Importance to Society
A peer group include members who share the same/similar interests, social positions and usually have a great influence on the socialization of group members
Peer groups can also serve as a platform for teaching members gender roles
Adolescent peer groups provide support for children and teens as they lean into the adult society
This decreases their dependence on parents which increases self sufficiency
Peer groups have an important influence on psychological and social adjustments for group individuals
The influence of peer groups typically peaks during adolescence
Adolescence and late childhood are when children/teenagers are more vulnerable ...view middle of the document...
Studies of peer victimization have shown that children who were victims carry over depressive tendencies and negative self esteem into early adulthood.
Peer pressure throughout early adolescence cause some teens to join gangs or form cliques with others who were ostracized. Teens who join gangs perceive the gang as a form of camaraderie, and not an agent that promotes violence and the use of drugs.
Self consciousness during adolescence also leads many teens to extreme dieting to match that standards promoted by the media and peer groups at school.
Is it more or less influential today compared with 100 years ago?
Peer group socialization has become more influential today due to social and pop culture influence and successful forms of peer pressure
Peer pressure: the influence exerted by a peer group, encouraging individuals to change their attitudes, values, or behaviors in order to conform to group norms
Social and Pop culture influence increased the prevalence of peer group socialization and peer pressure due to the desperate need to fit in
If a member of a group deviates, rejection is enforced
Examples: Teenagers engaging in underage smoking and drinking because the peer group
Children's strong desire to belong to a popular group has caused them to conform to the social norms normalized in their peer group
“Peer influence on behavior gradually becomes more dominant....