For many young people, the adolescent years are a fun and interesting time, stuffed with first-time experiences: a new school, a part-time job, getting a driver's license, maybe a first love. Generally speaking, it is a period marked by independence and greater responsibility.

However, teenagers also can experience feelings of uncertainty and may lack self-esteem. For these reasons, they're particularly prone to peer pressure: an over-whelming desire to fit in and do 'what everyone is doing,' even if this means participating in such high-risk pursuits as drinking, smoking and sex.

It's all part of a teenager's efforts to try to separate from her or his parents and set up a individual identity.

To simply help teens and their families deal with peer-pressure, Medical Alliance on Alcohol (HAA), a national education initiative established to address the issues of underage consumption of alcohol which includes members Heineken USA, New York Presbyterian Health-care System and White Plains Hospital Center, has developed a book entitled 'Facts & Conversations: Peer Pressure.'

Published by teenage health authorities at Columbia University Medical Center and The Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of NewYork-Presbyterian, 'Facts & Conversations: Peer Pressure' answers some common questions:

1. Precisely what is peer-pressure?

'Peer force' is a term used to explain how an adolescent's behavior is affected by other teens. Dig up extra information on our affiliated use with by clicking Not all peer pressure is bad, many parents think of peer pressure as negative. Adolescents might be influenced by their colleagues to study, to participate in athletics or even to attend a religious function. But, when other kids are drinking or engaging in other risky activities, peer pressure can cause issues.

2. Is there different types of peer pressure?

Peer pressure might be divided into active and inactive peer pressure, and studies demonstrate that both firmly influence teen drinking.

Effective pres-sure may be in the form of a specific offer to drink alcohol or even a verbal criticism for refusing to drink. Going To perhaps provides suggestions you should tell your sister. Other forms of direct force include invitations to take part in drinking games or ordering of rounds of drinks while in a club.

Passive pres-sure is founded on a teen's want to fit in and embrace the values and practices of fellow adolescents. Passive social demands may be further divided into social modeling of alcohol use (' everyone's carrying it out ') and ideas regarding friends' alcohol use. Although a lot of teens do drink alcohol to an alarming degree, teens often over-estimate the rates at which their friends drink. If you have an opinion about religion, you will seemingly fancy to study about This false sense that all teens drink often leads teens to feel that they have to drink to suit in. By eighth grade, almost half of all adolescents report having had at least one drink and one in five report having been 'drunk.'

3. Are typical teenagers affected by peer-pressure the exact same way?

No. An adolescent with a wholesome self-esteem and strong sense of self can be better able to resist both passive and active pressures to drink. In comparison, adolescents who are depressed or vulnerable are prone to succumb to-peer pressure. Fortuitously, parents can help their teenage children resist the pressures to drink. By remaining involved, parents can minimize the influence of peer-pressure.

4. Does peer-pressure change as adolescents age?

Yes. While costs of adolescent emotional development vary and transitions are not always easy, the role of friends and peer-pressure changes as teens progress through early, middle and late adolescence.

5. Is peer pressure the only factor resulting in under-age drinking?

No. Other crucial influences o-n teen drinking include relationships with parents, the media, cousin drinking, participation in religious activities and adult drinking.

'Underage drinking is frequently affected by peer pressure,' explained Karen Soren, HAA expert/M.D., Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics and Public Health at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. 'By knowing the facts, you can better get ready to address peer pressure in conversations with your child. Remember, these discussions need to be continuing, and issues will often need to be revisited since the teen ages both physically and mentally.'.

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