Essay On Peer Influence

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Because it is virtually impossible to control the desires and interests a person has, the impact of negative peer influences must be counteracted in a different way. Peer influence is one of the largest contributing factors in the likelihood of an adolescent taking part in risky behaviors; therefore, I believe that adolescents can reduce the potential for risky behaviors by choosing friend groups that encourage healthy behaviors and decision-making. Topical Support: A peer group can be defined as a set of people who share at least one common characteristic, such as age or interest (Oxford, 2017). Bronfenbrenner would classify a peer group as a microsystem, meaning that a peer group is a system in which the child will personally interact…show more content…
While this study also focuses on family dysfunction and mental health, the consistency of peer influence is ever present. In this study, a sample of randomly selected adolescents are asked to make a list of their friends who take part in problematic behaviors, and then follow up with a list of close friends who participate in health-risk behaviors. Following this activity, the students are asked to answer situational questions, such as how many times a week they smoked cigarettes or how many times they seriously considered self-harm. The study overall revealed that peer behaviors accounted for a large amount of the health-risk behaviors that were presented in the tasks. The risky behaviors performed by the adolescent were directly related to his or her friends’ deviant behaviors. In addition to supporting the idea that peers directly influence an adolescent’s individual behavioral decisions, the study also showed that other factors such as family dysfunction, depression and social acceptance only altered the degree of risky behavior. In other words, these factors did not account for the issue itself, but rather the continuation or excessiveness of the risky behavior. This supports the idea that peer groups seem to be a foundational influence on an adolescent’s behavioral decisions and responses. (Prinstein,
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