Peer groups are an integral part of growing up and are very important to adolescents. Research shows that peer groups help shape adolescents’ identities, attitudes, values, and academic success. There are a number of reasons why peer groups are important to adolescents.
1. They Provide Support and Guidance
Having strong friendships can provide an invaluable source of support and guidance during the tumultuous years of adolescence. Friends can offer emotional support during times of difficulty, such as during transitions or when facing difficult situations. They can also provide helpful advice and guidance, which can help adolescents make informed decisions and learn how to navigate their own lives.
2. They Help Develop Social Skills
Peer groups also help adolescents develop important social skills such as communication, problem solving, and conflict resolution. By interacting with peers, adolescents are able to learn and practice social skills that will be essential in their adult life. This is especially true for adolescents who may be shy or have difficulty making friends.
3. They Can Foster Self-Expression
When adolescents are surrounded by supportive and accepting friends, they are more likely to express their true selves. Through self-expression, adolescents can work through their feelings, develop self-confidence, and explore their own identity. This can help them feel supported and accepted by their peers, which can lead to a strong sense of self-worth.
4. They Help Set Positive Expectations and Goals
Peer groups can also provide a positive influence on adolescents’ lives. By setting positive expectations and goals, adolescents can have something to strive for and work towards. Additionally, having role models in peer groups can be important for adolescents to learn how to model good behavior, make healthy choices, and set achievable goals.
In conclusion, peer groups are an important part of adolescent development. They can provide support and guidance, help develop social skills, foster self-expression, and set positive expectations and goals. As a result, peers play an indispensable role in helping adolescents shape their identities, attitudes, values, and academic success.