higher risk for having negative behavior than those who are performing well (D’Allesandro, 1998). Analysis and Reaction
Society places much blame on the media, i.e., radio and television, for delinquency among teen peer groups. Teens are often influenced by their peers to do things that they know are wrong.
Being accepted by the group is the main objective. They have no real concept or care regarding the consequences. The common stereotypes of most teen peer groups are that they dress differently from the norm; use language only common to their groups; display physical characteristics unlike others; and maintain a loyalty to only those within the groups. Addition-ally, society blames the socioeconomic status and family structure for teenage delinquency and the need to form negative peer groups. I disagree, partly, with this analogy because recent peer group school violence was caused by teens from more affluent economic status, and those living with both parents.
Teenagers who fail to receive or accept love, respect, and acceptance from positive influences such as parents, teachers, church members, communities, and other peers are most vulnerable and are bound to fulfill their needs from the wrong sources.
We must instill in our teenagers the ability to recognize improper peer group influences and how to make sound choices. .