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Youth peer pressure is one of the most frequently referred to forms of negative peer pressure. It is particularly common because most young people spend large amounts of time in fixed groups (schools and subgroups within them) regardless of their opinion of those groups. In addition to this, they may lack the maturity to handle pressure from 'friends'. Also, young people are more willing to behave negatively towards those who are not members of their own peer groups. However, youth peer pressure can also have positive effects. For example, if one is involved with a group of people that are ambitious and working to succeed, one might feel pressured to follow suit to avoid feeling excluded from the group. Therefore, the youth would be pressured into improving themselves, bettering them in the long run. This is most commonly seen in youths that are active in sports or other extracurricular activities.

Most people expect that socially accepted young people fare the best in high school. It is expected that people who are considered popular will have the most resources, the most opportunities and the most positive experiences. Most times this is true, but research shows that being in the popular crowd may also be a risk factor for mild to moderate deviant behavior. Popular adolescents are the most socialized into their peer groups and thus are vulnerable to peer pressures, such as behaviors usually reserved for those of a greater maturity and understanding, such as the use of drugs.

Adolescence is a time of experimentation with new identities and experiences. The culture of high school often has its own social norms that are different from the outside culture. Some of these norms may not be especially positive or beneficial. Socially accepted kids are often accepted for the sheer fact that they conform well to the norms of teen culture, good and bad aspects included. Popular adolescents are more strongly associated with their peer groups in which they may together experiment with things like alcohol and drugs. Although there are a few risk factors correlated with popularity, deviant behavior is often only mild to moderate. Regardless, social acceptance provides more overall protective factors than risk factors.[1]

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