Impact of Peer Pressure on Alcohol Consumption among Adolescents
This paper addresses the impact of peer pressure on risky behaviour such as alcohol abuse among adolescents focusing on high school students from 12-19 years. Peer pressure in relation to alcohol use include peer norms, peer approval to drinking and the need to conform. Studies show that peer pressure does have an impact on alcohol use. However, other factors such as intrapersonal or psycho social forces, as well as parental influencess also have an effect on adolescents decisions to drink. The following literature reviews show the extent of peer pressure on adolescent alcohol and the other factors that may have a contribution to it.
Impact of Peer Pressure on Risky Behaviour (alcohol abuse)
Peer pressure refers to the influences that a group of friends or peers can have over each other. It is common among adolescents who are at a time in their lives where development of a separate identity from the identity perceptions their parents have of them is at a peak. Additionally, it is at this time that peers are trying to fit in with their group and therefore find themselves in activities or risky behavior that they would otherwise partake in. Peer pressure has no demographic boundaries affecting males and females over a wide age range in different ways with negative implications. Such negative implications of peer pressure include risky behaviors such as alcohol abuse.
Alcohol consumption is one of the many risk behaviors that adolescents engage in as a result of peer pressure. Arata, Stafford and Tims (2003)focus on problem drinking among 930 adolescents of 13 to 19yrs from an urban private high school in Roslyn Heights in the USA. Their purpose was to find out parent and peer variables and negative consequences associated with alcohol use. Their focus on peer variables included susceptibility to peer pressure and the need for conformity. Arata et.al (2003, p.573) reported that...