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Friendships, Peer Influence, and Peer Pressure During the Teen Years - Article Review Example

7 pages
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George Washington University
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De Guzman, M. (2007). Friendships, peer influence, and peer pressure during the teen years.

De Guzmans article Friendships, peer influence, and peer pressure during the teen years states that the teenage years are a defining moment in a child's life as they make friendships that determine their life-long decisions. It is at this stage that teens initiate friendships, which are extensive and intimate than their earlier years. It is also a time for self-discovery as young people develop social skills and connect with peers that have the same likes and dislikes. At this time, parents worry that their children might think their teenagers may fall into bad influence and engage in activities that would disrupt their lives like substance and drug abuse. However, the least a parent can do is instill discipline, encourage the child to have a positive self-worth, which will increase their self-esteem, and maintain a close and open relationship with their child. It is also important for the children to have a relationship with other adults in their lives as teachers who they can seek help when they need assistance. De Guzman, however, notes that teenagers consider the relationship with their parents still significant and influential in their lives as they draw inspiration and guidance from them. The teenage years are a time that children discover their preference and identity. It is important for parents to create an environment for the children to trust them. On the other hand, teenagers should understand that relationships they form with their peers have a direct and indirect impact on their lives. Hence, wisdom and knowledge are important when choosing the kind of friends to maintain. The arguments in the article are based on facts from BedFact 211, a book written by a family specialist, Herbert Lingren, Adolescence and Peer Pressure.


One of the most significant things I learned from this article is that the teenage years are an important time during the life of every individual. The choices of friends one makes at this stage determine the kind of life they live in the long-term. Healthy friendships are one that helps an individual improve their behaviour, characteristics, and decision-making abilities. In addition, a teenager that has a strong and stable self-esteem is in a position to detach themselves from people they feel are a negative influence in their lives. The least the teenagers can do is cut communication and look for other friends that will help improve their lives. I also learned that parents remain the most influential people in teenagers lives. Previously, I assumed that adolescents disregard their parents and only want to connect with their peers. However, teenagers look up to the opinion of their parents and other adults in their lives like teachers so that they can get some sense of inspiration and guidance.

The most puzzling thing I found in the article is how teenagers determine that their friends are a bad influence on their own without getting another persons opinion. It is normal and obvious that every person thinks and feels that their friends are the most important people during the teenage period. Hence, most teenagers are willing and able to do anything their friends ask so that they can fit in and maintain the friendships. It is only external people like parents and other people a teenager considers important that will help them break such a relationship. It takes the commitment and ability to listen to break from such negative friendships.

Part B Critical Essay: School and Home Factors Influence the Education of Children

Home Factors that Influence the Education of Children

Both the school and home environments influence the education, capabilities of students to understand their studies, and their performance (Dewald et al., 2010). The home surroundings are the first interactions that a child has since they must have come from a place where the life with parents or guardians. Some of the factors that hinder a child's education are the economic status of parents, family related issues, health, and parents' level of education (Carneiro, Meghir, & Parey, 2013). The lack of resources in a family may see children studying in learning institutions that do not provide them with quality education as their parents may need to divide their limited resources with feeding their kids. In addition, some children are forced by circumstances to drop out of school so that they can help their parents earn money that will help support their family. Hence, the education of children is affected negatively. However, I think that a child who helps their family earn extra income may commit towards seeking education and concentrate on both activities (Dabrowska & Pisula, 2010). It only requires some form of encouragement and commitment towards making a change in their lives.

An unstable family is most likely to affect the education of a child negatively. This is because their psychological well-being might be unhealthy making it impossible for them to understand content taught in class. Further, the health wellbeing of a family member influences the education of children (Carneiro, Meghir, & Parey, 2013). This happens when a family is forced to divide resources between education and medical facilities of a member thereby limiting the quality of education of a child in school. Parents are the first contact with a child, and their level of education may affect the education of their children positively or negatively. Highly educated parents are most likely to instill the need to study more in their children than guardians who do not know the value of education. Parents who have achieved high levels of education and excelled in life are most likely to commit their finances towards sponsoring their children's' quest for knowledge (Murray-Harvey & Slee, 2010). However, I also think that low educated parents can encourage their children to gain more education since they did not get the chance when they were younger, they can assist their kids to attain the dream.

Parents play an important role in their childrens education. Children look up to their parents or guardians as the main source of inspiration and depend on the information given to them as they engage in life (Dabrowska & Pisula, 2010). A parent that encourages their child and talks positively to them on how they can improve their lives helps them perform better in school. An active parent in a childs education is more likely to identify any underlying issue that may lead to poor performance and help their child rectify the problem in its early stages. It means that a parent who shows interest in the performance of a child is in a better position to influence their kid make improvements in different areas of their academic life (De Guzman, 2007). For instance, when the children perform well, parents can give them gifts as an incentive for their great results.

Another role of parents is financial support to their children. Parents have a responsibility to ensure that their children remain in school by paying their school fees on time (Murray-Harvey & Slee, 2010). It will help prevent their children from staying at home while others are in school learning, which may affect the performance either in the short-term or the long-term. A parent should commit to taking their children to learning institutions they can afford and make a choice of the best depending on their resources (Diemand-Yauman, Oppenheimer, & Vaughan, 2011). A parent should meet other financial obligations needed to take a child through education like their uniform, stationery, and paying for their educational trips as needed. I also think that parents can communicate with their older children on the availability or lack of financial resources and advise them to adjust the quality of lifestyle they lead (Spodek & Saracho, 2014).

School Factors that Influence the Education of Children

The school environment can hinder or enhance a child's education. It is important for the teachers to understand that they play a significant role in the lives of their students as they educate and teach them on a different subject (Carneiro, Meghir, & Parey, 2013). Some of the factors that can hinder or enhance a childs education in a school environment include the availability of competent teachers in school, learning material, and conducive environment. Teachers in a school contribute to the success of failure of students as they help students learn new content and prepare them to face exams on their own (Hornby & Lafaele, 2011). Competent teachers will succeed in teaching students well and enable them to do well in their examinations which increases the possibility of the students excelling in life after securing good jobs after graduation. On the other hand, incompetent teachers are unequipped, and their possibility of positively influencing the education of children positively is low (Bebell & O'Dwyer, 2010). Other than teaching, tutors have a responsibility of encouraging students to follow their dreams and work hard in their studies so that they can have better results.

Learning institutions that have learning material enable students to study from various sources, therefore, increasing their knowledge and equipping them with research and critical thinking skills (Carneiro, Meghir, & Parey, 2013). A school with enough teachers and publication materials that have enough content enables students to understand more since they can visit the library on their own and study with ease. However, a school that does not have enough reading material for students can outsource and provide their learners with the content. For instance, they can use softcopies or have online portals where they collaborate with publishers to avail their books through the internet (Valk, Rashid, & Elder, 2010). This will make it easier for students to study even though they do not have the hard copies. Teachers play a big role in encouraging students to make most of what the school avails to them will lead to more success.

Another school factor that influences childrens education is the environment. A school should be located in a strategic place where it is free from public noise so that students can gain better concentration in class (Murray-Harvey & Slee, 2010). Schools should be in a place where external disturbance does not affect what students learn in the classroom. For instance, a school located near the road may affect the concentration of students since there is intense traffic noise. Teachers understand that students are easily distracted by external noise (Hornby & Lafaele, 2011). However, when the teachers have no option of the school location, they can build the school using noise-resistant materials that will help keep off external distractions from interfering with the students



Bebell, D., & O'Dwyer, L. M. (2010). Educational outcomes and research from 1: 1 computing settings. Journal of Technology, Learning, and Assessment, 9(1), n1.

Carneiro, P., Meghir, C., & Parey, M. (2013). Maternal education, home environments, and the development of children and adolescents. Journal of the European Economic Association, 11(suppl_1), 123-160.

Dabrowska, A., & Pisula, E. (2010). Parenting stress and coping styles in mothers and fathers of preschool children with autism and Down syndrome. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 54(3), 266-280.

De Guzman, M. (2007). Friendships, peer influence, and peer pressure during the teen years.

Dewald, J. F., Meijer, A. M., Oort, F. J., Kerkhof, G. A., & Bogels, S. M. (2010). The influence of sleep quality, sleep duration and sleepiness on school performance in children and adolescents: a meta-analytic review. Sl...

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