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As children move into early adolescence they grow and develop and involvement with their peers and the need for peer identification increases Lingren 1995 Adolescence is both an exciting and challenging time in our lives a time which may also be challenging for parents and teachers Teen advice 1996 For the first time in adolescence a child becomes introduced to the world outside the home and may not even want to be seen with parents Kassin by Berndt 1996 As they go through rapid physical emotional and social changes pre-adolescents begin to question adult standards and the need for parental guidance They tend to find it reassuring to turn for advice to friends who understand and sympathize with them friends who are in the same position themselves By experimenting with new values and testing their ideas with peers there is less fear of being ridiculed Lingren 1995 Adolescence is also the beginning of new types of relationships which can be highly intimate For example its not unusual for best friends to talk freely about their thoughts and feelings and to reveal some of their deepest darkest secrets Kassin by Berndt 1996 Most adolescents tend to retain the fundamental values of their parents but they would most likely look to peers for guidance on how to dress or wear their hair what music to listen to how to speak and how to behave in ways that are acceptable Conformity satisfies important needs in a teenagers life As social beings we all exhibit a tendency to conform to some extent However this tendency is more prominent in adolescence especially during the early stages of adolescence In a 1979 study Thomas Berndt noted that conformity rose steadily with age peaked in the ninth grade then declined The tendency to conform is much weaker for actions that are immoral or illegal but the most likely followers are consistently younger adolescents wanting desperately to fit in Kassin by Brown
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