Influence Of The Peer Group On The Adolescent Psychology Essay

2950 words (12 pages) Essay

1st Jan 1970 Psychology Reference this

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The adolescent is a stage in which the individuals are more concerned about how they appear to other people. According to Erikson, during successful early adolescent development, the young people acquire the self-confidence as opposed to self- disbelief and self-consciousness (Susman, et al., 1992). As the adolescent develops, they start to experiment on both constructive and negative identity behaviors. It is during the adolescent stage where peer group pressure plays critical role in changing the behavior of adolescents both negatively and positively.

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According to (Newman & Newman, 2008), peer pressure is used to describe the demands for compliance to customs of the group and exhibiting dedication and loyalty to the members of the group. At the same time, young people out side the peer group have norms that strengthen connection to particular peer groups and forbid their association with others. The term peer pressure is used to describe the negative influence suggesting that young people act in ways that go against their attitudes or morals due to fear of denunciation by the peer group. In most adolescents belonging and complying with a peer group they see it as a way to gain personal security. By abiding to the peer group pressure, adolescents have a chance to state unambiguously that they can be regarded as people who have a sense of belonging.

Lerner et al., argues that it is believed that peer pressure is the major cause of deviant behavior and antisocial behavior among the adolescents. More research has demonstrated that peer pressure has a greater influence on adolescent behavior than any other factor. This is because most teenagers spend most of their time with their peers that with their family members. The dealing among the peers is more direct and more powerful compared to other people such as teachers and other people in authority. In adolescents peer pressure tends to have a more effect particularly of children with low self-esteem. If an adolescent feels compelled to belong to a certain peer group the teen may be forced to go against their beliefs just to belong to that peer group.

According to (Rathus, 2007), pressure from the peer group can lead to experimentation with alcohol and drugs, sex, missing school and high-risk behaviors. A sudden change in the children’s appearance particularly in dressing, appearance particularly going together with by secretive behavior is a result of adolescents succumbing to peer pressure. An unexplained change of friends to whom the adolescent associates with is a indication that the youth is vulnerable to new influences that may be negative.

Adolescent describes a stage in which young people do a lot of testing with new identities and new practices. In high school there is a culture with its social norms which are totally different to those of the external culture. Well known adolescents are more strongly related with the peer group to which they belong to inn which they might in a group try to experiment on things such as drugs and alcohol.

Peer pressure can lead to loss of individual values of teenagers. Extreme pressure for the peer group may result to the teenager following the what the peer group feels is right and may induce an adolescent to adopt what they might thin k as the right thing. Adolescents have a tendency of going blindly and imitating their peer groups in areas such as the hair style, clothing, music and normal living. Pressure form the peer group can result to the teenagers losing their tastes of life and induce them to start liking what is liked by the peer group. Peer pressure is a human inducement to unite with the bandwagon in which adolescents lose their original likes in life.

In most of the times, it happens that adolescents are forced to adopt particular lifestyles as a result of pressure from the peer group to which they belong (Rathus, 2007). Some adolescents may not like going on parties on every weekend, smoking and drinking or even spending night outs with their friends but are forced to start involving themselves in such behavior due to peer group pressure. Majority of the teenagers get in to the habit of drinking as a result of pressure form their peer groups. In certain cases some teenagers are forced to involve themselves in drug use and in other cases some youths have gone to the extent of literally ruining their lives by giving in to pressure from the peer group.

According to (Newman & Newman, 2008), as members of a peer group, the group has more influence on the adolescents then they would have as on their own and they begin to recognize the value of united enterprise. The peer group by providing membership to the adolescents, the teenagers develops a feeling of connection and protection thus freeing them from loneliness. When family conflict come -up then adolescents can run to the peers to search for reassurance and intimacy. In order for adolescents to benefit form the peer groups, they ought to suppress part of their individuality and find contentment in focusing on the qualities which they share with the peer group.

Adolescents might find some expectations of the peer group going into disagreement with their individual norms or needs. For instance, some adolescents might feel that their intellectual are not recognized by the peer group and they are expected to take part in social functions which they do not enjoy or that they may be persuaded to be more independent from their families than they can wish. Normally, the individual vales of adolescents are changed and molded by the pressure from the peer group to increase their resemblance with the other members of the peer group.

Forces of socialization among adolescents to peer groups

The forces of socialization are used to depict the eagerness and persuasion that comes from the peer group about attempt drugs and getting high. The group leaders of peer group who try out drugs and alcohol at a young age or who approve marijuana use at parties or intoxicated driving are highly dominant in persuading other member of the group about sharing their experiences. According to (Newman & Newman, 2008), the expectations of the peer group in regards to use of drugs might become criteria for acceptance within the peer group. On the contrary, if the norms of the peer group disapprove use of drugs, the peer group may serve to protect it members from using drugs and deny membership to the users and abusers of drugs. The social orientation group’s support of drug usage during teenage years has long tern effects.

Forces influencing selection of teenage peer group

Selection forces imply that some adolescents search for friends who maintain their attachment with drugs as part of a more common pattern of defiance or searching for thrill. In both of these factors, increased pressures for socialization towards alcohol and usage of drugs and increased eagerness to search for peers who misuse drugs and alcohol tends to increase over the years in high school with a resultant increase in the possibility that adolescents would get involved in the misuse of alcohol and drugs themselves.

According to (Newman & Newman, 2008), a combination of biological, emotional and societal factors converge to make drug usage and alcohol usage as part of normal life of adolescents in the high school years. Experimentation on alcohol usage is relatively easy to comprehend in the context of the adolescent’s psychological needs and the representation of alcohol use in the peer group, family, and society. Even though drug usage and alcohol use might be regarded as normal rtes of passage in the majority of the adolescents, it may emerge that children may start to drink or start using drugs in early teenage which can make them vulnerable to more serious involvement with drug and alcohol taking in their later stages.

The adolescent’s experience a kind of combination of the peer group, family and psychological pressures which increase their eagerness to engage in rebellious behavior and to ignore or reduce the risks. The risk factors connected with early drug and alcohol usage are connected to social classes and the culture. Regulation over selling of alcoholic beverages to teenagers its cost and efforts of parents and other grown up people such as school officials and police to control its use among adolescents are all factors of the society that control consumption of alcohol in early teenage.

In 1980s and 70s, many researchers had put more weight on influence on peer pressure than that of the family in determining the ideas values and attitudes of adolescents. This approach developed through observation of similarities between adolescents and their peer group which conclude that peer associations personalities tend to conform to set norms. Adolescents use peer pressure to create the impression that friends are more loyal than family members. Although peer group has persuasion over the adolescents, the influence is greater in every day activities and transient activities than individual values. Persuasion from parents is deeper and has more lasting results regarding career choice and educational achievement and spiritual growth.

The resemblance with adolescents and their peers is more probable due active choice by adolescents to be with other similar to them. Adolescents tend to have many social groups from which they choose their social groups both in school and in society setting. Many teenage parents are in most cases enticed to prohibit their teens from associated with their peers who they believe might lead their adolescents astray. In most cases putting in place this level of restriction is not an effective control measure since it is difficult to monitor, promote dishonesty, and worsens the feeling of antagonism in the teenager.

On the contrary parents also play an indirect responsibility towards the choice of the adolescent’s children peer groups by the events in he initial stages of their children’s development in through which they steer their children towards particular actions and associations to groups. According to (Merrick & Omar, 2007), the style of parenting and early childhood plays a major role the chain of events that lead to antisocial behavior in some adolescents peers groups starts at home in the childhood. The connections in this chain includes introduction to cruel and coercive parenting which gives way to the development of hostility and to difficulties in learning in school and these problems in late childhood stage lead to choice of antisocial peers.

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Peer groups might pressure their adolescent colleagues into negative behavior or away from positive behavior but can also change adolescents to positive directions as well. According to (Merrick, & Omar, 2007), not all adolescents act in response to peer group pressure in the similar manner. Sex and age are among the factors that influence how adolescents will act in response to peer group pressure. For instance, boys have been found to be more susceptible to peer pressure influence than girls particularly in risky conditions. Younger teenagers are more easily persuaded by peer pressure as compared to older teenagers with the highest peer pressure influence being highest in eight and ninth grade. Personality characteristics of the adolescents like the level of confidence, degree of maturity and personality trait make a contribution on how teenagers will react to peer pressure. In addition, peer pressure also varies depending on the situation, such as when with a close friend, when in a small group of friends or in a larger peer group such as a school.

Conclusion

Among the most difficult issues that worry the parents of most adolescents is when they decide to hang with the wrong crowd. Majority of the parents find it hard to manage such behavior and they will express grief that when they prohibited their adolescent form being together with the wrong peers, finally they changed to become a virtual attraction for their teenage children. Parents ought to set clear expectations about the behavior they expect from their adolescents. They also ought to set the rules and communicate about where and with whom they teenagers spend time with. In addition, parent ought to explain to their adolescent children the consequences of negative behavior so that they can choose the right behavior that cannot affect their future lives.

References

Newman, M. B., & Newman, R. P. (2008).Through Life: A Psychosocial Approach. New York: Cengage Learning.

Merrick, J. & Omar, A. H. (2007). Adolescent behavior research: international perspectives. New York: Nova Publishers.

Susman, J. E. et al., (1992).Emotion, cognition, health, and development in children and adolescents. London: Routledge.

Rathus, A.S. (2007).Childhood and Adolescence: Voyages in Development. New York: Cengage Learning.

QUESTION B

B : Erikson had identified the achievement of intimacy as the central task of early childhood. As adults, consider themselves independent they still have intimate relations to others. Discuss the current research regarding adult attachment theory and relate this to the task of intimacy in early adulthood. Remember to support your assertions with references.

The attachment theory is an evolutionary theory regarding relationships between people and an emotional bond that exist between two or more persons. Among the most significant tenet of attachment theory is that of attachment of a young child ought to develop a relationship with at least one sole caregiver for social and emotional development to occur generally, without this care the child will in most cases be faced with permanent emotional impairment.

Within the attachment theory, adult intimacy behavior associated with attachment is primarily trying to search for closeness to an attachment figure in stressful conditions. According to ( Bark, 2007), adults get intimately attached to another who are responsive and sensitive in collective relations with them and those who continue being reliable in offering the care. In the latter part of this period, young people start to use affection figures as a secure basis from which to know much. Reply from parents result to the development of patterns of attachment which in turn lead to internal working models that help to direct personal feelings, expectations, and beliefs in relations at later stages. Separation anxiety or grief as a result of a loss of an affection figure is regarded to be a common and adaptive rejoinder for the infant. This behavior may evolve since they add up toward probability of survival of the child.

The modern connection theory was founded by John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth when studying infants and their caregivers. Infants and caregivers had been the main focus had of the attachment theory for many years until in the 1980s when later researchers applied the theory to adult romantic relationships. According to ( Holmes, 2001), Hazan and Shaver noticed that connections among romantic adult partners share similarities to associations between caregiver and infants. For instance, intimate partners yearn to be close to one another. Intimate partners feel reassured when their partners are within and concerned or lonely while their partners are not with them. Romantic interactions serve as a secure basis that assist partners to face the astonishments, opportunities and challenges presented in life. The interactions between intimate interactions in adults differ in many ways from those of children and care givers. The core rules of attachment theory are similar in both adult romantic relationship and relationships between children and their caregivers.

According to, (Rholes & Simpson, 2004), people feel anxious when close to their partners since their partners can offer sustainance during complicated situations. Such support includes reassurance, and information people receive from others. The attachment theory has identified the significance of intimacy by regarding the predisposition to make close emotional links to specific persons as a basic component of mankind which present in germinal form at young age and persists throughout the old stage.

The yearning for relationships has its biological roots and in a number of people it continues from birth till death. The yearning for relationships has significant implications for affection. Interactions that satisfy the yearning for intimacy lead to more secure associations between the partners. Relationships that do not gratify the yearning for intimacy result to less secure associations between the partners. Researchers in relationships and intimacy described intimacy as a special set of relations in which a person reveals something regarding himself or herself and the other partner gives a response to the question in a manner that makes the other partner feel confirmed, cared for and understood. Interactions can entail verbal self-disclosure, although intimate relationships can involve non-verbal forms of self-expression like kissing, hugging, touching and sexual behavior. In this case intimacy requires the partner’s willingness to disclose each others true thoughts, desires, feeling and fears. The intimate partners should also be ready to rely on the other partner for emotional support and care and be ready to engage in physical intimacy.

The adolescent is a stage in which the individuals are more concerned about how they appear to other people. According to Erikson, during successful early adolescent development, the young people acquire the self-confidence as opposed to self- disbelief and self-consciousness (Susman, et al., 1992). As the adolescent develops, they start to experiment on both constructive and negative identity behaviors. It is during the adolescent stage where peer group pressure plays critical role in changing the behavior of adolescents both negatively and positively.

According to (Newman & Newman, 2008), peer pressure is used to describe the demands for compliance to customs of the group and exhibiting dedication and loyalty to the members of the group. At the same time, young people out side the peer group have norms that strengthen connection to particular peer groups and forbid their association with others. The term peer pressure is used to describe the negative influence suggesting that young people act in ways that go against their attitudes or morals due to fear of denunciation by the peer group. In most adolescents belonging and complying with a peer group they see it as a way to gain personal security. By abiding to the peer group pressure, adolescents have a chance to state unambiguously that they can be regarded as people who have a sense of belonging.

Lerner et al., argues that it is believed that peer pressure is the major cause of deviant behavior and antisocial behavior among the adolescents. More research has demonstrated that peer pressure has a greater influence on adolescent behavior than any other factor. This is because most teenagers spend most of their time with their peers that with their family members. The dealing among the peers is more direct and more powerful compared to other people such as teachers and other people in authority. In adolescents peer pressure tends to have a more effect particularly of children with low self-esteem. If an adolescent feels compelled to belong to a certain peer group the teen may be forced to go against their beliefs just to belong to that peer group.

According to (Rathus, 2007), pressure from the peer group can lead to experimentation with alcohol and drugs, sex, missing school and high-risk behaviors. A sudden change in the children’s appearance particularly in dressing, appearance particularly going together with by secretive behavior is a result of adolescents succumbing to peer pressure. An unexplained change of friends to whom the adolescent associates with is a indication that the youth is vulnerable to new influences that may be negative.

Adolescent describes a stage in which young people do a lot of testing with new identities and new practices. In high school there is a culture with its social norms which are totally different to those of the external culture. Well known adolescents are more strongly related with the peer group to which they belong to inn which they might in a group try to experiment on things such as drugs and alcohol.

Peer pressure can lead to loss of individual values of teenagers. Extreme pressure for the peer group may result to the teenager following the what the peer group feels is right and may induce an adolescent to adopt what they might thin k as the right thing. Adolescents have a tendency of going blindly and imitating their peer groups in areas such as the hair style, clothing, music and normal living. Pressure form the peer group can result to the teenagers losing their tastes of life and induce them to start liking what is liked by the peer group. Peer pressure is a human inducement to unite with the bandwagon in which adolescents lose their original likes in life.

In most of the times, it happens that adolescents are forced to adopt particular lifestyles as a result of pressure from the peer group to which they belong (Rathus, 2007). Some adolescents may not like going on parties on every weekend, smoking and drinking or even spending night outs with their friends but are forced to start involving themselves in such behavior due to peer group pressure. Majority of the teenagers get in to the habit of drinking as a result of pressure form their peer groups. In certain cases some teenagers are forced to involve themselves in drug use and in other cases some youths have gone to the extent of literally ruining their lives by giving in to pressure from the peer group.

According to (Newman & Newman, 2008), as members of a peer group, the group has more influence on the adolescents then they would have as on their own and they begin to recognize the value of united enterprise. The peer group by providing membership to the adolescents, the teenagers develops a feeling of connection and protection thus freeing them from loneliness. When family conflict come -up then adolescents can run to the peers to search for reassurance and intimacy. In order for adolescents to benefit form the peer groups, they ought to suppress part of their individuality and find contentment in focusing on the qualities which they share with the peer group.

Adolescents might find some expectations of the peer group going into disagreement with their individual norms or needs. For instance, some adolescents might feel that their intellectual are not recognized by the peer group and they are expected to take part in social functions which they do not enjoy or that they may be persuaded to be more independent from their families than they can wish. Normally, the individual vales of adolescents are changed and molded by the pressure from the peer group to increase their resemblance with the other members of the peer group.

Forces of socialization among adolescents to peer groups

The forces of socialization are used to depict the eagerness and persuasion that comes from the peer group about attempt drugs and getting high. The group leaders of peer group who try out drugs and alcohol at a young age or who approve marijuana use at parties or intoxicated driving are highly dominant in persuading other member of the group about sharing their experiences. According to (Newman & Newman, 2008), the expectations of the peer group in regards to use of drugs might become criteria for acceptance within the peer group. On the contrary, if the norms of the peer group disapprove use of drugs, the peer group may serve to protect it members from using drugs and deny membership to the users and abusers of drugs. The social orientation group’s support of drug usage during teenage years has long tern effects.

Forces influencing selection of teenage peer group

Selection forces imply that some adolescents search for friends who maintain their attachment with drugs as part of a more common pattern of defiance or searching for thrill. In both of these factors, increased pressures for socialization towards alcohol and usage of drugs and increased eagerness to search for peers who misuse drugs and alcohol tends to increase over the years in high school with a resultant increase in the possibility that adolescents would get involved in the misuse of alcohol and drugs themselves.

According to (Newman & Newman, 2008), a combination of biological, emotional and societal factors converge to make drug usage and alcohol usage as part of normal life of adolescents in the high school years. Experimentation on alcohol usage is relatively easy to comprehend in the context of the adolescent’s psychological needs and the representation of alcohol use in the peer group, family, and society. Even though drug usage and alcohol use might be regarded as normal rtes of passage in the majority of the adolescents, it may emerge that children may start to drink or start using drugs in early teenage which can make them vulnerable to more serious involvement with drug and alcohol taking in their later stages.

The adolescent’s experience a kind of combination of the peer group, family and psychological pressures which increase their eagerness to engage in rebellious behavior and to ignore or reduce the risks. The risk factors connected with early drug and alcohol usage are connected to social classes and the culture. Regulation over selling of alcoholic beverages to teenagers its cost and efforts of parents and other grown up people such as school officials and police to control its use among adolescents are all factors of the society that control consumption of alcohol in early teenage.

In 1980s and 70s, many researchers had put more weight on influence on peer pressure than that of the family in determining the ideas values and attitudes of adolescents. This approach developed through observation of similarities between adolescents and their peer group which conclude that peer associations personalities tend to conform to set norms. Adolescents use peer pressure to create the impression that friends are more loyal than family members. Although peer group has persuasion over the adolescents, the influence is greater in every day activities and transient activities than individual values. Persuasion from parents is deeper and has more lasting results regarding career choice and educational achievement and spiritual growth.

The resemblance with adolescents and their peers is more probable due active choice by adolescents to be with other similar to them. Adolescents tend to have many social groups from which they choose their social groups both in school and in society setting. Many teenage parents are in most cases enticed to prohibit their teens from associated with their peers who they believe might lead their adolescents astray. In most cases putting in place this level of restriction is not an effective control measure since it is difficult to monitor, promote dishonesty, and worsens the feeling of antagonism in the teenager.

On the contrary parents also play an indirect responsibility towards the choice of the adolescent’s children peer groups by the events in he initial stages of their children’s development in through which they steer their children towards particular actions and associations to groups. According to (Merrick & Omar, 2007), the style of parenting and early childhood plays a major role the chain of events that lead to antisocial behavior in some adolescents peers groups starts at home in the childhood. The connections in this chain includes introduction to cruel and coercive parenting which gives way to the development of hostility and to difficulties in learning in school and these problems in late childhood stage lead to choice of antisocial peers.

Peer groups might pressure their adolescent colleagues into negative behavior or away from positive behavior but can also change adolescents to positive directions as well. According to (Merrick, & Omar, 2007), not all adolescents act in response to peer group pressure in the similar manner. Sex and age are among the factors that influence how adolescents will act in response to peer group pressure. For instance, boys have been found to be more susceptible to peer pressure influence than girls particularly in risky conditions. Younger teenagers are more easily persuaded by peer pressure as compared to older teenagers with the highest peer pressure influence being highest in eight and ninth grade. Personality characteristics of the adolescents like the level of confidence, degree of maturity and personality trait make a contribution on how teenagers will react to peer pressure. In addition, peer pressure also varies depending on the situation, such as when with a close friend, when in a small group of friends or in a larger peer group such as a school.

Conclusion

Among the most difficult issues that worry the parents of most adolescents is when they decide to hang with the wrong crowd. Majority of the parents find it hard to manage such behavior and they will express grief that when they prohibited their adolescent form being together with the wrong peers, finally they changed to become a virtual attraction for their teenage children. Parents ought to set clear expectations about the behavior they expect from their adolescents. They also ought to set the rules and communicate about where and with whom they teenagers spend time with. In addition, parent ought to explain to their adolescent children the consequences of negative behavior so that they can choose the right behavior that cannot affect their future lives.

References

Newman, M. B., & Newman, R. P. (2008).Through Life: A Psychosocial Approach. New York: Cengage Learning.

Merrick, J. & Omar, A. H. (2007). Adolescent behavior research: international perspectives. New York: Nova Publishers.

Susman, J. E. et al., (1992).Emotion, cognition, health, and development in children and adolescents. London: Routledge.

Rathus, A.S. (2007).Childhood and Adolescence: Voyages in Development. New York: Cengage Learning.

QUESTION B

B : Erikson had identified the achievement of intimacy as the central task of early childhood. As adults, consider themselves independent they still have intimate relations to others. Discuss the current research regarding adult attachment theory and relate this to the task of intimacy in early adulthood. Remember to support your assertions with references.

The attachment theory is an evolutionary theory regarding relationships between people and an emotional bond that exist between two or more persons. Among the most significant tenet of attachment theory is that of attachment of a young child ought to develop a relationship with at least one sole caregiver for social and emotional development to occur generally, without this care the child will in most cases be faced with permanent emotional impairment.

Within the attachment theory, adult intimacy behavior associated with attachment is primarily trying to search for closeness to an attachment figure in stressful conditions. According to ( Bark, 2007), adults get intimately attached to another who are responsive and sensitive in collective relations with them and those who continue being reliable in offering the care. In the latter part of this period, young people start to use affection figures as a secure basis from which to know much. Reply from parents result to the development of patterns of attachment which in turn lead to internal working models that help to direct personal feelings, expectations, and beliefs in relations at later stages. Separation anxiety or grief as a result of a loss of an affection figure is regarded to be a common and adaptive rejoinder for the infant. This behavior may evolve since they add up toward probability of survival of the child.

The modern connection theory was founded by John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth when studying infants and their caregivers. Infants and caregivers had been the main focus had of the attachment theory for many years until in the 1980s when later researchers applied the theory to adult romantic relationships. According to ( Holmes, 2001), Hazan and Shaver noticed that connections among romantic adult partners share similarities to associations between caregiver and infants. For instance, intimate partners yearn to be close to one another. Intimate partners feel reassured when their partners are within and concerned or lonely while their partners are not with them. Romantic interactions serve as a secure basis that assist partners to face the astonishments, opportunities and challenges presented in life. The interactions between intimate interactions in adults differ in many ways from those of children and care givers. The core rules of attachment theory are similar in both adult romantic relationship and relationships between children and their caregivers.

According to, (Rholes & Simpson, 2004), people feel anxious when close to their partners since their partners can offer sustainance during complicated situations. Such support includes reassurance, and information people receive from others. The attachment theory has identified the significance of intimacy by regarding the predisposition to make close emotional links to specific persons as a basic component of mankind which present in germinal form at young age and persists throughout the old stage.

The yearning for relationships has its biological roots and in a number of people it continues from birth till death. The yearning for relationships has significant implications for affection. Interactions that satisfy the yearning for intimacy lead to more secure associations between the partners. Relationships that do not gratify the yearning for intimacy result to less secure associations between the partners. Researchers in relationships and intimacy described intimacy as a special set of relations in which a person reveals something regarding himself or herself and the other partner gives a response to the question in a manner that makes the other partner feel confirmed, cared for and understood. Interactions can entail verbal self-disclosure, although intimate relationships can involve non-verbal forms of self-expression like kissing, hugging, touching and sexual behavior. In this case intimacy requires the partner’s willingness to disclose each others true thoughts, desires, feeling and fears. The intimate partners should also be ready to rely on the other partner for emotional support and care and be ready to engage in physical intimacy.

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