April 13, 2022

Peer Pressure

Peer pressure affects everyone in the human species, and even some self-conscious monkeys. What is it about sitting with the cool kids, and how can we help our own kids understand they don’t have to follow all of the other lemmings over the cliff?

When we imagine peer pressure, we imagine coming to the rescue by slapping drugs and alcohol out of our kids' hands after their friends undoubtedly tell them they should definitely try some. But peer pressure--who feels it, why, and exactly WHAT kids are being pressured to do--is a complex issue.

In this episode, Amy and Margaret discuss:

  • The biological imperative adolescents have to take risks in front of their peers
  • What kids report actually feeling peer pressured to do- the answers aren't what expected
  • How to actually prepare our kids to counter the peer pressure they face


Here are links to past episodes with similar topics:

"When Other Kids Are Bad Influences"

"What Is Up With Teenagers?"

Here are links to resources mentioned in this episode:

Juliana Menasce Horowitz and Nikki Graf for the Pew Research Center: "Most U.S. Teens See Anxiety and Depression as a Major Problem Among Their Peers"

Centerstone.org: "What is Peer Pressure and Who is at Risk?"

Science Daily: "Peer pressure? It's hardwired into our brains, study finds"

Laurence Steinberg and Kathryn C. Monahan: Age Differences in Resistance to Peer Influence

Jess Shatkin, Born to Be Wild: Why Teens Take Risks, and How We Can Help Keep Them Safe

Jessica Lahey, The Addiction Inoculation: Raising Healthy Kids in a Culture of Dependence


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