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Peer Group Relationships in Era Groups

In the press, peer groups are made out to be the 'bad kids around the trunk gates at institution' they are simply publicised as those who make teens take up smoking, drugs and underage drinking alcohol - but is this certainty or the marketing hand selecting the sections to make a story? During this dissertation, I will take a look at what age group peer teams are most influential; when are they a poor influence with what era people most be based upon their peer group. I selected this subject as it is an area of interest and relates to my psychology studies, I want to follow this further at school and it will give me a deeper understanding in psychology and my prior knowledge gives me an edge. This topic includes both mindset and sociology that will give me an insight to a new area as well as Furthering Pre-Knowledge. I am going to use many different resources during this essay including the internet, books, publications and e-resources; I will keep a bibliography of most recommendations as well as in text message citations.

So, what defines a peer group? Collins British Dictionary places it effectively as a interpersonal group made up of individuals of about the same years, whereas The American Heritage New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy adds just a little extra by explaining it is an organization of men and women who share certain sociable characteristics, such as age, class, profession, or education, and interact on a level of equality. An individual may be a member of several peer communities, including friends, schoolmates, and co-workers.

By looking at the effects of peer groupings and their importance on different age groups, I am able to see whether all they are important for is making teens go down the incorrect road, or whether their uses start at a much preceding age and are crucial to our development, new views show that a child's early connections have a large effect on later growth and development. During this dissertation I'll take a look at both sides to determine the era when peer categories are at their most important and fundamental toward people focussing on the distinctions between peer groups in young children and those in adolescence.

Peer Years Relationships

Some believe peer groups are a great participating factor in building our cognitive development; others think it lures teenagers into a negative environment. Edwards (1992) said, " the increasing use of preschools, planned playgroups, and child care arrangements has brought age usage of peer relations down close to the starting of life" (p. 197) whereas Erwin (1998) said, " children's first relationships are usually with the principal caregiver, usually the mother, and the rest of the immediate family". Edwards feels that peer teams are fundamental from the very early level of pre-school to get the capability to succeed in life, whereas Erwin believes young peer associations are only with immediate family and do not enhance until adolescence. How are peer categories identified in both young childhood and adolescence? By establishing this, I could look deeper in to the two get older categories and explore how peer teams have an effect on children in these teams and the use of their peer group.

Young Children

Some theorists, such as Bowlby, Freud and Rutter claim that early child years is a very sensitive period in life for cultural development; in addition they assume that certain types of peer encounters during this time period can impact on the children's later behavior. Theorists such as Berndt, Hoyle and Bulowski theorize the particular one of the very most influential factors that could have an effect on the balance of friendships is the original quality of the companionship. Accordingly, friendships that contain a positive, solid foundation will be more likely to hold up against the test of time compared to friendships predicated on more negative characteristics (e. g. shared hostility, control) (People behaviour, 2011).

Young Children - Infants

People usually feel that infants aren't old enough to comprehend peers and they show no inclination to people, many parents believe this is their only chance to hand choose their child's friends, but typically, infants orient toward peers by 2 a few months of age, make simple gestures by 3 to 4 4 a few months, and immediate smiles and vocalizations to peers by six months, meaning that infants are aware of their peers and can separate and make decision, they can be just more understated at this time (Vincze, 1971). Among newborns and toddlers, friendship has often been defined in conditions of peer familiarity, uniformity of interactions between your companions, and/or the mutual screen of positive have an impact on, sharing, and works. For example, in research conducted by Howes (1983), dyads were considering friends if:

at least 50% with their social initiations resulted in social discussion (mutual choice)

one or more exchanges of positive have an effect on occurred between partners (mutual excitement)

One or more episodes of reciprocal or complementary play occurred between partners

Howes found that 60% of toddler friends sustained their marriage over an interval of calendar months, and in 1992, Howes reported that toddlers' friendships (especially cross-gender friendships) often lasted well in to the pre-school years.

As said earlier, Erwin (1998) disagrees with this research and is convinced children's earliest romantic relationships are usually with the primary caregiver - usually the mom - and the rest of the immediate family. During the first 2 yrs of life, babies do not spontaneously seek out other children for connection or for pleasure, even though six month old babies may check out and vocalize to other infants, they don't initiate reciprocal communal play with each other (Human behaviour, 2011). Ross (1990) shows that small children' peer human relationships are unique, in the sense that both companions tend to adapt their connections they conduct with one another, and interact with techniques that are different from the ways they treat other children (Young children's peer relations and sociable competence, handbook of research on the education of young children, 2006).

Young Children - Pre School Years

Vandell & Mueller (1980) feel that by as soon as 24 months old, children like certain peers over others as play companions. Between two and five years, children's relationships with one another become more sustained, social and complicated. Solitary play is prominent among three season olds, but this plan shifts to group play by five years (Man behaviour, 2011). It has been theorized by Howes (1992) that as of this age group, children have an even of emotional maturity to a diploma that enables them to create close ties with their peers. Because pre-schoolers are better in a position to conceptualize, think about, and illustrate their friendships when they are in this age when compared to infants and small children, researchers have had the opportunity to use children's self-reports to evaluate friendships (Price & Ladd, 1986), although other theorists would claim that although they have a much better understanding of their friendships, they still haven't reached a full awareness of their peers and therefore you cannot count on self-reports from 2 season olds, although, by the next and third years, small children begin to activate in more superior varieties of 'game titles' and repricol play which ultimately shows they are gaining peer awareness. The significance of peer connections increase and change with era, peer associations become increasingly secure, intimate and privately significant - by three years, children will often have 22 associates and Erwin (1998) believes children begin to use the term best ally from age 4 and Hayes (1978) also found that preschool children cannot only name their finest friends they may possibly also articulate known reasons for liking them.


Adolescence is generally the term used for young adults, the time when children 're going through the most changes including puberty. It can be broken up into three sub categories, early (11-13 years); middle (14-18 years); and Late adolescence (19-24 years). The adolescent years have traditionally been treated (and still are by many writers) as a location appealing distinct from the rest of youth (Erwin 1998). The sociology of adolescence has been dominated with a 'interpersonal problems' approach - that is, preliminary research has centred on those phenomena which appear to characterize adolescence as an interval of individual crises (Credo reference, 26th Feb 2011). Connections during this time have often been analyzed as entities split from and essentially discontinuous with the ones that gone before, despite 'the glaring apparent proposition that the groundwork for move in adolescence must have been laid in childhood' (Coleman, 1995). During adolescence, peer human relationships are more important and influential than parent relations.

Early Adolescence

Social relations are organized throughout the peer group somewhat than households or specific friends. (Credo reference, 22nd Feb 2011). The speedy growth of the teenage population as experienced in the 1990's has led to a rise in adolescent peer communities simply because the sheer upsurge in the number of peers that young people have has increased. (Steinberg, 1996). As the value of the family in the adolescent's life declines, whether it's from a divorce or from normal expansion, friends move to the forefront. Friends are usually peers, that is, folks of the same time, with similar backgrounds and hobbies. Peer group regular membership answers children' concerns about a lot of things including their changing bodies. Discussing their anxieties with other young people experiencing similar physical changes and asking similar questions about their impact helps adolescents to accept their physical development. In several ways, the group reassures the people that they are suitable and not unusual. Peer groupings can help adolescents accept their physical development by devising means to cover it. Body dissimilarities look less different when people dress as well. Each group has its look, from superior dressy, to artist brands, to ratty skinny jeans and T-shirts, to whatever is helpful. Each group presents an identifiable image through a style of dressing that obviously states what is suitable. (Kaplan, 1993). Acknowledging that by early on adolescence, peer categories have a substantial affect on children's behaviour

Middle Adolescence

Peer pressure is heightened during this stage and is principally regarded as a negative effect that provokes behaviour such as underage taking in and love-making. Some researchers believe the kids in this stage which are area of the 'in crowd' will be more vunerable to peer pressure than those who friends with peers who are kind, nice and well-liked (Science daily, 23rd Feb 2011). Inside a contemporary modern culture, peer groups have become an increasingly important context where adolescents spend time. Modernization has resulted in increasingly more age segregation-in schools, at work, and in the community. Today's young adults spend a lot more time in the exclusive company of these peers than their counterparts have in the past (Steinberg, 1996). Learning to be a peer group member matches many adolescent concerns about sociable targets as well.

Late Adolescence

Many teens make an effort to balance assignment work with part-time careers, dating and alternative activities. Today's teenagers also deal with an uncertain countrywide economy, violence, AIDS, and other sexually transmitted diseases. With all of this, teens lack the knowledge and the coping and problem-solving skills that could help them make good decisions about handling these tensions. Without such skills and given the almost complete absence of their families support, teens are in the mercy of the friends' immature ideas about how exactly to resolve problems (Kaplan, 1993). Teenagers need to develop independence using their parents. They have to learn decision-making skills, to act independently and figure out how to live with the results. But young teens find these goals difficult and the means of obtaining them even more so. They feel dependent on their parents because they privately know that they lack the assurance and the skills to achieve the outside world alone. Adolescents, however, deeply resent this need and notice as a sign of weakness, often covering up with arguments and impulsive behaviour (Kaplan 1993).

Development - Young Children

Peer communities can have an effect on a child's sense of well-being and belonging which can be progressively important concerns as education and child health care settings have grown to be a substantial role in children's daily lives across the world. Child rearing is acknowledged as a collaborative endeavour between young families and early years as a child education and care companies (OECD 2006). Peer relations are high main concern because of the fun and pleasure a child will get from being in the company of other children, which is most evident in play. Non-parental early childhood agreements have proliferated because parents have to be utilized and cannot together care for their children. Although, throughout the 21st century, these preparations of early child years care are seen as a means of enrichment for the kid to help build their developmental needs by achieving new people and other children to get dependence of their parents and that's where peer groups commence to enhance a kid from one of the initial stages in our lives. These adaptations have created the necessity for early year's practitioners to think and take action in new ways to help establish this development.

Positive attachment associations with caregivers influence children's development of positive interactions with peers and children who are in less issue with peers will form positive human relationships with caregivers (Howes, 2008). Connections with peers (indicating other children) develop through multiple and recursive interactive activities which are well scripted communal exchanges that are repeated often with only slight variation (Bretherton, 1985). Out of this, the child forms an interior representation of any romantic relationship with a playmate, and from those playmate interactions friendships could evolve - children who take part in repeated and complicated interactions with confirmed playmate will represent the spouse as a pal and the content of these connections will influence the quality of the resulting companionship (Kernan, 2010).

Factors affecting peer development

A child's involvement in peer activities and their interpersonal ability relies on a quantity of contributing factors which can either have a positive effect on their ability to build new peers.

Relationships with caregivers

As mentioned before, children who have strong attachments to their principal caregiver are concurrently and longitudinally more socially capable with peers even though handling for parental connection quality (Howes 1999; Pianta et al 2002). We sometimes incorrectly assume this is because sociable children from good human relationships with all people, peers and caregivers. However, to be able to master peer relationships the child needs to be able to explore and experiment with peers whilst making forays back again to a reliable adult, if a kid feels respected and supported they are more likely to make these steps and form stronger interactions, but those children who don't form a marriage with the caregiver tend to be susceptible to decide on fights, won't let someone play or conceal from a bully as they don't believe they have the support of the adult (Kernan, 2010). In the launch, it was described that the first peer romance a child makes is with their main caregiver, whether this has been their mother, father, or teacher - it is essential that children create the strongest connection possible with this figure in order to have the confidence to establish new bonds with other people including other adults and children their own age group. When children are not used to peer groups they don't know the games or the players which places them at a threat of exclusion or withdrawing from already produced groupings, this makes them miss the opportunity to play with others and develop new cultural connections skills with other peers. This makes enough time when a child enters a fresh environment like a class an important environment for the introduction of peer relations.


A child's setting up is a main contribution to their cultural development, for example, consider a classroom setting in which the majority of the relationships were harmonious and respectful, in which children and parents worked alongside one another on projects, in which a child who was simply distressed or frustrated was comforted and helped, and in which laughter and other expressions of positive impact predominated. Contrast this with a class setting where children were ridiculed to be different, spoken to and handled in a harsh rejecting manner, competed rather than helped each other, and the overall firmness included mistrust and anger. We can suppose the communal development of children would take two different pathways in these two extremes. Because encounters with peers become experiences of 'living' within a group for the child, it is impossible to understand the public development of a kid as isolated from the group (Kernan, 2010).

Time and permission

The main place where child to child relations are created are during play, which means the caregiver must create a host that values play to allow them to have the physical space, materials and encouragement to pretend and play mutually. If a child is playing with another child and this is interrupted and they are separated, it may result in the kids considering it wasn't allowed, so that it is essential that importance doesn't diminish into the track record. Howes and Wishard (2004) say that the quantity of time children engage in complicated pretend play has decreased over the 20 years they have been observing in local programmes. This cut down is consistent with anecdotal records that programs are providing relatively little unstructured time for children to experience. Without the time and permission to obtain play with other children, this could have a poor effect on a child's public and peer building skills.

Strategies focussed on peer building

The Government posted its first national play strategy, earmarking 235 million to:

Make sure that every residential area has a number of high-quality places

for all children to experiment with safely and cost-free as a direct response to

demands from children, teenagers and their families for better play


(Section for Children, Institutions and Young families, 2008)

This strategy will raise recognition for the account of play's importance in children's development, and people from all background have access to this funding. Although, despite the 2004 Children Act's statutory duty for government bodies to take into consideration the views of children when planning services, you can find little proof this in this play strategy. 9 000 children were mixed up in assessment of the strategy, but this is done online and the ages of the kids weren't given, and it is highly improbable that younger children who will be most influenced by the program could have been part of the consultation. There were 42 800 respondents aged 19 and under that provided their viewpoints about services in the areas where they resided, although this can be applauded, the views of the local population of more than 130 000 children from delivery to seven years - creating 39 per cent of those 19 and under were not surveyed.

The BIG lottery fund is a give making non-departmental general population body in britain created by the Government to administer funding to suitable causes following creation of the National Lottery. This organisation decided to give 155 million to Children's Play effort which was based on the tips of the 2004 play review Getting Serious About Play which defined play as 'what children and teenagers do when they follow their own ideas, in their own way and because of their own reasons' the report also described how play was a key factor in development for a child's sociable wellbeing and their potential to create peers both early and later in life (2004). If the programme finished, 90% of Local Authorities reported that the programme had brought up the account of play, 48%of portfolios said BIG money had helped those to secure extra money and unexpected effects achieved included improved parental proposal, increased sociable and community cohesion (BIG lottery account, 2006)

There are also classes designed for those to study child development and play to help improve the interpersonal skills of children and so those most important caregivers like nursery nurses will now have a bigger insight into precisely what a child needs and how for doing that to help them gain the skills needed to have confidence to create more relationships when they enhance to the more mature stages and also have to get ore peer interactions. Northumbria University now have 12 courses designed for early years, these include early years and disability studies to learning in family members, classes and beyond. Many of these courses contain topics related to experience and child development. The introduction of courses and financing which is now available shows how early on childhood is becoming more recognisable as a major stepping stone in the forming of peer groupings and their capability to provide us important skills we will remember on later in life.

Peer Pressure - Adolescence

Most commonly, peer pressure is seen as the time inside our lives when peers have the most impact over us Google will bring up over 3 million results for the search peer pressure. A couple of links including ways to cope with peer pressure, explanations and past magazine articles that are related to peer pressure. 9 out of 10 teenagers will give directly into peer pressure whether it's simply using similar clothes or under age alcohol and love-making. Peer pressure can have a disastrous effect on those in adolescence but it also beneficial by getting a teenager to take action they would like to, but just don't have the courage or self confidence for.

Positive effects of peer pressure


Amongst peers, teens will find friendships and acceptance and share activities with these other young adults that will build lasting bonds. Adolescence is a tough time of a person's life, you go through puberty start new universities and have exams and have to make some life changing decisions, having friends around you whilst going through this level can have a positive effect on you. Studies like the Effects of Camaraderie on Adolescent's Self-Esteem by Thomas J Berndt and Keunho Keefe show that friends can build self-confidence and draw out the self-assurance in people. When in a bizarre environment, it has been proven that when along with a friend, your heart rate lowers.

Positive Examples

Peers can set good examples for each and every other's. Having peers who are focused on doing well in school or to doing their finest in a sport can influence a person to also be more goal-oriented. The same applies for peers who are kind and loyal which can effect these to build these attributes in themselves. Peers don't need to be somebody you know, for example viewing Tom Daley diving at the Olympics could encourage another person to desire to end up like Tom. A teenager is more likely to copy somebody their own time than somebody more aged, so creating a positive role model from the same age group (e. g. Taylor Swift for performing) is a kind of peer pressure than can have a positive influence on somebody.

Feedback and advice

Adolescents will pay attention their peers, who can give them advice and reviews on seeking new ideas explore beliefs and discus problems. They are able to help them to make decisions such as what programs to take, what haircut to get and issues such as how to deal with family arguments. These suggestions could help a teenager through a abrasive patch and help them make life changing decisions for the better. It could encourage them to try new things, for example becoming a member of the school gym or art membership.


Peer organizations give opportunities to visitors to try out new social skills, allows people to try others - friends of friends as they say - and gives them an opportunity to expand their group of friends. Peers can help one another to build human relationships or to workout issues.


Peers can encourage other peers to work hard going to specific goals, such as obtaining a solo in the school concert or they can encourage you to review and target high for your exams as well as listen and support them when they are upset or troubled and they can empathize with each other when they have observed similar difficult situations.

New experiences

Some young adults could be involved in clubs, sports activities or religious organizations and they may help other teens to try these too, supporting them to gain new activities, new needs and wants.

Negative effects of peer pressure

Although there are positive effects to having peers in adolescence, there are also negatives and lots of stresses which will come from peers during this age. They are able to pressure people into doing something they are simply unpleasant with such as shoplifting or doing drugs. These stresses can be portrayed openly for example 'have a drink, it's only 1 drink, everybody else does it' or it could be more indirectly simply by providing liquor at a celebration. But most peer pressure is a lot more subtle, without chatting, a peer could let a person know how they must dress, discuss or the behaviour they should have towards university, parents and educators in order to get their endorsement. This pressure to conform can be much more powerful than the greater direct pressure; they don't want to look awkward or uncomfortable, so when unsure of how to proceed in a situation, they naturally look to others for cues in what is and what isn't suitable.


Peer influences have been found to be between the best predictors of drug use during adolescence. It's been argued that peers initiate drug use by giving, modelling and shaping behaviour to drugs. There is a report done by Farrell and White to regulate how much peer pressure affected adolescent drug use, they included factors such as family - are you more likely to conform with drug users if you were from an individual parent family, no father or resided with a step parent. The results revealed that although those who were living with out a father amount were much more likely to take part in drug use, it could not outweigh the strong relations between peer parameters and the occurrence of medicine use found within the study, which replicates the conclusions of previous studies which may have also found peer parameters to be amidst the strongest predictors of adolescents' drug use. Although, drugs are not only pot or heroin and other types of really bad illegitimate substances, drugs also include alcohol and smokes. Underage drinking alcohol is one of the leading causes of teenage death it makes you think irrationally, drink and drive or even binge drink until you are unconscious; many of these effects of liquor usage increase the chances of ending up in clinic or six legs under. Although, peer pressure is not the only real factor resulting in underage taking in, there are other affects such as connections with parents, parental or sibling drinking and the marketing. Underage smoking is a common peer pressure problem; a person who starts off smoking at age 15 is 3 x much more likely to die due to cancer tumor than a person who were only available in their past due twenties. Corresponding to a two time analysis by Carlos Bolanos, teenage smoking can lead to depression in adulthood. Young adults are 80% more likely to try smoking underage if their friends and family also smoke; this is an huge amount of peer pressure to put onto an adolescent.


Many young adults - particular males - have the pressure to have sexual intercourse before they are ready. According to research 63% of young adults believe that waiting around may be beneficial, but handful of those do hold out. 1 in 3 boys aged 15-17 have the pressure to have sex, often of their male friends, whereas only 23% of females within the same a long time say that they feel the same pressure. This factor is what is making academic institutions rethink about the delivery of making love education, and the necessity to introduce sex education at a much younger age group. Although, there are other contributing factors such sexually sent diseases and the go up in teenage motherhood, reviews in 2003 proved that 1 in 7 sexually effective 14 12 months olds have been pregnant, the article did not say if they had continuing with the being pregnant. (Colin, 2003)


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