Other Free Encyclopedias » Marriage and Family Encyclopedia » Other Marriage & Family Topics » Peer Influence - Development Of Peer Influence, Negative Peer Influence, Positive Peer Influence, Family Relationships And Peer Influence

Peer Influence - Negative Peer Influence

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Popular conceptions regarding the influence of peers in adolescence often focus on their negative effects—peer pressure—to the exclusion of current empirical research attesting to the myriad positive aspects of peer influence. Supportive relationships between socially skilled adolescents confer developmental advantages while coercive and conflictual relationships confer disadvantages. Willard H. Hartup (1996) summarizes the situation with the following statement: "Knowing that a teenager has friends tells us one thing, but the identity of his or her friends tells us something else" (p. 2).

Across a variety of cultural settings, adolescents tend to be friends with those who are most like them. In fact, sociodemographic characteristics are usually the strongest predictors of friendship formation. Different types of peer groups have unique capacities to encourage negative or positive behaviors in their members. Adolescent mis-conduct most often occurs in groups. In the United States, cliques are often distinguished from other peer groups through the pressure they exert on their members to conform to certain norms in school orientation, drug use, and sexual behavior. Researchers found clear differences among six different cliques in their participation in high-risk health behaviors, including smoking cigarettes, alcohol use, marijuana use, and engagement in illicit sexual behavior (Prinstein, Fetter, and La Green 2001). Furthermore, members of "deviantly ordered" cliques are more likely to drop out of high school (Cairns and Cairns 1994). Across many cultures, perceived behavior and sanctions of friends are among the strongest predictors of an adolescent's misconduct (Greenberger et al. 2000). Jill V. Hamm (2000) found that when compared with European-American and Asian-American adolescents, African-American adolescents chose friends who were less similar in terms of academic orientation or substance use, but more similar in terms of ethnic identity.


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over 7 years ago

i agree with jack. i think the important thing is how strong you are inside. i mean, most of my close friends are the type that go for clubbing, drinking and smoking but hey, i don't do those things. =) i make friends, share secrets with them but whenever they offer me a drink or a smoke, i said no and they respect me for that.
in a nut shell, people around you can always offer you many different routes but it's up to you to choose which route you wanna take. when they despise you for not following them, so what??

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about 3 years ago

i think we should help influence our friends positively and i agree with robin

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over 9 years ago

First of all, they are cliques, any person that has ever gone to High School will tell you they are. What this author is saying, these groups can be postitive or negative, and it's important to keep track of who the youth are friends with to ensure that they are acting and learning appropriate things! Because even if you don't want to admit it, these groups do have a lot of power. Again any person who has taseted their first beer or smoked for the first time will tell you, it wasn't their parents that said it was ok, it was the cute boy or hot girl they wanted to be liked by or becaue they wanted to be a part of the fun popular crowd that they did it.

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about 11 years ago

I think that this is ridiculous! by labelling a group of kids as a clique you give them more power or influence they might have in reality

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over 9 years ago

i think that the friends you are with will definitely affect your character. you can always be friends with someone who does not exactly have the same "appropriate" character as you. but the most important thing is to not be badly influenced by them. as long as you know right from wrong and are not afraid to speak your mind and be different, you can never be affected by negative peer pressure. if your friends leave you, then they are just losing a good friend