AiS Challenge Team Interim


Team Number: 063

School Name: Shiprock High School

Area of Science: Behavioral and Social Sciences

Project Title: Peer Pressure



So far, our project on "peer pressure" is going well with the exception of a few things. Our mentor and school at-risk counselor, Ms Speake, has personal knowledge about how peer pressure affects students because many students have consulted her on this topic. She provided us with some useful information that surprised us, including information about ourselves. She said it's all about making choices negative or positive. She also mentioned if the choice made is negative, then the outcome is usually negative. For example, if a person goes to a new school and he or she doesn't know anyone at all, the student may try to make some new friends. The only thing is that the friends the new person has chosen aren't exactly what he or she expected or the best friends. These "friends" maybe involved in something illegal. That's when one notices he or she has made the wrong choice. "Peer pressure" plays an important rule in these choices.

Our research concludes that some teenagers use drugs such as marijuana, which is considered a "soft drug," to relax, feel good, or escape their so called frustrating lives. Some people do it to satisfy curiosity. But not only peers are to blame; there are movies, music, television and even role models. Parents can try to keep their children away from this negative peer pressure but it's everywhere, and people can't watch their children every hour of everyday. [If they don't have a concerned, supportive family as some others do.] Recently, we visited a web site that stated 1 out of 4 teenagers said that heroin and marijuana is easy to obtain, and 1 out of 8 said someone approached them and offered to sell drugs. This site also stated that the average age a person starts using drugs is at age 12, and the age that people begin experimenting with "hard drugs" such as heroin and cocaine starts at 14!

We have randomly interviewed people who will remain anonymous. Several of them said the same thing: that "peer pressure" is always negative, at least from their experiences. They also said, "It's all about choosing your friends." We also got information from our mentor and a little research on the internet. We found out that "peer pressure" can be positive as well. For example, we have been told countless times that it's all about making personal choices. Sports, clubs, and other extra curricular activities are examples of positive "peer pressure".

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