INFLUENCE OF PEER GROUP PRESSURE ON ADOLESCENTS SMOKING HABITS. A RESEARCH PROJECT TOPICS ON GUIDANCE AND COUNSELING
The study examines the influence of peer group pressure on adolescent smoking habits in some selected secondary schools in Ifako Ijaiye, Local Government area of Lagos State. Influence of peer group pressure on adolescent smoking habits has more than ever before being posing serious threat to adolescent health. As such, government, parents and the society have seen the need to find a lasting solution to curbing the menace of smoking among adolescents.
The study has the following major objectives; to examine the effects of peer group pressure on adolescent smoking habits; to analyze the negative effects of smoking on adolescent’s health; and to examine the counter-measures and their potency to smoking among adolescents.
The study utilizes data from both primary and secondary sources. For the primary data, a questionnaire field survey was employed. The source of the secondary data includes textbooks, periodicals and internet materials.
The study brings out some salient findings. One, smoking is a behavior that is not only fostered by environments in which peers and family members smoke but also by large scale media campaigns advertising tobacco products. Two, peer pressure is not always negative. In fact, there is more of positive peer influence than negative. Three, adolescent that smoke do so for fear of been rejected by his peer group. The study revealed that parents, society and the government amongst others are doing all possible to stop adolescents from smoking. By so doing, it is felt that they will be more useful to themselves and the society.
This research work aims at critically examine influence of peer pressure on adolescents smoking habits in some selected schools in Lagos state, Nigeria.
In young people, youth peer pressure is one of the most frequently referred to forms of peer pressure. It is particularly common because most youth spend large amounts of time in fixed groups (schools and subgroups within them) regardless of their opinion of those groups. In addition to this, they may lack the maturity to handle pressure from ‘friends’.
Also, young people are more willing to behave negatively towards those who are not members of their own groups. However, youth peer pressure can also have positive effects.
For example, if one is involved with a group of people that are ambitious and working to succeed, one might feel pressured to follow suit to avoid feeling excluded from the group.
Teenagers feel like they need to be in the same group to be ‘cool’ or “in”. Therefore, the youth would be pressured into improving themselves, thus, having a better future. This is most commonly seen in youths that are active in sports or other extracurricular activities where conformity with one’s peer group is strongest.
1.1 Background to the study:
Peer groups are a normal, necessary and healthy part of adolescent development. As teenagers are struggling to develop a personal identity and become less dependent on parents, peer groups provide the security of a ‘’safety net’’. Peer groups provide an opportunity for teenagers to interact with equals.
Their friends give teen’s companionship, emotional support, and a sense of belonging. Peer information, and practice social skills. Teens learn that they aren’t alone in feeling scared and insecure, and that others have problems too.
Peer relationships can be a powerful positive influence on the lives of adolescents. Natural observations of adolescents indicate that most adolescents discuss options with their friends before reaching a consensus about what to do.
Rarely is one adolescent pressured to conform to the rest of the group. Moreover, secondary school students in several large samples reported that their friends discouraged drug and alcohol use, delinquent activities, and other types of antisocial behaviour more than they encourage them; they also claimed their friends encouraged studying for school subjects more than they discouraged it.
Some adolescents even display anticonformity, rejecting their peer’s judgements, and making different decisions altogether. Friendships inherently limit the use and effectiveness of coercive pressure because they are relationships based on equality and mutual respect; consequentially, decisions are made by negotiation, not domination.