Is peer pressure still a problem?

Everyone has at some point in their lives experienced peer pressure. Many teens feel that they need to act or dress as certain way to fit into their peer groups and in some circumstances this can lead to the development of unhealthy behaviours such as smoking, drinking and in some cases even shoplifting to fit in.
How worried should we really be about the way peer pressure is affecting teen’s behaviour? The statistics are shocking with 67% of teen girls being pressured to dress a certain way and 44% of teens being pressured to steal, lie or cheat.
However in spite of those alarming statistics many say that peer pressure has reduced in recent years. Only 31% of students report ever having smoked a cigarette as opposed to almost 54% in 1991 and in 2010 27% of students said they had got drunk in the past year whilst in 1997 40% had.
There are many theories on why negative peer pressure in teens has fallen such as drinking and taking drugs becoming less popular with teens who would rather be healthy and do well in school, thinking about their lives in the long term instead of living not thinking about the consequences of their actions.
When I asked my friends if they thought peer pressure affected the way that they acted they said that yes it did a little but that the peer pressure that they had experienced was mostly good for example revising for a test and wanting to do well because their friends were revising.
Overall my friends were not worried about peer pressure and said “if you have a friendship where you feel peer pressured to do something bad then those people aren’t your real friends anyway.”
TNT Growing Pains Ruby Fatimilehin

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