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Word Count: 622
Adolescents for the most part exist in a highly social environment Practically everything an adolescent does is somehow related to school Classes extracurricular activities such as clubs or sports teams or going to a party all tend to involve other adolescents from school These adolescents who are of about the same age or maturity level are referred to as peers Peer groups serve many functions for an adolescent Peers can provide entertainment in the form of fun and socializing Acceptance by a group helps to bolster self-esteem and confidence A particular role or responsibility in a group club or sports team can help shape adolescents identity and self-image One of the most important functions of peer groups is to provide information and comparison An adolescent can learn a tremendous amount about the world outside the family From the peer group adolescents receive feedback about their abilities Adolescents learn whether what they do is better than as good as or worse than what other adolescents do Stantrock p184 This is vital because like weight classes in a boxing tournament peers must be fairly equal Siblings can not serve as an accurate yard stick because they are usually younger or older and at different stages of development Information in the form of exchange of knowledge is also part of this function There is much to be learned from friends with different perspectives During countless hours of conversation friends act as sounding boards as teenagers explore issues ranging from future plans to stances on religious and moral issues Stantrock p196 This function not only serves as a measure for abilities but for self-worth and self-confidence as well When close friends disclose their mutual insecurities and fears about themselves they discover that they are not abnormal and that they have nothing to be ashamed of Stantrock p196 Another peer function one with long-term effects is the influence on social development and adult relationships Peer relationships give an
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