Teen Health Course 3
Understanding Your health
Student Web Activities - Teacher ContentLesson 2
- Peer pressure is when "friends" persuade you to doing something that you do not want to do.
- Good peer pressure is being pushed into something that you didn't have the courage to do or just didn't cross your mind to do. Good peer pressure can also be a situation when your friends convince you not to do something you were going to do because it wasn't in your best interest.
- The suggested personal grouping system is:
One of the major problems with peer pressure is that it occurs when you get sucked into something that you really didn't want to do and subsequently, become addicted to it. Usually, people get backed into a situation to try illegal drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes and more times than not, these behaviors can become habit forming.
- Not Your Friend - People you usually don't associate with under normal circumstances.
- Acquaintance - This group of people includes those that you might see in school, but you don't associate with out of school. You might occasionally cross their path out of school, but you wouldn't normally seek them out.
- Wannabe Friends - These are people you might want to be friends with for some selfish reasons, such as hoping to be more popular. People who fall into this category are never your true friends because the foundation for the friendship does not have a solid basis.
- True Friends - These are the ones in the small, close group of people that you confide in and you know that they have your best interest in mind. The people in this group are those whose influence on your life makes you a better person.
The article suggests that you find out the consequences, and get whatever information that you need to make an educated decision.
Additional Resources for Teachers
Dealing with peer pressure can be tough. Below are some additional resources that may help teens think about how they will handle pressure when it occurs. You might want to try role playing situations so teens get a chance to practice their responses.
- Kids Health:
- Peer Pressure and Choices:
- Peer Pressure, It Isn't All Bad:
Additional Resources for Teachers
- Any of the following: dangerous dieting, eating disorders , running away, staying out all night, living on the streets, using drugs or alcohol, gang violence, weapons, bullying, scapegoating, unprotected sexual activity, shoplifting, and stealing.
- Any of the following: Physical activities such as sports teams, horseback riding, in-line skating, walking, or jogging. Under the supervision of a trained expert, engaging in outlets for extreme physical and emotional thrills such as white-water rafting, rock climbing, camping, etc.; creative activity such as joining a band or the production of a play. Learning or practicing a creative art form such as photography, pottery, video, dance, or creative writing. Learning to talk about sex and relationships, working on open communication with partners and parents. Seeking out new friends, volunteering in the community, participating in a student exchange program, transferring to a new school if necessary. Getting a part-time job such as baby-sitting, camp or after-school counselor, retail clerk in clothing or music store, or tutoring.
- Yes, taking risks is a normal part of growing up.
- Red flags which help identify dangerous adolescent risk-taking can include psychological problems such as persistent depression or anxiety which goes beyond more typical adolescent "moodiness" problems at school; engaging in illegal activities; and clusters of unhealthy risk-taking behaviors (e.g., smok ing, drinking and driving recklessly might be happening at the same time, as might disordered eating and self-mutilation, or running away and stealing).
- Healthy risk-taking is a positive tool in an adolescent's life for discovering, developing, and consolidating his or her identity.
Below are some additional resources on risk taking. The one from About is particularly detailed and could be used to expand class activities to detailed discussions of specific risks like the risk of heart problems from drinking.
- Adolescent Risk Taking:
- NPR radio show on the risk of smoking for teens:
- Center for Disease Control web site: