Cause And Effect Of Peers

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Introduction
Peers play an important role in the lives of adolescents and helps to continue a teen’s social and emotional development. The influence of peers begins at an early age and continues to increase throughout the teenage years. Relying on and having friends is entirely natural, healthy, and important, but also entirely possible to be persuaded the wrong way by friends. [1]

[1] American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. (2012).

Types of Peers
Peers can be positive and supportive, but they can also be negative and have a different kind of impact on a teen’s life.

When we think of a positive group of peers, some of the things that come to mind are helping each other develop new skills and stimulating interests in
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In the long run, this type of peer pressure can give us the work ethic and sense of accomplishment that can carry us for years to come. If our peers constantly give us a sense of motivation, or even friendly competition, we can continue to improve on those areas.

[2] SecureTeen. (2013).

Some Examples
Think of yourself on a hockey team. When you see the rest of your team playing as hard as they can and giving it their best effort, you might naturally put in that same amount of effort to try and be as good or better than the rest of the team.

Similarly, when one of your classmates always has the top grade in English, you may be compelled to study more and read the books more carefully to compete for that top grade.

Negative Peer Pressure
It is also quite normal for some peers to have a negative impact. Negative peer pressure most often involves encouraging peers to engage in risky behavior. This type of behavior can carry several consequences, including: health and medical consequences; academic consequences; legal consequences; and/or personal consequences like being grounded. [1]

[1] American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. (2012).

Risky Behaviors
With the consequences from the previous screen in mind, we can assume the following types of activities to be
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[1]

While there are many more types of risky behaviors, the list above highlights some of the more common ones that we need to be careful with.

[1] American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. (2012).

Accepting Peer Pressure
Being liked and fitting in with a group is a natural instinct for all of us, and sometimes pressure from peers may give us an easy way to feel like we fit in. Adolescents can also worry about being made fun of if they choose not to go along with the rest of the group, which is why adolescents may frequently give into peer pressure. [1]

It is also important to recognize that the majority of teens who have a substance abuse problem began using their substance of choice as a result of peer pressure [1].

[1] American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. (2012).

Saying No
Saying no can be an incredibly difficult task, especially if you are the only one who is or wants to say no, and especially if the pressure is coming from a close friend. It is important to pay attention to your own feelings and beliefs about what is right and wrong, and by doing this you will ultimately understand the right thing to

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