Parental Influence vs Peer Influence
Choosing the best approach to teaching children peculiar norms, morality, and behavior is an actual issue in modern society. Due to the high number of delinquent behavior, it is necessary to discover the most effective means of behavior correction. In particular, the adolescent age is the most disputable period because the behavior of people often becomes quite unpredictable. When considering the most meaningful impacts on the personВ’s choices, it is necessary to refer to the multiples spheres of the teenagerВ’s life. However, the closest environment that includes family and friends is obviously the most influential. The impact of these two groups of people can be similar in some aspects and sometimes equally strong, as they depend on the personal features and worldview. However, different mechanisms of peer and parental impact predetermine higher or lower effectiveness in different spheres of influence.
The principle of peer influence is different from the one of parents. The latter is more likely to appeal to a reason, while the influence of peers is associated with a social reaction path (Prinstein & Dodge, 2008). Prinstein and Dodge (2008) referred to the mechanism of the peer’s influence process in order to show that it is purposive. One of the important aspects is the fact that the motivation of such influence is commonly predetermined by self-enhancement and gaining the position among peers. Such influence is commonly provided by some definite behavior or situation. Being not always purposeful, the engagement of others in some actions is often driven by fun and the desire to get a dominating position in the group. In addition, peer influence is mutual and transactional, which means it is strongly dependent on the reaction of each interlocutor (Prinstein & Dodge, 2008).
Read about our professional essay writing service!
The influence of parents, on the other hand, is based on cognitive comprehension and reasoning. It is motivating to think of the consequences and weighing all possible alternatives instead of promoting fun. Finally, it is strongly dependent on the type and closeness of relations with a parent, and it is not predetermined by the desire to get the respected position. Different mechanisms can also lead to the differentiation between the spheres of influence that are more amenable to persuasion by peers or parents.
According to various researches, parents are believed to become a greater authority when making decisions regarding vocation or money. As for the peers, they are more influential considering the decisions about what to wear, choice of social activities, and the places or means of entertainment. Mainly due to these reasons, teenagers discuss the pastime with their friends and rarely search for advice among parents on this issue (Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2016). In the same way, the area of entertainment connected to alcohol, drug abuse, drunk driving or delinquent behavior is strongly associated with the influence of peers. Consequently, the researches show that the role of peers is crucial when talking about alcohol abuse, cigarette smoking, and other types of behavior that can be used for entertainment. For instance, the NDSHS survey has demonstrated that 73% of males and 78% of females consuming alcohol reported that their friends did it as well. In the same way, those, who refused to drink, reported that their friends did not consume alcohol in 79% (males) and 70% (females) cases (Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2016). Hence, the influence of the peers regarding the entertainment sphere in quite strong but still not absolute.
Even though it is commonly believed that peers have a stronger influence on the adolescentВ’s choices and delinquent behavior, it is not true. Personal characteristics, values, and interests are the essential factors that would make one choice over the importance of respect among peers and fun or being an obedient and intelligent person getting prepared for the future career. The worldview and values are commonly shaped by the family, but also by the inertly input interests and devotions of a person. For instance, one can prefer drawing or writing songs in his or her room instead of going to a party without the exterior influences. In such a way, both peers and parents can have an influence on a teenager in an equally low level, if the personal aspirations are more important. However, the strength of the devotion to parents or friends is also of great importance.
Teenagers commonly are under greater influence of those, to whom they feel a stronger connection. The relationship with parents can remain strong, and the adolescentВ’s behavior is likely to be influenced more easily by the parents (Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2016). However, single mothers or fathers, as well as abusive parents, commonly lose this connection, which makes the influence of peers become stronger. Communication is the basis for support of this connection with both parents and peers. However, if the connection with the family already exists, the one with peers needs to be constructed. As a result, adolescents can communicate with peers more aiming to belong to a definite social group.
The impact of peers and parents is influential for the behavior of a person. However, they both are dependent on the inner amenability of the adolescents and their personal aspirations. Hence, the two influences can be similar in some aspects or equally strong. In this case, the attitudes towards peers or parents matter, as well as the personal interests and characteristics. However, different mechanisms of peer and parental impact are also influential to predetermine higher or lower effectiveness in different spheres of influence. The life goals and money spheres are more strongly associated with parental influence, and entertainment is often connected to peers. Anyway, it becomes evident that the relations and level of trust are important to have an influence on adolescents in various life spheres.