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Peer group and its influence


                                                                            (Photo: Titanium Success)

According to APA
Dictionary of Psychology,
a group of individuals who share one or more
characteristics, such as age, social status, economic status etc. are peer
groups. Peer Group is both social group and primary group. 

Functions of Peer group:

  • Provide support in shaping an
    individual’s self-esteem and self-valuation.
  •  Provide emotional security
    under unprecedented or threatening situations.
  • Provide the foundation for
    intimate relationships as they are essential non-family contexts for intimacy
    and affection.
  • Teach gender roles.
  •  Help in Identity formation.
     The peer group is an important socializing agent
contributing beyond the influence of the family and school. Peers socialize
each other through certain mechanisms. They are.

  •  Reinforcement –
    Giving Attention.
  •  Modeling-Imitation
  •  Punishment-
    Rejection, bullying etc.
  • Apprenticeship- Someone with more experience teach someone
    with less experience.

As your teen grows older, their peers will play a bigger role in their
life. Their friends may influence everything from what they wear to how they

  1. Positive influence: Positive
    peer influence is when someone’s peers influence them to do something positive
    or growth building. For example, peers who are committed to doing well in
    school or at sport can influence others to be more goal orientated. Similarly,
    peers who are kind, loyal or supportive influence others to be the same. They
    are subconsciously looking to their friends for information about how to act
    and interact with others. For the same reason, they also learn more quickly in
    the presence of their peers. For example, friends tell your teen to
    study harder so they can get better grades. They decide it’s cool to get good
    grades in a test. Several of your teen friends
    buy their own car. Your teen becomes motivated to save their money so they can
    buy their own car too.
  2. Negative influence: If your teen
    starts hanging around with the wrong crowd, like peers who skip school, do
    drugs, and break the law, they’re likely to influence your teen behavior in
    an unhealthy way. Most negative peer pressure involves more serious problems,
    like pressuring a teen to smoke cigarettes or experiment with drugs. For example, your teen skips school because
    it’s senior skip day and they don’t want to get made fun for showing up. Your
    teen purchases e-cigarettes online because their friends tell them they can get
    away with it.
Peer Group Stages

ž PEER GROUP BY AGE (2 TO 6) –The first bond Or attachment
that a child shares with is his Or her family. They feel secure and warmth
around the family. They tend to be less aggressive and more actively involved
in activities.

6 TO 13)
–Children no longer need adults or their family to structure them
socially. They start looking for children of their own age group. They try to
socialize with children of their own age by doing friendship with them and
spending time with each other.

ž ADOLESCENT –During adolescence, peer
groups tend to face dramatic changes. Adolescents tend to spend more time with
their peers and have less adult supervision. Adolescents’ communication shifts
during this time as well. They prefer to talk about school and their careers
with their parents, and they enjoy talking about sex and other interpersonal
relationships with their peers. Children look to join peer groups who accept
them, even if the group is involved in negative activities. Children are less
likely to accept those who are different from them.

     How to tackle it ?

     1. Developing good self-esteem and taking charge of yourself.  

     2. Satisfaction and taking charge of our aspirations. 

     3. Choosing our friends wisely.

     4. Identify our core values.

     5. Taking the help of our parents/elders/teachers.


     "Without friends no one chooses to live, though he has all other goods." - Aristotle

     It is not possible to live our lives without being influenced by anyone. So the best thing that we can do is guard ourselves and to choose our influence.





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