Adverse Effects of Peer Pressure on Young Adults

Adverse Effects of Peer Pressure on Young Adults

Do you recall being a teenager and feeling compelled to follow the crowd? Peer pressure is a powerful and prevalent phenomenon, especially during those formative years. Giving in to peer pressure may seem inconsequential at the time, but it can have several negative consequences.

Things like trying cigarettes or alcohol for the first time, shoplifting, skipping class, and more can all be chalked up to peer pressure. And while some may argue that succumbing to peer pressure is a rite of passage, the fact remains that it can have some incredibly severe consequences. Let’s take a look at a few of those now. 

Health Risks

Indulging in risky behaviors like smoking and drinking can become a reality when succumbing to peer pressure. And while you may feel like you’re invincible at 18, engaging in these activities puts your health at risk. Besides, tobacco and alcohol are two leading causes of preventable death in young adults.

Peer influence is frequently the cause of substance abuse and letting someone hit rock bottom. As per the National Institute on Drug Abuse, about half of young adults who use illicit drugs first tried them before turning 18. That’s because when you’re around others who are using drugs, it can be tough to say no.

If you’re already feeling pressure to use drugs or alcohol, talk to a trusted adult about it. They can help you figure out how to handle the situation. You can also lookup reliable health institutes like Delphi Health Group to help you out.

Changes in Visual Appearance

Everyone wants admiration and acceptance from their peers, which is why peer pressure can be tough to resist. Unfortunately, trying to fit in by altering your appearance can lead to serious repercussions. You may want to cut your hair short or dye them a different color, maybe even start smoking or piercings to seem “cool.” But these changes can often have a negative effect, leading to insecurity and low self-esteem.

Additionally, eating disorders are too common among young adults looking to change their appearance to fit in with a specific group. The desire to lose weight to look like everyone else can lead to dangerous behaviors, including anorexia and bulimia.

So next time you’re feeling the pressure to conform, remember that it’s okay to be different. There is no need to change who you are to fit in with someone else.

Changes in School Performance

Another area where peer pressure can negatively affect is school performance. Suppose you’re hanging out with a group of kids who don’t value education. In that case, it’s easy to start skipping classes or not doing homework. Cheating or plagiarizing to maintain appearances may be tempting for students trailing behind their peers in terms of academic performance. It can lead to poor grades and even expulsion from school.

Once cheating becomes a habit, it can be complicated to break free from it and get back on track. That’s why it’s important to find friends who share your values and support your efforts. Otherwise, you may end up with a decent GPA but a whole lot of regrets.

Relationship Issues

It’s difficult to have time for relationships—both romantic and platonic—when you’re always striving to satisfy the demands of your peers. You may withdraw from your friends and relatives to spend more time with your “group.” It can lead to tension and conflict at home, alongside problems in existing relationships.

It’s also common for young people to engage in risky sexual behavior when under peer pressure. It can result in unwanted pregnancies or sexually transmitted infections (STIs). So, before dragging yourself to the point of no return, take a step back and think about your actions and their consequences.

Activities and Accidents

Many young adults give in to peer pressure and participate in illegal, dangerous, or simply not wise activities. It could be anything from climbing buildings to stealing cars or other criminal activity. With a criminal record, it will be challenging to get into college, find a stable job, or even rent an apartment. If you’re considering giving in to peer pressure and participating in any illegal activity, stop and think about the possible consequences first.

If you’re wondering if it’s worth the cost, know that charges for criminal behavior typically increase when more people are involved. So, not only could you put yourself in danger, but also your friends and perhaps even innocent bystanders.


Peer pressure is a real phenomenon that can have negative consequences, especially for young adults. If you find yourself in a situation where you’re being pressured to do something you’re not comfortable with, remember that you have a choice. Don’t be afraid to speak up and stand up for yourself. You could also try distancing yourself from the group or finding new friends who share your values.

Whatever you do, don’t let peer pressure get the best of you. It’s essential to be mindful of the type of people you’re hanging out with at school. If your friends constantly press you to do things you’re not comfortable with, it might be time to find some new friends. Being around people who encourage you and support your decisions will make life simpler and a lot less stressful.