Student Web Activity

Chapter 5 Lesson 1: Coping with Cliques


You have seen how cliques work.  They are special groups whose members act superior and exclude others.  Or maybe you belong to one of these groups and are tired of all the rules and things you have to do.  Cliques tend to cause a lot of unhappiness for members and non-members like.  On the Web site below, you will learn more about cliques and how to cope with them.

Link to explore: 4 Therapy:


  • Start at the 4 Therapy Web site.
  • Read through the page on cliques.
  • Take notes as you read.  When you are done reading, answer the questions below.
  • Finally, using the information from the link, create a membership card for those teens who choose not to belong to cliques.  For example, the card could read “The Association of Anti-Clique Teens.” Include a mission statement and a place for the teen to sign his or her name.


  1. What is a clique?
  1. What are the positive aspects of belonging to a clique?
  1. How can belonging to a clique negatively influence teens?
  1. How can teens become empowered to cope with potential negative peer pressure and confidence-eroding cliques?


  1. A clique is a tight-knit groups of friends who share similar interests and values.

  2. As a ready-made groups of friends, cliques can help teens form relationships and a feeling of belonging. Identifying with a set group of friends or "clique" can help during the emotionally tumultuous years of adolescence—providing a safe haven of friends to socialize with, confide in, and feel supported by as they cope with the day-to-day issues of being a teen.  

  3. When a teen becomes part of a clique that formally or informally enforces conforming to negative and even dangerous behavior, whether it's snubbing or harassing other kids who don't belong to the clique, skipping school, shoplifting, engaging in unsafe sexual activity, or encouraging the use of alcohol and/or drugs, they can become susceptible to caving into negative peer pressure rather than determining and making choices from their own growing sense of what’s right and wrong.

  4. For every teen, developing as big a network of friends and overall support system as possible is essential. Maintaining involvement with others in activities beyond just one small group’s influence can provide important additional personal self-definition and balance, such as becoming involved in sports, some aspect of the arts, or a community effort. Being at the "giving end" helps too—e.g., coaching a little kids’ soccer team, being a camp counselor, teaching a class at the local Y or skate park, or volunteering for an organization that’s dedicated to an issue you’re particularly passionate about.

Additional Resources for Teachers

Below are some Web sites that offer advice and information on cliques You might want to have your students perform role plays in which they are forced to deal with negative peer pressure from cliques and must find the best way to handle the situation.

  1. Stop Hazing:
  2. Stop Hazing Bulletin Board:
  3. Tolerance:

  4. Objectivist Center:
  5. America’s Youth Essays and Articles: