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Peer Pressure Essay

peer pressure essay

Example #1

“Peer Pressure is an influence that creates or the desire for change.” Most teenagers agree that they will follow a peer’s decision rather than their parents or authority. Peers are more influential in a teen’s life and tend to have more power than parents. Peer pressure has always been present and will also always be present. It is not a disease or a crime, it is merely and influences; either a negative or a positive one.


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Negative peer pressure is an influence exerted on a person to do something wrong. This may be stealing, drugs, or others. If someone influences you into doing something like this it is considered negative peer pressure. We can help reduce peer pressure by teaching coping skills at an early age. Many teenagers who give in easily to negative pressures had a difficult childhood; low self-esteem, feeling of not belonging, poor communication, and judgemental skills.


Negative peer pressure gives something significant to teenagers. A group is a place where one feels accepted, where he can feel good about himself, where he feels secure. It increases his self-esteem, and it also enhances his self-image. SOME NEGATIVE PEER PRESSURE AREASNegative peer pressure can often be observed in areas such as + Sexuality+ Narcotics+ Alcohol+ Cults+ Groups and gangs+ Tobacco products+ Stealing+ School+ Etc…


During adolescence, a teenager is subjected to lots of peer pressure. This pressure can affect the child mentally, physically, and socially. Some of the effects on a person when dealing with negative peer pressure are Low Self-Esteem: This is the main and most common effect. When a person’s peers mock him/her or make them feel bad, this person becomes insecure.

They begin to feel down and rejected. They feel as if they are worthless to the world. And anybody who has experienced this at one time or another knows that this is one of, if not the, worst feeling you can possess.

Substance Abuse: Peers often pressure one another to do something they do not want to do. Offering drugs or alcohol is very common during adolescence. And after constant persisting, and insisting that “everyone is doing it” and that “it’s cool to do so” one gives in to this horrible disease.

And more often than not, a person can become addicted and dependent on this substance. Obsessions or Depression: People are often subjected to constant portrayals of what you are SUPPOSED to look like or act. If a person sees people that are always thin and happy, one becomes obsessed with that image and thinks that if they do not look or act that way, that nobody will love them.

So these people turn to such eating diseases as bulimia nervosa (regurgitating after one eats) or anorexia nervosa (eating too little). They also become seriously depressed and feel that life is not worth living, and think about or attempt to commit suicide.

Other actions: Teenagers also conform to the people around them very easily and quickly. If a friend decides to skip school, sometimes you decide to join him. However you may think it’s your decision, but in fact, it is this person pressuring you simply by implanting the thought into your mind. This is also true for lying to teachers and parents etc., not doing homework/schoolwork, and cheating on tests.


People give in to Peer pressure for many different reasons. One of these reasons is low self-esteem. People with low self-esteem will do almost anything to become a cool guy. Others give in to peer pressure because people they think are cool say to do something. These people are just hurting themselves because if that person is really cool, he isn’t going to make you cool because you are his little helper. Peer pressure is present in one’s life as long as they have peers (school, workplace,…). Therefore, it is normal for a person to give in to peer pressure.

At the beginning of the teenage years, teens develop a sense of independence from their parents. Teens want to shape their identity and experiment with new things. One may join a group if he is insecure about himself or if he has low self-esteem or self-worth.


Self-Esteem and Self-Worth affect people very deeply. When peer pressure is exerted on people with low self-esteem the reaction is often the same. A person with low esteem for himself will try to raise his self-esteem but often in the wrong way. When someone changes his personality to conform to what others expect from them will always hurt them in the end. Teens must understand that the choices they make today will absolutely affect their future.

Teens must also realize that their future is much more important than simply pleasing their friends today. Some things that you or your parents could do to build someone’s self-esteem are:+ Have frequent discussions with friends or children

+ Spend quality time with them+ Keep your eyes and ears open for new ways to offer support+ Respect their feelings and encourage him or her to share them with you+ Share your own beliefs and values+ Explain that you learned from your mistakes+ Encourage achievement but avoid adding undue pressure+ Always offer praise when your friends make a good decision.


There are many different ways by which one may resist peer pressure. One very effective way is by simply saying ‘no’. Often we feel that they will persist but often an affirmative ‘no’ is enough. However, we must express clearly our choice, we mustn’t express the least sign of indecision. You may also walk away from the situation, no matter how much you want to fit in.

You must realize that you are the one who makes the decisions for yourself, not your peers. If you feel uncomfortable with the people you are with, consider finding new friends, some of which have a good reputation, which would eliminate any negative pressure. Another alternative would be to hang around many different types of people.

That way you reduce the chances of being pressured. It is good to set yourself goals knowing that everything you do affects your future.


The main reason why peer groups have so much power over individuals is that they give something significant to a person such as self-esteem, security, or even enhances their self-image. Peer groups are so powerful, they overcome the morals of family and society.

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Teenagers tend to go toward other teens with similar problems and in the same situation as they are. There is a very strong desire to satisfy the need for unity and acceptance. This causes peers to have more influence than parents.


Peer pressure plays a very influential role in our everyday lives. It affects, not only adolescents but children, teens, adults, even senior citizens. Although some people think they aren’t affected by peer pressure, almost everyone is. Resisting even the smallest things is very hard.

Peer pressure affects the way we speak, walk, dress, act, our attitudes, who we hang out with, our friends, and what we do. Although peer pressure is often negative, along with that negative, is also positive. Peers can make you do the smallest things, yet still, be a large influence.

Although most of the effects heard about are negative, the world would be a much different place without peer pressure, and not necessarily for the better. How would a world of individuals get together? If one group of individuals and another, can’t get together and therefore proclaim war.

How could a couple of billion individuals survive together? Nevertheless, some things would get better. If many teenagers start smoking because of peer pressure, without it, fewer teens would probably be smoking.

Could we survive without peer pressure? If there were no peer pressure, many things would be changed, the way we speak to friends would be changed dramatically. We wouldn’t be able to say such common things as, “Those shoes are really cool,” because they could interpret this be a friend, to mean that wearing those shoes is cool, therefore being pressured.

As you can see, peer pressure plays a very important role in our everyday lives. Without it, no one would be the same, a world of total individuals, who didn’t listen to what anyone had to say about everything. Yet with it, a world where teens start smoking at the age of 12, having babies at the age of 14, and stealing to get money to buy drugs at 18.


We’ve established the fact that peer pressure affects everyone, but is it really that bad? There are many, many examples of disastrous consequences to peer pressure. Following is the example of David Duren. David Duren is awaiting execution on Alabama death row.

For the last couple of years, he been asking himself: “What am I doing here?” By piecing together the events in his life. He says that his real problem was growing up with peer pressure. “I was a skinny little weakling, a straight kid.” So, for company and fun, he hung out with the kids in his apartment complex.

He wasn’t accepted at first because he didn’t smoke, drink or curse. But he discovered that if he wanted to fit in he had to do all those things. So, at age 12, he inhaled his first cigarette, drank his first beer, smoked his first joint of the pot, and cursed regularly. He then discovered that by succumbing to peer pressure, he surrounded himself with so-called friends who smoked, drank, did drugs, and cursed. By exposing yourself to the drug world you discover many, many different drugs.

Then suddenly, he wasn’t just smoking pot, he was crushing quaaludes and mixing it with his pot. He then discovered his favorite drug, LSD. He was doing it even when in the army on an average of four or five times a week.

One night, he killed a 16-year-old girl while he was doing LSD. “Why??? All because I gave in to peer pressure! That’s where it all started.” He explains. ” Your friends can make you or break you.” David Duren now wishes he had taken the advice of 1Corinthians 15:33, “Do not be deceived: bad companions corrupt good morals.”


Example #2 – Peer Pressures of High School

Glaring down at the reddish glow coming from the tip of the cigarette, I found out that I was in a peer pressure situation. Peer Pressure can be a huge problem for some young adults. It can sometimes be positive, but most of the time it’s negative and destructive. Smoking is just one of the peer pressures someone can go through.

Alcohol and staying out late can also be huge peer pressures in high school. I know this because I have experienced them for myself. Drinking, smoking, and staying out late were constant peer pressures throughout my high school career.

Looking down at the cigarette and being encouraged by my friend to take a hit off of it, I knew that smoking was not something I wanted to do at that time in my life. Although smoking wasn’t a huge peer pressure for me, it can be for others.

Some of my friends did give in to the pressure and are now addicted to cigarettes, and wish they hadn’t given in to that peer pressure in high school. I would have said that during high school, smoking was the most persistent peer pressure. It was at every party and gathering. Although it was there all the time sometimes alcohol would “rear its ugly head” at some of the parties.

Drinking was probably the most dangerous peer pressure. It was extremely illegal for an underage adult to be caught drinking during this time. I never experienced this peer pressure during high school because I didn’t hang around those types of people during that time. They were the types of people who didn’t think it was a “party” unless there was alcohol involved. I have seen drinking totally deteriorate people because it got the best of them.

Some of my friends totally changed after they started drinking. At first, it was just a social thing to do at parties but then lead on to drinking during their “spare time”. It affected their grades and their overall behavior. I do think this was the most dangerous peer pressure in high school, but there was always the pressure to stay out late.

Staying out late was a peer pressure I gave into on several occasions during high school. I know it affected my grades many times, and also made me late for school more than once. In high school, you could always spot the students who stayed out late. Those students were always the ones falling asleep in class. When I was hanging around with the ones who never did stay out late, I always got to school on time and never fell asleep in class.

Peer pressure was not impossible to resist in high school. I found out in order to keep you away from certain peer pressures just stay away from those who you knew would try to influence you. Resisting peer pressure is all in whom you go out with, and whom you call your “friends”. Peer pressure cannot be totally avoided, but staying away from situations where you know a peer pressure situation will occur, will help your odds.


Example #3

Peer pressure can influence a person to start smoking, drinking, or doing drugs and other things that are harmful to his/her body. However, peer pressure can also be helpful by influencing someone to do right instead of wrong. For example, a person can be an example to his/her friends and let them know he/she wants to do right and he/she wants to change how he/she acts or what he/she were like.

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Peer pressure can be a struggle for some people because they may be depressed by what they have done or what people done to hurt their feelings in the past. Peer pressure can make a person feel really bad about him/herself, but a person must remember that peer pressure can be good or bad.

Peer Pressure has been blamed for adolescent behaviors ranging from choice in clothing to drug usage. A new study says that the effects of peer pressure on teenagers’ behavior may be highly overrated. This study, published in Addiction (Vol. 91, No. 2), adds to a growing body of research that suggests peer pressure is a weaker factor in adolescent behavior than many had believed.

“When there is so much emphasis on peer pressure, there’s a tendency not to discuss or not to look hard for evidence of other factors. We went back and tried to critically examine the importance of peer pressure.” Researchers did studies over a twenty-year span to find that peer pressure was easily blamed for teenage behavior but never examined.

Other factors such as family life, economic background, environment, and biological tendencies all may be as important or even more important than peer pressure in determining behavior. “Kids who smoke tend to choose kids who smoke as friends.”

Children who have the same habits have a tendency to hang together. Peer pressure may be the least factor in the use of drugs and other habits related to teenage life, but nonetheless peer pressure is a factor that influences drug use among teenagers.


Example #5

Chris Clay English 300Peer Pressure Peer pressure is one of the biggest battles that I had to fight while I was in high school. Peer pressure effects may teens around the world, some good and some bad. Peer pressure effected my life in a not so good way, but changed my life for the better and helped me realize that it is easy to say no. While in high school, I was pressured a lot especially during my underclassmen years. I was just starting to get in the crowd and hang out with the upperclassman and get involved with high school sports.

It was on this one night when peer pressure affected me and changed my life for the worst and the better. Everyone was going over to a friend’s house one night after a home football game and I was invited to hang out. I arrived and they were all joking around and just talking. I noticed that all of them were drinking and the next thing I know they are asking me if I would like a beer.

Taking a quick glance around the room, I didn’t see anyone without a beer so I took the beer so I wouldn’t look like the weird one. I remember the first taste of that beer, bitter, yet I tried to swallow it with ease and trying to act as I enjoyed it. After drinking too many that night, I was considered cool by the upperclassman.

I was finally in the crowd and known of. After that night when the upperclassmen peer pressured me to drink, I felt obligated to drink in order to stay cool but then starting to like to drink. After that one night when the upperclassmen peer pressured me into drinking, I started to drink often and often taking it overboard and not knowing when to stop.

Although, peer pressure gave me a very bad habit it also helped me get out of the habit of drinking all the time and stop taking it overboard. I was finally and upperclassmen and in the middle of the year, I meet this great friend. We started hanging out and doing things together and going to parties.

I was still drinking at the time, but then I noticed that at the party, my friend would simply say no if they didn’t want to drink. They still got treated the same and weren’t bothered by anyone because they decided not to drink. My friend started to tell me that I needed to cool it with drinking and told me that I need to stop drinking.

They also told me that there were better things that you could do and that you could still have fun without drinking. They opened my eyes and kinda peer pressured or influenced me to stop drinking so much, hardly at all. They helped me get back on the right path. Peer Pressure influenced my life in a good way and in a bad way. I learned many things through peer pressure that I still hold onto and look back upon until this day.


Example #6 – Negative and Positive Effects on Teenage Peer Pressure

Peer pressure. What is peer pressure? Peer pressure is the influence you feel from a person or a group of people to do something you might not otherwise consider doing. It’s not uncommon to want to fit-in and to feel like you belong in a community especially if you are new or less experience than other people around you. Besides, a peer can be anyone around the same age as you, like a friend, family, or a classmate.

Most of the time, it occurs to the teenagers. Here you will be able to see, there are a few negative and positive effects on teenage peer pressure. Peer pressure affects teenagers to cultivate bad habits from their surroundings. This is because it forces you to do things you are not comfortable doing. Besides, it can even lead you to adopt a certain kind of lifestyle, even if you do not want to.

For example, you may not be smoking but peer pressure is powerful. It can turn you from a total non-smoker to a chain-smoker. There are many teenagers who take drinking against their will, just because their peers force them to. In conjunction, teenage peer pressure has been the culprit in creating drug addicts as well.

At that vulnerable age, teenagers do not understand that they are actually ruining their life by giving in to pressure from peers. In addition, peer pressure can lead to a loss of individuality & integrity. Once again, extreme peer pressure may lead you to follow what your peers feel right. Their pressure may influence you to go by everything they think is right. Firstly, you will follow them blindly; then you adopt their tastes of fashion, clothing, and music. By doing so, it can actually lead you to lose your own taste. You feel forced to like what they like and do what they do.

Peer pressure will make you lose your originality of thought and conduct. You forget the way you wanted to live. Lastly, you lose your identity. Now if you look on the brighter side, peer pressure isn’t always a negative thing. It can be a positive influence and help challenge or motivate you to do your best. For example, in high school sports, coaches typically hope that peer pressure from teammates will cause individuals to work and play hard or to keep their grades up so that they can remain eligible to play.

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The same type of dynamic can occur in a work setting for older people. In many cases, this is not about pressure all the time, but an inspiration which in return, make good changes. Besides that, it also helps teenagers to give up their bad habits. If you are fortunate to get a good peer group, your peers can influence you to change your personality-wise in a positive way.

Their perspective of life can lead you to change yours. As the saying goes “To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly” by Henri Bergson. For example, positive peer pressure can make you quit smoking or give up bad habits that you may have.

That is because your peers can inspire you to become a more confident and optimistic person. Also, they may influence you to change and make you a better human being. Last but not least, it is all about you and a matter of making choices. When this happens and you don’t know what to do, you have to think of everything and the consequences you might suffer.

There are ways and things to remember when you are making a choice. Think of what you really want, and what you think is right because you have the right to make the right choice. Therefore, choose wisely and make it count.


Example #7 – Negative Consequences of Peer Pressure

This study dealt with several literature and studies taken from various standard sources. These lifted pieces of literature substantiated the researches study.

Making good mates is important, but sometimes trying to fit in with a group can turn sour. Giving in to pressure from your friends to do something you normally wouldn’t do can leave you feeling guilty, regretful, ashamed, embarrassed or even frightened.

Peer pressure isn’t always a bad thing; sometimes it can be good, such as when your friends stop you from doing something dumb that you’ll later regret. But often peer pressure can be linked to negative stuff. Check out the following examples of peer pressure and consider some tips for dealing with them.

By definition, peer pressure is social pressure by members of one’s peer group to take a certain action, adopt certain values, or otherwise conform in order to be accepted. Everyone, during a period of their life, experiences peer pressure. Peer pressure can be either positive or negative, although it is portrayed mostly as negative. Friends, family, and people all around, can influence teenagers in a negative or positive way.

Positive effects of peer pressure are doing well in school, eating healthy, exercising, joining after-school programs and much more. Negative effects of peer pressure include doing drugs, smoking, shoplifting, cutting class, having sex, drinking alcohol, physical violence, doing badly in school, and so on.

When effort is observable to peers, students may try to avoid social penalties by conforming to prevailing norms. To test this hypothesis, we first consider a natural experiment that introduced a performance leaderboard into computer-based high school courses. The result was a 24 percent performance decline. The decline appears to be driven by a desire to avoid the leaderboard; top-performing students prior to the change, those most at risk of appearing on the leaderboard, had a 40 percent performance decline, while poor-performing students improved slightly.

We next consider a field experiment that offered students complimentary access to an online SAT preparatory course. Sign-up forms differed randomly across students only in whether they said the decision would be kept private from classmates. In non-honors classes, sign-up was 11 percentage points lower when decisions were public rather than private. Honors class sign-up was unaffected.

For students taking honors and non-honors classes, the response depended on which peers they were with at the time of the offer, and thus to whom their decision would be revealed. When offered the course in a non-honors class (where peer sign-up rates are low), they were 15 percentage points less likely to sign up if the decision was public.

But when offered the course in an honors class (where peer sign-up rates are high), they were 8 percentage points more likely to sign up if the decision was public. Thus, students are highly responsive to their peers are the prevailing norm when they make decisions. (Bursztyn and Jensen, 2015)

There are three different forms of peer pressure: direct, indirect, and individual. Direct peer pressure is a teenager or a group of teenagers actually telling another teenager what he/she should be doing or what is okay to do. Indirect peer pressure is not necessarily verbal peer pressure but optical peer pressure.

One teenager who is hanging out with a group of friends who smoke or do drugs are exposed to this kind of negative behavior and may think it is acceptable. Individual peer pressure is trying too hard to fit in and doing things because other people are doing them.

Why do teens give in? Peers can influence their friends to do absolutely anything. That is why the majority of teenagers base their decisions on their friends’ actions. The more time teenagers spend with their peers, the more they trust them. If a teenager trusts a friend, they will most likely follow that friend’s examples.

The majority of teenagers are insecure. Because of this, they follow their peers and perform actions they aren’t comfortable with. For example, a teenager is part of a group of friends that smoke cigarettes. One of the members of the group offers him/her a cigarette and tells him/her how cigarettes are no big deal, the teenager will feel extremely pressured to smoke and will most likely take the cigarette.

“Statistics prove that 30% of teenagers have shoplifted at least once due to peer pressure. Over half of teenagers will experiment with alcohol. About 40% of teenagers have tried drugs”, states Jeanie Lerche Davis author of Teenagers: Why Do They Rebel.

Many teenagers want to feel accepted by their peers, so they do certain things to try and fit in with everyone else. Teenagers think that by following what their friends do, like smoking or drinking alcohol, they will seem “cool” or they fear that they’ll look clueless or completely out of it if they don’t..(Jenuhho,2008)

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