Adolescent Health & Mental Health

[Current Topics in Psychology]

Peer Pressure

Adolescent Health & Mental Health
A guide to excellent internet resources on such current topics as anorexia, school anxiety, coping with disaster, dating, puberty, & adolescent health concerns. (Fenichel)

Friendships, Peer Influence, and Peer Pressure During the Teen Years
From the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, some down-to-earth information about peer pressure, and its positive and negative potential. [Now a .pdf/Acrobat file]

A collection of websites which focus on success developing a positive self-concept. (Fenichel)

Teens Feel Pressure via social media
Brief and informative summary of a survey by Internet giant McAfee, which may be be a good starting point for discussion of peer pressure (and bullying) online and off. As of 2012, they found, 95% of 13-17 year-olds - big years for peer pressure, social development and personal identity - are now online. The vast majority are active on 'social media', often a large factor in image-making and overall 'social life'.

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In terms of 'peer pressure', imagine the pressure exerted on a young person by a large group of peers, collectively and individually communicating in real-time using technology ('devices') to 'share' - brainstorming, sharing music, homework help, test prepping, or just 'hanging out', 'whatever'. It's just normal everyday life.

In the words of one teen,
"You grew up with telephones and Walkmen and we grew up with computers. We don't know anything else!."

Part of growing up always involves experience, knowledge and the principles we learn at home and at school,
But for many, what matters most is ...friends -- using the now antiquated definition. Thank you FB for redefining 'friending' .

Spending time sprucing up a profile or counting tweets or likes, a generation or two is busy doing it. Being social.
Though generations and even slightly different age groups may define 'social' rather differently.
A great number of people are becoming permanently attached to friendly, smart and social devices.

Larry Rosen's presentation, Poke Me described his research on generational differences in communication preferences. . Some interesting generational 'wavelets' totally preferring texting. Others, call me, phone. Still others anything but wasting time. Whatever. Young people today just live life and share with family and friends (and Facebook) via beloved platforms and devices.

Today's engaged parents are more likely to understand a son or daughter's 'likes' and 'friends' and 'interests' as presented online. Often fads and 'likes' are simply reflecting what 'everyone does' today. And which group exerts the most influence over say, 12-16 year olds? Their peer groups, online groups, online media sharing, and those who share 'likes' and 'friends'.

Today's peer pressure can be intense.

Technology lets us do anything virtually, and to do virtually anything. Context is important. Friends matter. We are all connected. Do we notice? (Was that less than 140 characters?)

Today's younger generation(s) intuitively harness amazing tools for creativity and communication and sharing. Some are having fun with video, iPhonography, talking, texting, or just living life, chillaxing, 'whatever', Interacting, creating, sharing, 'being with' friends and family It's life today.

Children and teens always learn best from engaged and communicative parents and teachers who explain and set examples. We learn what's new from the youngest generations, and they learn from those before. All our 'friends' are connected. Everyone's got a personal homepage and 'interests' and 'likes'). Good, bad, liked, not liked, 'different strokes for different folks' - but the power of the group is undeniable. Especially among peers. (Think cliques, bullies, clubs.)

School-years socialization is profoundly important and normal. An enormous part of both children's and teens real lives, has changed, both in classrooms (where connection to technology is the new normal) in how children and teens choose to communicate, plan, organize, read, write, share... Staying on the focus of peer pressure, not only for teens, but many adults too, we are now influenced by 'social marketing'. It's a way of life today. Smart marketing, peer pressure to 'like', 'share', or buy the 'in' thing; for teens it's all just life, using the tools of the day, guided by 'what everyone does'.

Social has acquired new meaning, as it extends into 'influence' tracking, and 'branding', advertising and marketing. Lots of social devices are user friendly and we all love our friends. :-)

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Violence: Prevention and Warning Signs
Here's a page put together after the Littleton, Colorado tragedy. Peer pressure can cause people to snap! Learn about the Warning Signs. Includes resources for teens, teachers, and parents. (Fenichel)

What is Cool? What's Hot, What's Not
A psychologist's perspective on peer pressure and self-esteem, and a discussion with a group of today's teens on "What's Cool" and what's not. (Fenichel)
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Last Updated: Sunday, 08-Jan-2017 02:04:39 EST

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