Peer Pressure vs. Peer Influence

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Peer Pressure vs Peer Influence

Serving troubled & at-risk girls.

Parents can be the strongest influence in their child’s life if they understand and are aware of the types of pressure their teenager is facing. Supporting healthy friendships, modeling responsible behavior and keeping an open, judgment-free family dialogue are important ways for parents to set positive peer pressure examples for teens. Take the time to talk it out with your teen and ask them about types of pressures they may be facing.

Pressure vs Influence

It’s important to remember that peer influence and pressure is a normal part of adolescence. As your daughter starts moving away from the parent-child relationship and seeking her own independence and identity, her peers will become more important to her. However, if you’re concerned about the effects of peer pressure on her and think that it’s negatively impacting on their life, intervene. Sit down and have a talk with your daughter, explain to her what true friends are, teach her to always be herself and that it’s okay to say “no” to peer influence and pressure.

What is Peer Influence?

Peer influence is when a peer’s act influences the others to act in the same way. Peer influence is not a forcible act. 

What is Peer Pressure?

Peer pressure is the pressure from one’s peers to act in a way that is acceptable to the others in the same group. Peer pressure is a forcible action. This can be a positive pressure or a negative pressure.

Types of Peer Pressure

There are many types of peer pressure which can be experienced at any age. Since peer pressure involves communicating some type of message, the way in which that message is communicated can be varied. You may experience very direct and clear peer pressure, at times it may be only a strong feeling, sometimes it might sound fun and other times it can sound scary and even illegal.

There are many types of peer pressure, including:

1. Spoken Peer Pressure

This type of peer pressure involves one individual or a group asking another individual to participate in some type of behavior. In a group setting, the pressure felt is much stronger as there is power in numbers.

2. Unspoken Peer Pressure

This type of peer pressure involves an individual being exposed to certain behaviors, trends or choices of others and feeling a pressure to conform.

3. Direct Peer Pressure

This type of peer pressure is challenging as it is very specific to behavior-based conformity and can be spoken or unspoken. Direct peer pressure can often feel heightened because of our own discomfort of the environment we’re in at that time of experiencing direct peer pressure.

4. Indirect Peer Pressure

This type of peer pressure is less invasive on our internal voice to behave a certain way, however, it can validate a behavior or activity we want to try but haven’t tried yet. It can be unspoken but also influence how we feel about ourselves.

5. Positive Peer Pressure

This type of peer pressure can be direct, indirect, spoken and/or unspoken. This is pressure felt in one-on-one situations or groups that yields positive results and healthier lifestyle choices.

6. Negative Peer Pressure

This type of peer pressure can also be direct, indirect, spoken and/or unspoken. This pressure can challenge individuals to do things they may not usually do and engage in such behaviors because others are doing so and it’s a way to belong.

Signs

Signs can range from subtle to overt, which means that some forms of  peer pressure  and peer influence can be easier to spot than others. Being able to identify signs that your child is dealing with peer pressure may help you start a supportive conversation.

Some signs that your child may be experiencing peer pressure include:

  • Avoiding school or other social situations
  • Being very image-conscious
  • Changes in behavior
  • Expressing feeling like they don’t fit in
  • Low moods
  • Making social comparisons
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Trying out new hair or clothing styles

Drawbacks

  • Anxiety and depression: Being around people who pressure us to do things we aren’t comfortable with can make us feel anxious and depressed
  • Arguments or distance from family and friends: Negative peer pressure tends to make us feel bad about ourselves, and this can cause us to withdraw from people we care about
  • Distractions from academics: Peer pressure can sometimes cause us to move our focus from our priorities because we’re engaged in things we wouldn’t normally do or distracted by thoughts about peer pressure
  • Pressure to engage in risky behavior: Friends may pressure each other to do things like drink, try illicit drugs, engage in unsafe sexual activity, or drive recklessly
  • Problems with self-esteem and self-confidence: Constantly feeling pressure to do things that go against our values can make us feel bad about ourselves
  • Sudden changes in behavior: Trying to conform to a peer’s norms might prompt a person start acting and looking like someone else
  • Unhappiness with appearance: If our peers are fixating on appearance, we may feel inadequate and want to change how we look in order to fit in.

If you have an emergency situation, please call 911. If there is any information that is not listed or you need help with resources, please call or email us as gethelp@allgirlz.org or (725) 696-7230. We will put you in touch with the right people to help you and your daughter.

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Copyright Ⓒ2022 All Girlz Incorporated. All Rights Reserved.

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