In addition they are well aware of their popularity

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more involved in extracurricular school activities. In addition, they are well aware of their popularity, and they are less lonely than their less popular classmates (Farmer et al., 2003 ; Zettergren, 2003 ; Becker & Luthar, 2007 ; Closson, 2009 ). In contrast, the social world of rejected and neglected adolescents is considerably less pleasant. They have fewer friends, engage in social activities less frequently, and have less contact with the opposite sex. They see themselves—accurately, it turns out—as less popular, and they are more likely to feel lonely. They may find themselves in conflicts with others, some of which escalate into full-blown fights that require mediation (McElhaney, Antonishak, & Allen, 2008 ; Woodhouse, Dykas & Cassidy, 2012 ). What is it that determines status in high school? Men and women have different perceptions. For example, college men suggest that physical attractiveness is the most important factor in determining high school girls’ status, whereas college women believe it is a high school girl’s grades and intelligence CONFORMITY. Whenever Aldos Henry said he wanted to buy a particular brand of sneakers or a certain style of shirt, his parents complained that he was just giving in to peer pressure and told him to make up his own mind about things. In arguing with Aldos, his parents were subscribing to a view of adolescence that is quite prevalent in U.S. society: that teenagers are highly susceptible to peer pressure , the influence of one’s peers to conform to their behavior and attitudes. Were his parents correct in saying that he was a victim of peer pressure? peer pressure The influence of one’s peers to conform to their behavior and attitudes The research suggests that in some cases, adolescents are highly susceptible to the influence of their peers. For instance, when considering what to wear, whom to date, and what movies to see, adolescents are apt to follow the lead of their peers. Wearing the right clothes, down to the correct brand of the right clothes, sometimes can be a ticket to membership in a popular group. It shows you know what’s what. However, when it comes to many nonsocial matters, such as choosing a career path or trying to solve a problem, adolescents are more likely to turn to an experienced adult (Phelan, Yu, & Davidson, 1994 ). In short, particularly in middle and late adolescence, teenagers turn to those they see as experts on a given dimension. If they have social concerns, they turn to the people most likely to be experts—their peers. If the problem is one about which parents or other adults are most likely to have expertise, teenagers tend to turn to them for advice and are most susceptible to their opinions (Young & Ferguson, 1979 ; Perrine & Aloise-Young, 2004 ). Overall, then, it does not appear that susceptibility to peer pressure suddenly soars during adolescence. Instead, adolescence brings about a change in the people to whom an individual conforms. Whereas children conform fairly consistently to their parents during childhood, in adolescence, conformity shifts to the peer group, in part because pressures to conform to peers increase as adolescents seek to establish their identity apart from their parents. (See also the From Research to Practice box.) 21

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