Understanding individual differences in susceptibility to peer influence is critical to identifying adolescents at risk for negative health outcomes. The purpose of this project was to identify predictors of susceptibility to peer influence using a novel performance-based measure of sexual risk-taking. Changes in responses to the sexual scenarios in the private pretest versus during the public chat room provided a performance-based measure of peer influence susceptibility. The most robust predictor of this change was gender, with boys significantly more susceptible to peer influence than girls. Significant interactions also were noted, with greater susceptibility among boys with later pubertal development and African American boys. Results confirm that not all youth are equally susceptible to peer influence.
What is peer pressure? | TeenSource
Neil Bernstein, a clinical psychologist writes about how to understand peer pressure, sex and talk to teenagers about it. At its best, it can mobilize his energy, motivate him to strive for success, and encourage him to conform to a healthy group norm. At its worst, peer pressure can impair good judgment and fuel risk-taking behavior, drawing a child away from the family and positive influences and luring him into dangerous activities. No matter what kind of peer pressure your children face, they must learn how to balance the value of going along with the crowd against the importance of making their own decisions. And you must ensure that your teen is comfortable with himself so that he will be able to achieve that balance. I have found in my practice that the more comfortable a teen is with his identity, the less susceptible he will be to negative peer pressure—a force that almost always leads kids to some form of trouble. It most definitely is, and you must find a way to teach your teenager how to deal with it maturely and responsibly.
Adolescent Susceptibility to Peer Influence in Sexual Situations
It appears that adolescents are becoming sexually active at younger ages than in past generations. How much are they influenced by their peers to become sexually active? A study of 89 adolescent girls in a parochial high school in Manhattan showed that adolescent girls are influenced by their peers when they decide to become sexually active; however, they do not see themselves influenced by their peers. Adolescents appear to have internalized their peers opinions.
Although sex is a personal decision, peer pressure is not so uncommon. One of the major contributing factors for teenagers to engage in sexual activity, whether or not they feel ready for it, is the illusion that everyone else is. According to a survey in Psychology Today , boys are more likely than girls to be pressured by friends to have sex. There is no right or wrong time to have sex, it varies for each person. One of the most crucial things, is that you feel that you are able to talk to your potential partner what you are thinking and feeling.