The behaviour of a person and the way that person will live in society hugely depends on the social conditions where that individual is living. A number of factors can affect the social condition of a person (Dumas, Ellis and Wolfe 917-927). Starting from the people until the culture all affects an individual. I will be writing this memoir to throw light on one such social aspects of the society name ‘peer groups’ or ‘peer pressure’. My family hail from Africa and until now, we had to suffer due to the differences in the colour of our skin. However, I will write about the issues of peer pressure I was a victim of such issues in my adolescence.
I hail from Africa and our culture is entirely different from the culture of Canada. The United States being a developed country, most of the families are well to do. Even if our family migrated from Africa long time back, yet our culture is different from the ones who are living in Canada. Even if we financially stable, yet we are not allowed to spend much on luxury or go out with friends. Thus, in faced a lot f problems while dealing with the my friends when I was an adolescent and was going to school.
The first issue that I faced from the peer groups is with the social class. The children in Canada are outgoing and many of the adolescents indulge in drinking at an early age. Alcohol may not be an important thing in life, but the teenagers in school feel consumption of alcohol is style statement and indulge in the activity. I felt the pressure from the groups mainly because the families from where they belong are modern and the parents did not mind their children going out and consuming alcohol (Joffres et al. e003423).
The difference in the background from the other children in my class at times made me isolated from the rest of the group. I was not well acquainted with the consumption of alcohol and mainly depended on soft drinks whenever there was a party. Moreover, I kept myself away from any of the alcohol parties. At times, I was made fun of my color and community when I used to stay away from drinking. Due to the peer pressure, I tried drinking alcohol like my friends and faced serious consequences like blackout and nausea. It was again a moment of shame for me as I was made fun of that event (Levesque, Li and Pahal).
As I was teenager, the difference in ethnicity affected me to a huge extent as I started feeling that there was something wrong in me, as I could not gel with the children in my groups. I found out some people who belonged from Africa and were permanent settlers in Canada. Howler, some of them have been able to adjust with the culture of other Canadian children and have taken to drinking, while some have completely isolated themselves from the group (Yang, Schaninger and Laroche 559-567). I felt even more frustrated with the thought that I will not able to live life like any normal Canadian.
Due to the difference in the culture and the peer pressure, that main issue that I faced while in school is with socializations. As I used to feel pressurized in school, I started building an idea that all white people must be the same in every region and in the society where we lived. As a result, I stopped socializing with people and stopped going to places. I only interacted with family ad the people of my race and ethnicity.
Quite like me, many children who are suffering from the issues of peer pressure. Some of the peer pressures help children get good habits while some push the children into bad habits (Dub?). The following image shows the effect of peer pressure on the children.
Figure 1: Effect of peer pressure
Nineteen percent of the children said that they could give up talking in cell phone while driving if the peer groups do the same. This instance supports that fact that peer groups can help an individual to gain good habits. Twenty-three percent of the teenage girls feel pressurized from the peer groups to have sex. Thirty-three percent of the boys who are between the age of 15-17 years feel pressurized to have sex due to the peer groups. Fifty-five percent of the teenagers tried drugs because they feel that once their friends are trying, they should also try. Seventy percent of the individuals said that they started smoking mainly because they saw their friends doing so.
Many children think that an actions is cool or feel that as their friends are doing and hence they do not think twice before indulging in any activity (An 382-394).
In the article, ‘Peer Pressure: the Silent Killer?’ by Erika Katz, the bad choice by a teenager girl was pointed out. Hannah who was a very obedient girl made a bad choice and suffered from an accident when she went out for car surf (Katz). The types of pressure from the friends could be different, but it affected the children in a negative manner either physically. The girl urged the author to share the story so that the teenagers restrict themselves from submitting to peer pressure.
After evaluating my instance and relating the events with the perspectives of various authors, I can conclude that peer pressure will prevail in the society. I felt pressurised from for drinking and was made fun of my skin colour. The studies show that teenagers feel the peer pressure for sex, smoking and other things. Finally, they end up hurting themselves. It is the duty of the parents to become friends of their children and notice any change in the behaviours of their children. The support from the family is the best way to help a child grow in spite of the pressure from their peers.
An, Weihua. "Instrumental Variables Estimates Of Peer Effects In Social Networks". Social Science Research 50 (2015): 382-394. Web.
Dub?, Dani-Elle. "How Parents Can Identify And Deal With Peer Pressure, Bullying". Global News. N.p., 2016. Web. 11 Nov. 2016.
Dumas, Tara M., Wendy E. Ellis, and David A. Wolfe. "Identity Development As A Buffer Of Adolescent Risk Behaviors In The Context Of Peer Group Pressure And Control". Journal of Adolescence 35.4 (2012): 917-927. Web.
Joffres, Michel et al. "Hypertension Prevalence, Awareness, Treatment And Control In National Surveys From England, The USA And Canada, And Correlation With Stroke And Ischaemic Heart Disease Mortality: A Cross-Sectional Study". BMJ Open 3.8 (2013): e003423. Web.
Katz, Erika. "Peer Pressure: The Silent Killer?". The Huffington Post. N.p., 2012. Web. 11 Nov. 2016.
Levesque, Annabel, Han Z. Li, and Jasrit S. Pahal. "Factors Related To Patients' Adherence To Medication And Lifestyle Change Recommendations: Data From Canada". International Journal of Psychological Studies 4.2 (2012): n. pag. Web.
Yang, Zhiyong, Charles M. Schaninger, and Michel Laroche. "Demarketing Teen Tobacco And Alcohol Use: Negative Peer Influence And Longitudinal Roles Of Parenting And Self-Esteem". Journal of Business Research 66.4 (2013): 559-567. Web.
Zeiger, Stacy. "Statistics On Peer Pressure". LoveToKnow. N.p., 2016. Web. 11 Nov. 2016.