Peer Pressure: It is Extremely Detrimental
Have you ever been pressured into doing something you did not want to do? This is peer pressure which is a strong social influence over peers that each member attempts to conform to the expectations of the group (dictionary.com). In peer pressure, there are usually consequences that could be destructive for the pressured individual (Kreske, 2008). It is very common for children to experience peer pressure during youth even in adulthood. There are some pressures that could be detrimental to their well being. I will argue that peer pressure is extremely detrimental that it can lead to putting their self and health at risk, put the person in severe situations that could make them feel as if they have to fit in and belonged or to be liked, and can lead to bad decisions which can result in life-changing consequences. Peer pressure is extremely detrimental that it can put children’s self and health at risk. They can put their selves at health risk in smoking, drinking alcohol, using drugs and taking part in sexual activities (Heubeck, 2007). Smoking can increase the chances of heart disease, stroke, emphysema, cancers (lung, throat, stomach and bladder), infections like bronchitis and pneumonia, low bone density that could lead to osteoporosis, a high risk of illness with colds, flu and more (kidshealth.org, 2007). Alcohol drinking can slow down the central part of the nervous system by blocking messages that tries to get to the brain which alters people’s perceptions, emotions, movement, vision and hearing (kidshealth.org, 2007). When people drink more and more alcohol, it can lead to intoxication and it can even lead to alcohol poisoning. In drugs, (but these are not the only ones listed here) it can cause addictiveness psychologically, anxiety problems, breathing problems, coughing, impaired judgment/ vision, slurring words during speech, nausea, fast heartbeat, skin problems, fever, sweating, brain damage, seizures, headaches, abdominal pain, and even death (kidshealth.org, 2007). Sexual activities can result in pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases or infections, rashes, birth control situations, and even sexual orientations (kidshealth.org, 2007). Peer pressure in reality can literally change people’s behaviors with sleeping, making friends, attitudes, family and even clothing (Carrado, 2007). It gives people increasing problems with anxiety and may have poor self esteem or lack of confidence. Children at a young age are going to be seeking outside influences from their homes. This usually puts children in severe situations that could make them feel as if they have to fit in and belonged or to be liked. This leads them to their peers (people around their age or around the same status). They go to their peers with the lack of confidence or the low self esteem that they have for themselves. The group would offer acceptance and approval which would make them feel confident and worthy (Kaplan, Leslie; 1997). A lot of people wondered why we feel this kind of pressure. It is because “we are social creatures. We need to be around other people to be truly happy, and research has shown that deprivation of human contact can even be detrimental to our health. The reasons why we give in to pressure—perhaps compromising our own beliefs, ideals, and even morals to be accepted by others—are very complex. But they often stem from the very basic human need to be loved and accepted (Kaplan, Leslie; 1997).’’ A Chief of Child and Adolescent Psychology at Montefiore Medical Center claims that these children really want to conform developmentally (Heubeck, 2007). Having the feeling of being loved and accepted would make them forget about all of the possible consequences or the trouble they can get into.
“Whether they choose to conform or not, they must make these decisions frequently and deal with the consequences (Kaplan, Leslie; 1997)”. Children would make bad decisions that...
References: Heubeck, Elizabeth. (2007). Teen Peer Pressure: Raising a peer pressure-proof child. Retrieved May 1, 2009 from http://www.webmd.com/parenting/features/teen-peer-pressure-raising-peer-pressure-proof-child
Kaplan, Leslie. (1997). Coping with Peer Pressure. New York: Hazelden/Rosen.
Kreske, Damian. (2008). How to Say No to Drugs. New York Facts on File, Inc.
Nemours Center/ Foundation’s Kids Health. (1995-2009). Smoking. Retrieved May 1, 2009 from http://kidshealth.org/teen/drug-alcohol/tobacco/smoking.html
Nemours Center/ Foundation’s Kids Health. (1995-2009). Alcohol. Retrieved May 1, 2009 from http://kidshealth.org/teen/drug-alcohol/alcohol/alcohol.html
Nemours Center/ Foundation’s Kids Health. (1995-2009). Drugs. Retrieved May 1, 2009 from http://kidshealth.org/teen/drug-alcohol/
SAMHSA: National Mental Health Information Center. (n.d.). Preparing Youth for Peer Pressure. Retrieved from http://mentalhealth.samhsa.gov/publications/allpubs/ca-0047/default.asp
The American Heritage New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, 3rd Edition. (2005). Peer Pressure. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/peer%20pressure
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