Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Essay on Bad Friends

Essay about Bad Friends

Adolescent involvement with cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, marijuana use, tobacco chewing and sexual presentation is beginning at a younger age. Adolescence is a time when we are more vulnerable because social influence is important to all of us; we want to detach from our parents and establish an identity of our own. Since much time is spent with friends and or peer groups an important question has risen: Do friends or peer groups influence not only positive behaviors but also exactly how much influence do these existing ties make or break adolescent risk behaviors such as the ones mentioned.


Using data collected from a peer network data set known as the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health or Add Health how it is frequently referred to. 1,969 seventh through twelfth grade students were interviewed in their own homes. The questions asked were about their experience with and attitudes toward adolescent risk behaviors. Each student was to select 10 friends, 5 boys and 5 girls. Researchers used a unidimensional scale to pair and compare behaviors. Several options were examined to measure influence by friends. Not all 10 friends were used for each student instead 1 friend was randomly selected for each to obtain the influence effect. Data was analyzed using the T1 and T2 test of significance.

Risk behaviors existed and differed by activity. High percentages existed when the information was weighed only using the student. When the existing information was compared with that of the friend again it only showed association with demographics, age and gender. The researcher clearly saw that same sex friends do influence the risk behavior in teens. Per studies the level of influence depends on the risk behavior for some behavior it was not as high and for others not as low. The percentage findings prove that the friends using will introduce or reinforce the risk behavior but also for the non using friends it will refrain and deter from further use.

I think the overall intent of this study was to prove linkage between the early adolescent period and the role "friends" play in risk behaviors. There's an old saying in Spanish "dime con quien andas y te dire quien eres" which basically translates to "Tell me who you're with and Ill tell you who you are." This saying is backed up by these findings. Friends are a critical factor in any adolescent behavior. While growing up I would frequently get in trouble and would be demanded to stop "hanging around" the bad crowd because of the bad influence and I always responded "I did it cause I wanted t not because they told me too." With this research conducted by Kimberly A. Maxwell, PhD and other readings I can see the correlation between friends and the risk behaviors mentioned. We are the behavior of our friends.

What the researcher fails to mention is the role of parents and the relationship skills acquired from the family after all parents may help their children form solid, high quality friendships that will see them through the tough times of adolescence. The environment plays a huge role as well in these actions being taken. If satisfactory relationships with parents are established the risk behavior activity level is less likely to take place. No correlation was proven to show adolescents expectations from their parents and actual behavior. There are many factors that enter into a young adolescent's decision to be involved in risk-taking behavior. It is clear from this study and others. During this period of cognitive development, clearly expressed and clearly understood parental guidance has a powerful effect on the behavior of the student. Knowing the facts surrounding risk behaviors does not translate into avoidance of the behavior. Education provided through programs play a small role in these behaviors. Parents who do not want their children to participate in risk taking behavior must take an active role in making that message clear.

This study proves the negative will influence the negative and positive-to-positive. Friends are our networks during adolescence and we seek them for referencing but ultimately in come from home if good values are instilled at an early age than the risk behaviors are less likely to occur. It all stems from home.

Warning!!! All free online essays, sample essays and essay examples on Bad Friends topics are plagiarized and cannot be completely used in your school, college or university education.

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