Q:

What causes peer pressure?

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Quick Answer

Peer pressure can have many causes, including curiosity, the desire to fit in and a lack of structure at home. Peer pressure is the influence that children and teens often feel to conform to certain standards or engage in certain practices. Common examples of choices influenced by peer pressure include using drugs or alcohol, fashion choices and skipping school.

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Full Answer

Many children give in to peer pressure as a result of simple curiosity. They might experiment with practices such as drugs or sex in order to find out what all their peers are talking about. This is an example of passive peer pressure, in which kids recognize standardized behaviors among their peer group and then engage in these practices through imitation. Active peer pressure occurs when kids are directly confronted with an activity, such as a teenager who is offered a drink at a party. Teens often go along with these suggestions in order to fit in. Nearly all humans have an inherent desire to be accepted by others, and peer pressure is a clear example of this quality. Kids may also give in to peer pressure due to a lack of structure or stability in their home lives. Kids from chaotic households with less-defined sets of guidelines may seek out the structure and standards that come along with allegiance to a peer group.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are solutions to peer pressure?

    A:

    Solutions to peer pressure include taking personal action by standing up to bullies and saying no, enlisting the support of like-minded friends to advocate against improper and immoral behavior and speaking to teachers, counselors and parents about pressures from other students. Individuals and groups alike resist peer pressure. Individual students can reduce negative pressures from classmates by listening to gut instincts and feelings, responding to intimidating actions with an assertive stance and by walking away from potentially harmful situations.

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  • Q:

    What are the disadvantages of pressure groups?

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    One of the disadvantages of pressure groups is that they tend to present only one-sided arguments. This means that they sometimes give a distorted voice to the few people that are involved in such groups. Because of this under-representation, pressure groups can be criticized for being undemocratic, as they can influence elected representatives on the basis of a small set of opinions.

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  • Q:

    What are examples of peer pressure?

    A:

    Peer pressure is when someone influences another person's decision about what to do or not to do, which can be positive or negative. Although peer pressure can occur at any age, it's most often experienced by young people. Common examples of peer pressure include the pressure to try drugs, engage in sexual activities, ditch school, cheat on tests or not be friends with certain people.

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  • Q:

    What is positive peer pressure?

    A:

    Positive peer pressure is the attitude of a peer group that encourages good behavior rather than deviant behavior, according to Kids Helpline. Positive peer pressure is based upon the feelings and intentions behind the pressure placed upon individuals in a group of friends. An example of positive peer pressure is when people encourage someone to give up smoking or to stop drinking alcohol.

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