Peer pressure is a powerful mental force that influences everyone, but tends to more strongly affect people in their teenage years. It can be both good and bad depending on what they are being pressured to do. Sports figures can be a positive influence, as kids try to perfect their skills and abilities to be more like them. Characters in the movies however, tend to influence kids to follow their footsteps in an attempt to do the impossible. For a teenager, trying to fit in and be accepted is a big goal and they will often go to great extremes to be liked and popular among their peers. Their thirst for positive or negative popularity and attention forcefully affects the actions of today's teens.
"Peers become increasingly important during the teenage years" (Horn & Keough p.42). Their "self-esteem is directly affected by the degree to which they feel accepted by the peer group-and conformity is the price that's paid to be accepted by the crowd" (Panzarine p. 146).They become very influential in such things as dress, athletics, and conduct. Peer relationships are often not looked well upon because of the types of thing kids to do to impress one another. When if fact," Peer relationships help teenagers develop the social skills necessary for adult functioning, are instrumental in facilitating an adolescent's sense of personal identity, and aid in their efforts to achieve independence and autonomy form their family"(Horn & Keough p.42). The generalization however, that peer relationships are harmful does have truth to it. Peers can influence others to become rebellious and take risks. This often leads to low self-esteem and self-destruction.
The desire for positive popularity can be defined as the thirst for public acceptance through "good" actions as opposed to "bad" actions. This type of desire is less common and seeks the approval of authority rather then other teens. Teens can achieve this through several ways such as playing sports, getting good grades, and being obedient to authority.