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Peer Pressure Essay, Research Paper

Peer pressure can influence a person to start smoking, drinking, or doing drugs and other things that are harmful to his/her body. However, peer pressure can also be helpful by influencing someone to do right instead of wrong. For example, a person can be an example to his/her friends and let them know he/she wants to do right and he/she wants to change how he/she acts or what he/she were like. Peer pressure can be a struggle for some people because they may be depressed by what they have done or what people done to hurt their feelings in the past. Peer pressure can make a person feel really bad about him/herself, but a person must remember that peer pressure can be good or bad.

Peer Pressure has been blamed for adolescent behaviors ranging from choice in clothing to drug usage. A new study says that the effects of peer pressure on teenagers’ behavior may be highly overrated. This study, published in Addiction (Vol. 91, No. 2), adds to a growing body of research that suggests peer pressure is a weaker factor in adolescent behavior than many had believed. “When there is so much emphasis on peer pressure, there’s a tendency not to discuss or not to look hard for evidence of other factors. We went back and tried to critically examine the importance of peer pressure.” Researchers did studies over a twenty year spand to find that peer pressure was easily blamed for teenage behavior but never examined. Other factors such as family life, economic background, environment, and biological tendencies all may be as important or even more important than peer pressure in determining behavior. “Kids who smoke tend to choose kids who smoke as friends.” Children who have the same habits have a tendency to hang together. Peer pressure may be least factor in the use of drugs and other habits related to teenage life, but nonetheless peer pressure is a factor that influences drug use among teenagers.


Davis, Fran. Peer Pressure. New York: New York Press, 1992.

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