Peer pressure

Peer pressure refers to the direct influence on people by their peers. Peers are people who have similar interests, age, background, or social status. So, peer pressure for a high school student comes from the influence of other high school students in their group. Peer pressure for a civil servant comes from their colleagues who they work and socialise with.

When people experience peer pressure they are encouraged to follow their peers by changing their attitudes, values or behaviors to conform to those of the influencing group. There has been considerable study regarding the effects of peer pressure on children and adolescents, and the term 'peer pressure' is mostly used in relation to those age groups.


Read the article below aimed at informing and advising young teenagers about peer pressure and match the nine underlined phrases and idioms with their synonyms /meanings below:

  • to reach a situation that was not planned or expected

  • refuse to be bullied or persuaded by someone

  • to stop resisting and accept (a situation)

  • take care (of someone) and make sure that they are treated well

  • behave according to your beliefs and doing what you think is right

  • do something forbidden that leads to punishment

  • your responsibility alone

  • not be included (in something)

  • behave correctly according to social morals and rules

How to handle peer pressure

It is up to you to make the right decision and learn to handle peer pressure.  It is not always easy and you will sometimes feel you are going to be left out if you do not do things with your peers, but it is very important to remember that first of all you have to be true to yourself and if that means you are not one of the "cool kids" that is also fine - at least you will do the things that you feel comfortable with. This influence that other children are trying to have on you is called peer pressure.  As you get older you will have to make a lot of decisions about this.

What is peer pressure?

People around your (your peers) influence your life every day, even without you noticing it. You listen to them and they will also listen to you, since it is only natural to communicate with children of your own age. Peer pressure is not only bad. It can be a good thing where your friends help and motivate you, but unfortunately there will always be the peers that encourage you to get into trouble.

Why do some people give in and not stand up to their peers?

A lot of children give in to negative peer pressure because they want to be liked and accepted by their peers and are scared of rejection. Other children will give in because they are curious and they want to be part of the group and "everybody is doing it".

How can I resist and walk away?

It is not easy to say NO but if you believe in yourself and you want to do the right thing, you will be able to walk away. If you have one friend that is prepared to say no with you, it will be much easier to walk away.  It is a good thing to be friends with people who have the same values as you have and respect your decision.

You have to come to a point where you decide that if somebody does not respect your decisions and they do not accept that you do not want to give into peer pressure and they do not respect it, then they are not worth being your friends.

Good friends look out for one another and do not try to get them in trouble.  You will maybe feel that you are going to end up without any friend, but eventually you will meet somebody that accepts you for who you are.

When you are ready enter you answers in the sheet below:


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