Peer pressure comes from direct, indirect and individual sources, and it causes symptoms such as low self-esteem, emotional issues and substance abuse. Approximately 30 percent of middle and high school students receive drug offers, and almost 75 percent of high school students try alcohol due to peer pressure.
Direct peer pressure occurs when a person or group of people encourage someone to participate in a behavior. Indirect peer pressure occurs when the behavior of a person or group influences someone toward that same behavior. Individual peer pressure occurs when a person behaves a certain way to try to fit in with others.
Peer pressure causes low self-esteem when the person does something he feels guilty about because it doesn't fit with his morals. This leads to emotional issues as he loses belief in himself and his ability to make decisions. Negative peer pressure also leads to drug abuse, alcohol abuse and sexual behavior, when peers engage in those activities.
Peer pressure occurs at all age groups. Parents help prevent it by communicating with their child, being involved in his life and getting to know his friends. Peer pressure doesn't always lead to negative behaviors. If a person interacts with peers who engage in positive behaviors, such as working hard and studying, it influences him to behave in a positive way as well.