Teens Curriculum – What is Peer Pressure?

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Video for teens: What Is Peer Pressure?Download PDF Version

Goal and Rationale

The goal of this video, “What is Peer Pressure”, from our teens series is to teach teens what pressure is, how peer pressure can be harmful, and how they can make the right choices when it comes to identifying the impact of peer pressure.

By the end of this activity, we hope that teens will be able to:

  • Explain what peer pressure is.
  • Discuss how peer pressure can be harmful.
  • Evaluate the short and long-term effects that peer pressure can have on people.
  • Describe the different ways that peer pressure can impact them and people they know.
  • Come up with a plan for avoiding peer pressure.

Suggested procedure for educators

This video is five minutes and twenty-seven seconds long, as you show the video to your students, pause the video at the 2:50 point to ask students the following questions:

Answer: A feeling that one must do the same things as other people of one’s age and social group in order to be liked or respected by them.

Answer: Our friends — your peers — are people your age or close to it who have experiences and interests similar to yours.

Answer: Peer pressure can be demonstrated in different ways like having to go through an initiation, shoplifting, skipping school, bullying someone.

Answer: The consequences of giving into peer pressure can be destructive, but pressuring others also has consequences. Just imagine if you pressure someone to take some drugs and the guy overdoses or has a bad reaction to it and harms himself. There can be legal consequences, or you could be kicked out of school. But on top of any of those consequences, you’ll have to live with it.

After discussing these questions with your students, resume the video. When the video ends, have students answer the following questions:

Answer: Listen to your gut which means trust yourself, plan your answer ahead of time, learn to feel comfortable saying no, hang out with people who feel the same way you do, blame your parents, and don’t hesitate to seek help from an adult.

Answer: Don’t hesitate to leave or seek help from an adult right away.

Answer: There’s positive peer pressure like pushing each other to get good grades. Or who will make more baskets. There’s a lot of positive “pressure” that’s constructive and pushes you to better perform.

Once your students have answered questions 1-7, proceed to a large group discussion using the thematic questions below. Depending on the grade level or age group of your students, you can expect this entire activity including the video to take between 20-30 minutes.

Discussion questions

Note: the sample answers below represent potential correct answers and can be used to facilitate deeper discussion with your students.

Answers will vary but could include: that peer pressure is something that can change our lives drastically, and we need to have a plan for dealing with it. It includes different forms of peer pressure like pressuring people to use drugs or alcohol, skipping school, steal things, and many other things.

Answers will vary but could include: the video tells us that there are many different ways peer pressure can hurt, including by forcing us to try dangerous things that we don’t want to do in the first, and by making dangerous choices.

Answers will vary but could include: shame, curiosity, fear, anxiety, determination, confusion, doubt, sadness, uncertainty, pride, excitement, and/or hope.

Answers will vary but could include: that having a plan for dealing with peer pressure, including leaving the situation if it gets to intense, telling an adult right away, and choosing the right friends are all very serious steps we can take to help ourselves.

Answers will vary but could include: that peer pressure is very dangerous and I want to make sure that I only engage in the positive kind, and that I plan on coming up with my own plan of action for dealing with peer pressure for myself and my friends so we don’t get surprised by anything.

Note: Teachers, please have your students share their feedback with us using the form linked below, we want to continue to make our message stronger and more effective. Thanks!

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