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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Facts about Peer Pressure Influence

Written by - Zion Adebisi

Contributor - Muoka Chibuzor

Your Peer is someone or group of people who are of approximately or equal level, age, status, interests with you.

Peer groups are the genesis of Peer Pressure.

Peer pressure is an omnipresent force whose 'Power' can be strongly observed mostly in every facets of an adolescent behavior - such as their choice of dress, music, language, values, leisure activities... Peer pressure influence is not restricted to Adolescents alone, Adults are also gullible or victims.

It is also the influence exerted by a peer group encouraging individuals to change their attitudes, values, or behaviors in other to conform to the group norms – dos and don’ts.
This further buttress the fact that peer pressure makes those affected to adopt the attitude or behavior of others because of real or imagined pressure from them. And victims are in constant fear of being labeled the black sheep of the group, so they do as instructed.

Peer influence is welcomed if they are of constructive purposes. They should be discouraged if they constitute to human deviation from the acceptable norms of every ideal civil society.

Who Are Most Affected?
Peer pressure is commonly associated with youth and teenagers or adolescent. This age group experience peer pressure in some form in their life. This is because most youth spend most of their times in schools. 

In addition to this young people are more willing to behave negatively towards those who are not members of their own peer groups.
World Wide studies have been going on since the 1970s, showing that certain teenagers/adolescent are more likely to succumb to peer pressure.

This include those from single parents homes, those with very permissive parents, those with authoritarian parents, youths with no self-esteem, those from dysfunctional homes, those teenagers exposed to anti-social behavior through their peers or family.

What Are The Causes Of Peer Pressure?
Adolescent is a time where children are trying to figure out who they are and at the same time they are adjusting to numerous physical changes.
It is a time when adolescent are trying to find their identity at the same time, they are trying to figure out who their crush is that week.

It is a time when they are trying to balance the changes of puberty with the weekly changes of homework and extra circular schedule.
During all of this, teenagers search for identity and find themselves with increased autonomy as they become less reliant on their parents.

The peers provides a support item as they can share their interests, thoughts and concerns with someone experiencing the same thing.
Teenagers are exceedingly self-conscious and aware of what the popular majority is into. They yearn for acceptance and will often do anything to receive the approval of their peers.

Their desire for approval can often compromise their beliefs, values or morals.
The following are usually reliable signs that an adolescent has begun to conform to peer pressure.

They include changes in behavior, language, clothing, attitude, preference (Music, food etc.) values, morals, or beliefs and overall change producing a new or completely different person than what is normal for that adolescent.

How to Handle Peer Pressure Influence.

1. Withdrawal
Withdrawal is a very hard task to accomplish. Unless the individual is willing to see the adverse effects of the peer group pressure on his/her life. Withdrawal is encouraged if the peer influence is an undesired one.

For individuals to withdraw, it should be a gradual process. Especially if the peer group have fully been integrated into their lives. And also to avoid unwanted outcomes such as Violence from peer groups as a result of withdrawal because the individual trying to leave might have secrets they might not want another to know. 

So it’s advised that withdrawal should be gradual and not sudden. Withdrawal from a peer group can help decimate their influence to the barest minimum, especially if their influence is unwanted.

2. Adherence to Core Values
Your peer will surely attack your Core Values. And your core values are those values you have cultivated for yourself or were inculcated into you by your parents or guardians. 

Your peer group can change your core values and total perception of life. Remember that peer influence is like a double edged sword (good or bad).

Therefore, it’s left for you to detect when your Core values is being tampered with. And if you don’t agree with them, attack back by refuting their influences that attacks your personality by strictly Adhering to your Core Values or principles. 
This might be hard to achieve but it’s not impossible.

3. Seek Guidance
Some people move without asking Questions, while others ask questions like Where? Why? Before moving. This second set of people see life as a continuous experiment that requires precautions to avoid hazards – dangers.

It’s advised that if you don’t or you no longer understand or comprehend what/why your peer group asks you to modify all or some of your personality. It’s a welcomed development if you seek guidance from experienced/learned individuals including your parents.

They can tell you the merits/demerits of your peer group request and it’s now left for you to weigh what you have been told and conclude or even see reasons to agree with them.

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