The Factors of Conformity in Adolescent Peer Groups on Alcohol Consumption
In this paper different factors of conformity in adolescent peer groups on alcohol consumption will be discussed. Conformity can be defined as "a change in behavior or attitudes in response to the influence of a real or imagined group" (Fowler, 2013). Mostly everyone goes through the social pressure of a group wanting them to conform. But, why do we feel the need to comply? The purpose of this paper is to find out what factors lead adolescents to conform to alcohol consumption. According to Teunissen et al. (2012), "adolescents usually have little drinking experience" meaning "their anticipated physiological reactions to alcohol are not yet important motivations to start drinking" (p.1257-58). Therefore, there are other factors driving adolescents drinking experiences. Peer pressure, popularity, social status, socialization, social norms, descriptive norms, injunctive norms, and identity development are all influences on conformity.
Peer pressure is something no one is resistant to. Oostveen, Knibbe, & de Vries describe some influences of peer pressure as "remarks about drinking rate, remarks about the number of glasses drunk, the ordering by rounds, and group size as an important stimulant to drink more" (1996, p.188). "While more than one person is required to create social pressure to conform, research suggests between three and five are enough to have a significant effect" (Fowler, 2013). Drinking is a social activity so adolescents will almost never be drinking by themselves (Teunissen et al., 2012). Therefore, their willingness to drink depends on the social situation and what social consequences they will encounter by drink...
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.... B. (1992). Social projection and social conformity in adolescent alcohol use: A longitudinal analysis. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 18(1), 96-101.
McKay, M. T., & Cole, J. C. (2012). The relationship between alcohol use and peer susceptibility, peer popularity and general conformity in Northern Irish school children. Drugs: Education, Prevention, and Policy, 19(3), 213-222.
Oostveen, T., Knibee, R., & de Vries, H. (1996). Social influences on young adults' alcohol consumption: Norms, modeling, pressure, socializing, and conformity. Addictive Behaviors, 21(2), 187-197.
Teunissen, H. A., Spijkerman, R., Prinstein, M. J., Cohen, G. L., Engels, R. E., & Scholte, R. J. (2012). Adolescents' conformity to their peers' pro‐alcohol and anti‐alcohol norms: The power of popularity. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 36(7), 1257-1267.
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