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Handling Peer Pressure

The teen years are a time of experimenting with identity, but along with that search for self come major decisions about what groups to fit into—and how to fit into them. This video explores peer group influences; how they can cause young people to change their attitudes, values, or behaviors in order to conform; and what can be done to avoid their pitfalls. Topics include positive, negative, direct, and indirect peer pressure; cultural forces, especially media-driven ones, that push the desire to be a “star” instead of making a genuine journey of self-discovery; and media stereotypes of what it means to be attractive, smart, or successful. The program also looks at how friendship groups can become cliques, how low self-esteem leads some people to manipulate or intimidate others to fit in, and how peer pressure, as pervasive as it is, can be countered with honesty, self-expression, and self-knowledge. A viewable/printable instructor’s guide is available online. A Cambridge Educational Production. Part of the series Combating Conflict with Character. (30 minutes)

Playing preview clip:
What is Peer Pressure?
Teens act out a peer pressure scenario. Charles A. Williams III, PhD, Director, Center for the Prevention of School-Aged Violence explains positive and negative peer pressure. He includes the media among those who supply mixed and negative messages.