Peer Pressure Statistics

What Peer Pressure Statistics Mean

When one looks at peer pressure statistics, the subjects under study are usually teens or preteens. That doesn't mean that the rest of us never experience peer pressure. Adults certainly can, but peer pressure is one of those things that is most prevalent when we are young, and tends to diminish as the years go by. One seldom sees peer pressure statistics directed towards the adult population, especially older adults. Peer pressure is all about conforming to the ideas or practices of others, and as we grow older we usually feel less inclined to follow the crowd, unless we're of the opinion that by not following the crowd there may be negative consequences. By the time we retire, peer pressure for the most part might as well be something which exists on another planet.

When looking at peer pressure statistics for teens, it might give one the feeling that things are going from bad to worse, with such and such a percentage of our youth pressured to smoke or to try drugs, and such and such a percentage pressured to have sex for all the wrong reasons. The number of teens smoking marijuana or taking harder drugs seems to be on the rise, with peer pressure often cited as being to blame. Peer pressure statistics would seem to indicate that a higher percentage of teens become pregnant out of wedlock than ever before.

These statistics cannot be ignored, nor should they be, but peer pressure has always been with us and always will be. We can't eliminate peer pressure. What we can do is try to protect those who are most vulnerable. Youngsters usually succumb to peer pressure for fear of otherwise being held up to ridicule, for fear of being ostracized from a group they would like to belong to, or simply for fear of being alone.

It's Easier To Publicize The Negative - The first thing to realize is that not all peer pressure is bad. Some kinds of peer pressure are positive. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of peer pressure statistics available focusing on the positive. If 10% of our youth takes up a bad habit due to peer pressure we sometimes forget that the other 90% either resisted taking up the bad habit, or weren't subjected by peer pressure to do so.

We Can't Force, But We Can Monitor - What we can do is to try as best we can to steer young people towards associations with people who are not going to try to pressure them into bad habits. We can't always pick who the friends to our children will be, but we can certainly give them advice or warnings when we see some of their friends may be trying to pressure them into doing things they should not be doing.

Dangers Of Middle School - It's usually easier for a parent to protect his or her child from peer pressure and educate them about it when they are in the lower grades. Children in middle school seem to be at an age where they are in the greatest danger of starting to run with the wrong crowd. The danger is there in high school as well. By the time most teenagers have graduated from high school, they're usually beginning to try and set their own course in life and no longer are trying so hard to be a part of the crowd. There are exceptions of course, and a few will be victims of peer pressure well into adulthood, where peer pressure can mean trying to keep up with the neighbors or trying to mold one's self to fit in a corporate culture.