The Effects of Peer Pressure on the Health Behaviors of Children
MetadataShow full item record
The purpose of this study was to explore possible connections between peer pressure and health behaviors among children and adolescents ranging from ages 7 through 17 years old (N= 17, Mage =12.5 years). The peer pressure areas of peer conformity and school involvement were studied along with the health behaviors of exercise, diet, and sleep. Both were studied using a self-report format in the form of surveys given to the students. It was predicted that the younger age group would perceive less peer pressure than the older age group and that the peer pressure areas would be positively correlated with the health behaviors. Contrary to the first hypothesis, the younger age group (ages 7 to 12) did not perceive less peer pressure than the older age group (ages 13 to 17). The second hypothesis had partial support. For the younger group, peer conformity was positively correlated with both exercise and the overall health scores. However, for the older group, and whole group, there was no significant correlations between peer pressures and health behaviors. Implications of this research has the possibility to improve the health of children through understanding the links between peer pressure and health behaviors. Further research could help explain the reasons for the positive correlations between peer pressure and health behaviors in younger children.