Teen Peer Pressure Statistics & Facts

In this Peer Pressure Statistics and Peer Pressure Facts article we will take a look at how peer pressure statistics have changed over the past few years and what these peer pressure facts show about the behavior of teens. Peer pressure is generally thought of as the pressure that an individual feels to act in a certain way or make choices in an effort to “fit in” with a group of people, generally around the same age. This can range from music one listens to or brand of clothing one purchases, to underage drinking and use of illegal drugs.

Peer Pressure Statistics

Recent peer pressure statistics indicate that more and more teens are being pressured into using dangerous drugs on a daily basis. According to peer pressure statistics on the Adolescent Substance Abuse Knowledge Base website, in a 2006 study it was estimated that:

  • Every day 2,500 teens chose to abuse some type of pain reliever for the first time.
  • About 1/3 of those respondents reported that they felt pressured into at least trying them.
  • 2, 500 teens daily for a year equals more than 900,000 teens every year that are trying a prescription drug for the first time.

Peer pressure can extend beyond friends to include family, school, and neighborhood associations. This is sometimes referred to as the influence of the “Social System”. The influence from each of these social systems seems to have a significant impact on the choices of teens. For instance a teen that has peers that get involved in underage drinking, that also has diligent parents that pay close attention to the teen and the behaviors of the teen and the teen’s peers, is less likely to choose to participate in the underage drinking. A teen that has peers that participate in underage drinking and parents that also abuse drugs or alcohol are much more likely to choose to join in the underage drinking with his/her peers.

Talking to your teens about peer pressure and your family values and choices regarding illegal drug and alcohol abuse can make a bigger difference than one may think. Too many times parents think their kids know what they expect and how they feel about it and don’t take the time to actually sit down and have a conversation with the teen. Extended family, family friends, or close neighbors can also take the initiative to talk to teens about the problems and risks associated with drug abuse and alcohol abuse if the teen is being raised in a home where the parents are known to abuse drugs and alcohol. Sometimes just having someone show an interest in the teen, and offer help and other options to the teen, can make a world of difference in the path the teen will choose to follow in his/her own life.

Many times teens feel the peer pressure and know it is wrong but because no one is telling them what the other options are, they figure it is their only option or at the least that no one cares if they make the choice to abuse drugs and alcohol. Other peer pressure statistics report that approximately 50% of teens feel pressured in regards to sexual relationships. Most of the peer pressure facts and statistics that are reported are in relation to negative behaviors that are influenced by peer pressure, however; sometime peer pressure can be used in a good way. Some teens see their friends and classmates excelling on a project or in a sport and they will work harder to try to do as good or better than his/her peers.

Every teen handles peer pressure differently and it is important for teens to learn to deal with peer pressure on his own. Sometimes simply talking through some possible scenarios and allowing the teen to think about how he could respond or what he believes is the correct choice, will give him the courage to make the best choice when he is actually in the situation. Too many times a teen is put on the spot and doesn’t know how to get out of the situation. If he has had time to think through some possible options for getting out of an uncomfortable situation before hand, avoiding the peer pressure to do something he really doesn’t want to do will be much easier.

Regardless of the peer pressure statistics and peer press facts that show an increase in negative behaviors, the overall percentage of teens that are abusing drugs and alcohol is still relatively small. With a little information and preparation teens will be able to use their influence in a positive way and help others avoid the pitfalls that result from giving in to negative peer pressure.

Peer Pressure Statistics Sources: