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Study Notes

Peer Pressure

BTEC National

Last updated 29 Sept 2019

Peer pressure is the influence of a group or individual on another person to alter their behaviour so they become accepted by a peer group.

The Effects of Peer Pressure on Social Development

Psychologists concluded that during the time of adolescence, peer pressure is at its greatest. During this time, when young people are going through puberty, they are also developing a sense of identity; with this comes interacting more with friends and becoming more independent. Peer and friendship groups begin to play more of a role on a young person’s social and emotional development during adolescence, and these will shape an individual’s opinions and viewpoints.

Peer pressure can influence choices and through pressure individuals may participate in behaviours that they do not necessarily feel comfortable doing such as smoking, consuming alcohol, having unprotected sex and taking substances such as drugs. This can lead to arguments and the breakdown of relationships with parents and other family members.

Peer pressure may influence an individual in a positive way. For example, encouragement from peers may result in an individual trying harder at school or being respectful to adults.

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