Nowadays, children face a lot of peer pressure. They face this problem everywhere and more so, in their school. They may be negatively influenced due to this problem. If this problem exceeds the limits, it may result in teen depression also.
What Is Peer Pressure?
Before you understand the relationship between peer pressure and teen depression, you must know what peer pressure is. Experts in psychology opine that peer pressure is nothing but a social pressure exerted by the members of peer groups on a person for taking a particular action, for adopting certain stands or conforming to certain specific expectations so that the person will be accepted by them.
Peer pressure can be a common problem that may affect anyone. This can either be positive or may turn out to be negative though, this is generally and always portrayed as negative. This problem can emanate from friends’ circles, family, and others.
Positive And Negative Effects Of Peer Pressure
There can be positive results also due to peer pressure and some of them are excelling in studies, eating healthy foods, developing the habit of doing exercises, participating in after-school programs, etc. Some of the negative results are taking to drugs, acquiring habits like smoking and drinking, cutting classes, shoplifting and so on. Some teens may indulge in sexual activities. A few others may become violent. Mostly, the negative effects of peer pressure may result in poor performance in studies.
Peer pressure can lead to teen depression because if these teens are not able to fulfill the expectations of their peer groups, they may develop this problem.
Optical Peer Pressure
Peer pressure need not be verbal but, can be optical also. When teens constantly look at the smoking or drinking habits of the other members of the group, they may also slowly get into these habits. They may be afraid that if they do not do so, they may not be accepted and may not be allowed to hang out with the members of the groups. Teen depression affects only those who find it difficult to fall in line with the activities of the members of the peer groups.
The reason teens fall in line with the habits or actions of their peer groups is that almost all of them feel insecure. When they are accepted by the members of their groups, they have an illusory feeling that they are secure.
How Teens Can Counter The Negative Effects Of Peer Pressure
If teens want to protect themselves from the negative effects of peer pressure, they must learn to say ‘NO’ when the members of the per groups exert verbal or optical pressure on them. They have to analyze what is right and what is wrong.
Very importantly, they must build their self-confidence. This will greatly help them to counter the pressures exerted by the members of their peer groups. They can emulate those teens who have successfully countered peer pressure.
Staying away from other teens who can negatively influence them is also a good idea. There may be people with whom they can confidently relate to or from whom they can seek advice.
Among all the negative effects of peer pressure, teen depression can be the worst because it can affect the teens longer than the other effects. If they are affected by this problem, they may feel helpless and lonely. This may lead to major issues in the entire family of these affected teens. So, family members should keep a close watch and nip the problem of peer pressure in the bud itself to prevent teen depression.